Participant Information

Summary of Research

Background and Significance

Specific Objectives




Benefits of Participation

Optimal Solutions: Essential Skills for Conflict Resolution (Videos)

Consensus-Building Results

News from the Executive Director

Additional Resources

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University of St. Thomas School of Law

ADRside2.jpgAbout the Network:

The University of St. Thomas School of Law, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is host to an international alternative dispute resolution (ADR) research network designed to utilize social capital through consensus-building techniques to create a model of participatory problem-solving with wide-reaching applications.

About the Project:

"Investing Social Capital: Exploring the Multi-Door Courthouse as a Catalyst to Maximize Latin American Dispute Resolution Systems"

1.    Project Objectives:

--In this pro-bono project, participants will examine the different options to maximize the process of dispute resolution, including possible implementations of the multi-door courthouse, whose creator was Professor Frank Sander, of Harvard Law School. The multi-door courthouse is an institution that routes incoming court cases to the most appropriate methods of dispute resolution. This experience could also prompt participants to consider local methods as raw material to generate new alternatives.

--Participants will meet in a specialized virtual forum following the methodology designed for consensus building by Professor Lawrence Susskind, of MIT and Harvard Law School.

--All this will be implemented under the direction of Professor Mariana Hernández Crespo, of the University of St. Thomas School of Law, together with a team of experts, collaborators, and participants.

2.    Development of the Project:
The program lasts sixteen weeks.

--In the first four weeks, participants are trained (through online videos) on the techniques for consensus-building, while they will be examining the conflict resolution reality in their countries.

--In the following twelve weeks, participants will actively take part in a consensus-building project, in which they examine the experiences of the multi-door courthouse and put into practice the skills they have learned to explore the use of judicial resources to promote alternative methods of dispute resolution in their countries (through a series of virtual dialogues, utilizing a creative combination of software, online threaded discussion forums, conference calls, videos, and videoconferencing).

--The project will conclude with representatives sharing their final results, either online or at The University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The final product, which will be published, aims to call attention toward the need for a more inclusive dialogue in international development to maximize value and learn from experience.

This is an innovative and unique educational experience. The possible applications of this process can have an impact on the efficiency of the judicial system and thereby benefit the entire legal profession in each country. By joining this project, participants gain access to the latest developments in the field, with no monetary cost or language barriers. All that is required is a high level of commitment on the part of those involved.

If you are interested in joining this innovative project, or would like more information, please contact the Regional Administrative Coordinator, Ana Yepes, at