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Mediation expert shares tips for successful lawyering

As Director of Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s Dispute Resolution Program, Teresa Frisbie coordinates all dispute resolution courses and activities, teaches mediation advocacy, and coaches the international mediation team. Frisbie trains law students, business professionals, lawyers, judges, realtors, physicians and nurses in mediation, mediation advocacy, negotiation, conflict management and/or international arbitration in the United States and internationally. She was named a Top Ten Illinois Women ADR Neutral as well as a Leading Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution in the categories of international, employment, and commercial litigation.

How did you first become involved in alternative dispute resolution?

I was practicing as a litigator and learned about international commercial arbitration. I took the courses and exams and became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. The best thing about it may have been that it led me to mediation training. While I was able to apply my international arbitration knowledge not long after in a case, it was mediation and principled negotiation that were clearly useful to everything in my practice. I was drawn to mediation because our current litigation system is so expensive for clients and the focus is on procedural rules and discovery, while mediation creates an opportunity to sit down with people, talk about what really matters to them, and resolve a dispute quickly.

What do you like best about teaching at Loyola?
The people. We have wonderful students and colleagues. I never set out to have a career in teaching, but it turns out I love to teach and coach. I also love to learn and the best way to learn something is to teach it.