Andrea Schneider

On Thursday, we focused on the aftermath of October 7th in a few different ways.  One was recovery—how were the institutions and people of Israel moving forward in helpful ways.  Another was the law and law schools which I will cover in the next blog. And then, finally, how to equip students to come home…  First, recovery:
We were so happy to have the opportunity to visit Schneider Children’s Medical Center (not a relative but very proud of my name here!)  Schneider Children’s Medical Center was the hospital that welcomed almost all of the children hostages that were released in
Continue Reading Israel Reflections–Day Four–Recovery

After coming back to Tel Aviv, we had our last day of the trip—day 4 of what already felt like a 4 week trip.  No visit to Tel Aviv is complete today without a stop to the courtyard of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, now known as Hostages Square.  We visited the art installations and met with a cousin of one of the hostages from the Nova Festival still in Gaza.  The part that really stuck with me was how “lucky” his family was since they received video of his cousin’s video very early in the crisis and did
Continue Reading Israel Reflections 2024–Day Four–Hostage Square

As many of you know, Pace Law School, largely due to the extraordinary efforts of Pace Prof. Eric Bergsten, founded the Vis Moot competition more than 30 years ago. Prof. Bergsten passed away last summer at the age of 92. I am passing along the below call for tributes to Prof. Bergsten from Pace’s International Law Review.

The Pace International Law Review is looking to incorporate tributes dedicated to the memory of Prof. Dr. Eric E. Bergsten, a long-time fixture of the international program and founder of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in its next blog publication. Whether
Continue Reading Call for Tributes to Prof. Bergsten

After a very long day at sites of destruction, we were so blessed to have time with freed hostage Liat Atzili.  Liat was kidnapped by Hamas and returned after 54 days in one of the exchanges last fall.  Liat had already written quite beautifully about her experience for the New York Times in February in a piece called Choosing Rebirth over Revenge After my Release from Gaza .  I was looking forward to meeting someone who was so clearly cognizant of many conflict resolution principles having served as an educator at Yad Vashem for years.
She, and her entire
Continue Reading Israel Reflections 2024–Day Three–Meeting with Freed Hostage Liat Atzili

Lovely to see so many colleagues this past weekend at the ABA!  And back to reporting from last month’s trip to Israel:
We had started day three by visiting Kibbutz Urim with Julia Chaitin, which miraculously escaped harm from Hamas.  We stopped in the middle of the day at Kibbutz Nirim, where we visited with Bar Heffetz, a kibbutz leader and avocado farmer, who took us around his kibbutz.  Kibbutz Nirim was mostly spared as Hamas could not get in the front gate and “only” was able to attack a few homes and kill four residents.  We were now heading
Continue Reading Israel Reflections 2024–Day Three–Kibbutz Be’eri/Honoring Vivian Silver

In between the visits to the kibbutzes, we also visited the Nova Festival Site.  This is the only part of our visit south that is open to the public as most kibbutzes are trying to get back to normal or are uninhabited and locked for security reasons.  This was an incredibly difficult experience for everyone involved—the law students are the age of the festival goers and my colleague and I are parents of this age cohort too.
Annie Lelonek put this beautifully into words:
On October 7th, the internet was flooded with haunting images from the scene of Nova, the
Continue Reading Israel Reflections 2024–Day Three–The Nova Music Festival Site

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the Vis Moot in Vienna, Austria on behalf of my law school and arbitrating a few sessions. I used some of my “down time” to visit the Jewish Museum in Vienna (mainly to learn more about the history of Jewish life and persecution in the city) and stumbled across a temporary exhibit at the museum called “FRIEDEN/PEACE.” [Frieden is the word for peace in German.] The exhibit was very thought-provoking and moving, as well as very relevant to my teaching of conflict resolution.

The exhibit was put together in the
Continue Reading Conceptions of Peace

On Day 3 of the trip we headed south to visit the destroyed kibbutzes near Gaza, see the sight of the Nova music festival, and speak with the people affected.  This day was graciously arranged for us by law professor and colleague Roy Peled whose connections to the kibbutz movement made these visits possible.  We are so grateful!
I’ll be breaking this day into pieces as there was a lot to digest.  A couple thoughts as we dive in—one, the vast majority of the people who chose to live in the kibbutzes near Gaza are part of the left-leading kibbutz
Continue Reading Israel Reflections 2024–Day Three–Visiting the South/Contemplating Peace

It is the time of year for law schools’ yearly genuflecting to the USNews Rankings, and this year is no different – even for those of us in the Dispute Resolution community. With that in mind, here are the 2025 USNews rankings for law school Dispute Resolution Programs. Drumroll please. . . . .
Ohio State moves back to the top displacing Harvard, which is now ranked 3rd tied with Missouri. Ahead of them placing 2nd this year is Pepperdine which maintained its ranking from last year. And a big welcome (or should I say howdy?) to Texas A&M as
Continue Reading 2025 USNews ADR Specialty Rankings

The issue of hostage negotiation is front and center throughout Israel.  Even when business or school appears to be operating “as usual”, it is clear that the focus of the Israeli people is on the hostages.  Their photos are everywhere—bus stations, sides of buildings, even in the public seats in the Knesset.  And banners—to free them, to free them now, and to not forget them—are equally throughout, each with its own political underpinnings.  Our trip reflected this as well with speakers every day giving us a legal overview, strategic implications, and then hearing later in the week from a released
Continue Reading Israel Reflections 2024–The Law (and Strategy) of Hostage Negotiations

A trip about the law would not be complete without a visit to the Supreme Court and we were also very happy to fit in a visit to the Knesset (the Parliament ) as well on our second day of the trip.  The comments from Justice Ruth Ronnen about how she decides cases was a master class in conflict management—understanding both sides well before “taking” a side.

Student Caitlin French discussed her talk:
It is a rare opportunity for law students to listen to a judge describe their approach to a new case and their procedure for coming to a
Continue Reading Israel Reflections 2024–Day Two–The Law & Understanding Both Sides of a Case

One of the things that has been in my mind throughout the last six months in particular was for how long Jewish and Islamic culture thrived side by side over the past hundreds of years—hopefully this conflict is a short break in a longer story of coexistence.  Our final stop of the day was at the brand new National Library—a gorgeous new building that just opened last fall where we were graciously hosted by the Head of Collections, Dr. Raquel Ukeles.
Student Elliot Dosetarah described the highlights for him:
On our first day of the trip, we had the unique
Continue Reading Israel Reflections 2024–Day One–Islamic & Jewish Texts in Conversations

I strongly think that starting in Jerusalem is such a good anchor for peacebuilding and so the middle of our first day was a proper tour of the Old City. 

As student Olivia Corn wrote, a key message of the Old City is the coexistence of the world’s three major religions. The Muslim Quarter, Jewish Quarter, and Christian Quarter are all a stone’s throw away from each other and are some of the most fought-over real estate in the entire world. The Old City is a great example of coexistence: a place where Jewish men in kippahs walk next to
Continue Reading Israel Reflections–Day One–Old City of Jerusalem

As readers of the blog know, I have had the wonderful opportunity to take students on trips learning about dispute resolution.  My most recent trip was to Northern Ireland in 2020 and I also did a trip to Cuba in 2016.  But the “regular” trip has always been to Israel—examining the legal system, peacebuilding, and sightseeing—and, at my lovely new institution, that was plan as of last fall.  After October 7, I cancelled our planned trip for January.  So many people in pain and crisis—I could not see how to fulfill my educational mission. 

After visiting in December on a
Continue Reading Israel Reflections 2024–Day One–Shared Society

Empirical researchers Jessica Bregant (Houston), Jennifer Robbennolt (Illinois), and Verity Winship (Illinois) have a new article about lay opinions of settlement.  Lots of interesting information here, including that a considerable majority of respondents thought that in an ideal world at least 75% of disputes would be resolved by settlement, with 100% being the most common choice.  Good stuff.  Here’s the article’s abstract:
Is settlement of litigation good or bad for the legal system? Should we have more or less of it? Should settlement have a private or public purpose? Legal scholars and lawyers have considered these questions for decades,
Continue Reading Settlementality by Bregant, Robbennolt, and Winship

I hope that you will share with your campus leaders a new tabletop simulation from the Divided Community Project — and maybe even offer to use your dispute resolution skills to facilitate the simulation and debrief for them. Your campus leaders can use “Tranquil Springs University” to check their readiness for a range of challenges they may face on campus this spring or coming fall. The simulation instructions ask each participant to read a different portion of Leading a Divided Campus: Ideas and Illustrations, now in its second edition. It applies dispute resolution concepts to help leaders respond effectively to
Continue Reading DCP Offers Simulation to Prepare Campus Leaders for Challenges