Diversity & Inclusion

CPR Diversity Initiatives 

CPR is committed to encouraging all forms of diversity and inclusion in dispute resolution, in particular increasing the participation of women and people of color in mediation, arbitration and other dispute resolution processes – especially by increasing the number of diverse neutrals selected to mediate or arbitrate disputes as well as increasing the opportunities for diverse attorneys appearing before neutrals. 

CPR’s continuing plan to accomplish this goal comprises four prongs:

1. Growing the Pipeline: CPR is focused on attracting diverse individuals to ADR through our outreach and educational efforts and growing CPR’s panel of diverse neutrals through active recruitment efforts, including through working in collaboration with the National Bar Association, the New York State and City Bar Associations and other organizations to expand CPR’s universe of neutrals.

For example, CPR has opened additional pathways for neutrals to become a part of the CPR Employment Arbitration Panels and Employment Related Mass Claims Master List. This pathway is intended to streamline the process and accommodate a greater range of applicants. Learn more about these opportunities HERE.

2. Supporting the Pipeline: CPR does this in numerous ways:

CPR is expanding the CPR/LCLD/FINRA program, a two-year mentoring and apprentice program designed to further diversity by supporting the entry of talented diverse attorneys into the world of ADR through sustained training, mentorship and exposure to arbitration and mediation.

CPR’s “Young Lawyer Rule”: CPR is helping to promote the diversity of lawyers appearing before arbitral tribunals through the adoption of a “Young Lawyer” Rule into its domestic and international arbitration rules. The Rule aims to increase the number of “stand-up” opportunities for young attorneys -- who are often women and people of color -- to examine witnesses and present argument at arbitral hearings. The Rule has been incorporated in the 2019 CPR Rules for Administered Arbitration of International Disputes2019 CPR Administered Arbitration Rules, the 2018 CPR Non-Administered Rules for International Disputesand the 2018 CPR Non-Administered Arbitration Rules. CPR’s “Young Lawyer Rule” was nominated for the GAR Award for Innovation.

CPR’s Young Attorneys in Dispute Resolution Group (Y-ADR): Just as the Young Lawyer Rule helps to enhance diversity by supporting younger lawyers, so does Y-ADR, CPR’s program targeted at younger and less ADR-experienced attorneys, by providing them with valuable training and networking support. Y-ADR also organizes an annual writing award highlighting efficient and effective collaboration between corporate and outside counsel. 

3. Promotion: CPR is working to find new ways to make others aware of available diverse neutrals, and to recognize those who contribute to diversity efforts and initiatives, including by: 

CPR has created a brochure promoting its distinguished female neutrals called, Look who’s joined ADR’s Most Exclusive Club, pursuant to a generous grant by Victoria Pynchon and intends to expand on this brochure to include neutrals of color and other diverse neutrals that can be provided to in-house counsel and law firms. 

CPR’s Diversity in ADR Task Force annually recognizes a person or organization who has contributed significantly to diversity in the dispute resolution field through its Diversity in ADR Award, which is awarded at CPR’s Annual Meeting. 

CPR staff serve as leaders in the effort to drive diversity through publishing articles and making presentations on practical ways to engender more diversity while also serving as leaders on diversity committees in the dispute resolution community. View some sample articles and examples of CPR in the news, demonstrating thought leadership on this issue, in the sidebar under "Related." 

4. Improving Selection: The most important statistic is, not how many diverse mediators and arbitrators are on a panel, but how many get selected. CPR is striving to improve selection rates in numerous ways:.

CPR’s Diversity & Inclusion Statement - CPR has added to its neutral nomination letter a diversity and inclusion statement encouraging parties to consider the benefits of diversity on the quality of decision-making and the role of implicit bias at the time they are selecting neutrals. 

Here is the language: CPR is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in the dispute resolution field, especially among women and minorities, who continue to be underrepresented as neutrals even though robust evidence demonstrates that diversity improves group decision-making. Those arbitrators who have self-identified as having one or more diverse characteristics are indicated on the attached Slate of Candidates. Members of CPR's Panels of Distinguished Neutrals undergo a rigorous vetting process and comprise those among the most respected mediators and arbitrators in the world. While considering the variety of factors that make a candidate right for your dispute, CPR encourages you to remain cognizant of the role that implicit bias can play in the selection process and to consider the value of diversity and the role that your selection plays in furthering inclusion in the dispute resolution community.

CPR's Model Diversity & Inclusion Clause - CPR has created a model clause, available to parties who wish to pre-commit to a diverse panel of neutrals in a future dispute to be resolved by arbitration. 

Neutral Self-Identification – During the nominating process, CPR is providing the parties with a slate of candidates that can self-identify as diverse to enable diverse selection. 

CPR’s Diversity in ADR Task Force is highlighting the importance of diversity in ADR by setting up meetings with the users of ADR -- law firms and corporations – and encouraging them to give strong consideration to diverse neutrals. Both on its own and partnering with groups such as ArbitralWomen and the Alliance for Equality in Dispute Resolution, CPR is also offering interactive seminars and trainings on diversity and inclusion and unconscious bias and on how to develop a career as counsel or arbitrator in dispute resolution.

CPR’s Corporate Commitment to Diversity - This diversity pledge was developed by CPR's Diversity in ADR Task Force. Signatories express their commitment to actively supporting the inclusion of diverse mediators and arbitrators in matters to which their company is a party. Learn more and view a list of signatories HERE.

Sample events

  • 1.28.20 - CPR proudly supported New York Law School's ADR and Diversity Symposium, exploring the reasons why, in a diverse economy driven by diverse participants, the practice of arbitration and mediation has been persistently homogeneous.  Participants will engage in break-out discussions to frame real-world recommendations on what approaches – if any – can accomplish the goal of ADR neutrals’ reflecting the diversity of the disputants with whom they work. Speakers included Hon. Edwina G. Mendelson, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives (keynote); Ahmed Abdel-Hakam, Senior Associate - International Arbitration and Public International Law, Eversheds Sutherland (London) | CPR Y-ADR Steering Committee; Dr. Kabir Duggal, Attorney, Arnold & Porter and Lecturer-in-Law, Columbia Law School | Member of CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals; Paula Henin, Senior Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; and Allen Waxman, President and CEO, International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution

  • 07.24.2019 - CPR partnered with the National Bar Association's ADR Section to co-sponsor The Diversity Dilemma: ADR In the Aftermath of Jay-Z, a panel discussion on diversity in the ADR world today. Speakers included then-CPR President & CEO Noah J. Hanft, Co-Chair of the Y-ADR Steering Committee Natalie Reid, and Co-Chair of the Diversity in ADR Task Force The Hon. Timothy Lewis

  • 05.07.2019 – CPR’s Olivier P. André, SVP, International was a panelist at “NYIAC Talks: 2019 Diversity & Inclusion Symposium: The Collaborative Path Forward for Arbitral Institutions and Affinity Groups.”

  • 04.12.2019 - Olivier P. André, SVP, International, spoke at the ABA Dispute Resolution Spring Conference on a panel titled "Diversity and Inclusion in ADR: Are We Doing Enough?" in Minneapolis.

  • 01.31.2019 - New York Law School Symposium on ADR and Diversity. Speakers included then-CPR President & CEO, Noah J. Hanft; Ellen Parker of KPMG; and CPR Distinguished Neutral, Erin Gleason Alvarez.

  • 11.08.2018 - ArbitralWomen Diversity Dividend Conference on "Moving from Bias to Inclusiveness in International Arbitration." CPR's Olivier P. André, Vice President, International and Dispute Resolution Services, presented.