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.

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,

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