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Scheinman Senior Spotlight: Sarah Rim

Through my ILR courses and research opportunities with the Scheinman Institute, I have had the privilege of exploring the multidisciplinary realm of conflict and dispute resolution.

My conflict resolution classes have equipped me with a foundational understanding of conflict resolution practices and the skill set to critically think like a neutral. In Professor Katrina Nobles’s Campus Mediation Practicum, I mediated a real disciplinary case between Cornell students and the Office of the Judicial Administrator. In addition, Professor Ariel Avgar’s PhD level seminar on conflict and dispute resolution has fundamentally challenged me to think critically about the dimensions of conflict and to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the research methodologies and findings in the current literature. Therefore, I highly recommend that all students explore at least one conflict resolution course during their time in ILR.

Supplementing my coursework, my research opportunities with the Scheinman Institute have broadened my scope of understanding the issues in the ADR field. As a summer research fellow, I studied the extent of racial diversity (or lack thereof) in the ADR profession and gathered qualitative data regarding the arbitrator selection process. I had the opportunity to share my research conclusions at a Scheinman Institute ADR Hub Roundtable on diversity and inclusion and a Scheinman Conflict Resolution Club student panel.

Secondly, as a pilot participant of the ILR Hopi & Navajo Mediation Engaged Learning Program, developed by the Scheinman Institute, I compared the processes of Hopi mediation and Navajo peacemaking in a cross-cultural context. For my independent research project, I reviewed the current literature published on Hopi mediation and Navajo peacemaking with a specific focus on how these two indigenous nations incorporate their different conflict resolution styles to resolve historical land disputes with each other.

To conclude my time in ILR, I am writing my honors thesis on the contentious issue of mandatory employment arbitration, which studies the procedural junctures that may raise opportunities for a power imbalance between an employer and employee. In my research process, I have conducted 20+ interviews with arbitrators and attorneys, including Institute founder and noted arbitrator Martin Scheinman.

 As I aim to pursue a legal education after graduation, the Scheinman Institute has undoubtedly equipped me with a unique lens with which I can critically think about labor and employment issues. As I researched the lack of diversity in the legal profession, including ADR, I aspire to work professionally towards diversity efforts in these communities as well.