Conflict management in the law discussed at WMU-Cooley Grand Rapids campus


Adjunct Professor and Director of WMU-Cooley’s Center for the Study and Resolution of Conflict, Graham Ward, held a discussion at WMU-Cooley’s Grand Rapids campus regarding conflict resolution in the legal field on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

During the presentation, "The Lawyer as Conflict Manager," Graham spoke to students and legal professionals about the importance of managing conflict to avoid taking cases to trial.

"We try such a small percentage of cases and yet spend so much money getting ourselves to the settlement option, which is always late in the process and after spending much money, goodwill, and relationship value,” said Ward. “We will help manage conflict by understanding more about conflict, behavioral influences and biases, and focusing upon restorative approaches. If we do that, our clients will appreciate our utility and continue using, perhaps even expanding upon, our services.”

Following the event, WMU-Cooley student Steven Balkema said, “Professor Ward's insights into our roles as advocates was incredibly informative. The importance of understanding not only our own biases but our clients as well, was demonstrated through Professor Ward's presentation and examples.”

The presentation was co-sponsored by the Moot Court Board, the Mock Trial Board, and the Center for the Study and Resolution of Conflict.