American Bar Association honors Indiana University SPEA professor

Jan. 29, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The American Bar Association is honoring Lisa Blomgren Amsler, a member of the faculty at the Indiana University Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs, for significant contributions to the field of dispute resolution.

Amsler has been selected as the recipient of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work.

The Keller-Runden Professor of Public Service at SPEA, Amsler is one of the nation’s foremost experts in the field of dispute resolution. She has co-edited three books and written nearly 100 articles and book chapters. Most recently, she worked with the National Civic League and Deliberative Democracy Consortium in leading a project aimed at improving citizen participation in government.

The ABA said of Amsler in the formal announcement of the award: “Her scholarship has been prolific, broad and influential. In the U.S., her work on public engagement has helped local, state and federal agencies develop processes for citizen involvement. Abroad, her work has helped developing nations deal with the challenges of social and political inclusion.”

The lawyers’ group credited Amsler with groundbreaking work on arbitration and institutionalized mediation where her research revealed previously undisclosed facets of the processes. The ABA also noted her tireless service to the profession, including organizing national gatherings and journal issues and mentoring dispute resolution scholars and practitioners.

In a letter of thanks to the ABA selection committee, Amsler emphasized the help and guidance she has received from colleagues at SPEA and other institutions. She also thanked the many SPEA students who have contributed to her research. Amsler joined SPEA in 1992 after practicing law for 10 years and serving as a partner in a Hartford, Conn., law firm.

“Because I am a lawyer, an award for my work from the Section of Dispute Resolution is so meaningful to me, not only because law is my intellectual discipline by training, but because the section always feels like home,” Amsler wrote. "SPEA is also my home, and I am indebted to the many students who contributed to the research cited by the selection committee. To my colleagues at the ABA and at SPEA, my thanks for this award, and I will try to earn it.”

The award will be presented at a luncheon during the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution conference in Miami on April 5.

About Lisa Blomgren Amsler:

Lisa Blomgren Amsler, formerly Lisa Blomgren Bingham, is a professor and the Keller-Runden Chair in Public Service at SPEA Bloomington. After receiving her Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut, she worked as an attorney in private practice representing local governments before launching an academic career that has resulted in many honors and awards. Amsler is an expert in collaborative governance, dispute resolution, mediation, and administrative, labor and employment law, and she has written numerous articles and book chapters about those topics.

About the School of Public and Environmental Affairs:

SPEA was founded in 1972 and is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2012 "Best Graduate Schools" by U.S. News & World Report, SPEA ranks second and is the nation's highest-ranked professional graduate program in public affairs at a public institution. Four of its specialty programs are ranked in the top-five listings. SPEA's doctoral programs in public affairs and public policy are also ranked by the National Research Council as among the top two in the nation.