What drew you to the law?
My mother, now a retired lawyer, was a mother of three young children (including me) when she started law school at age 35. I remember many conversations at the dinner table while growing up, where family members would oftentimes discuss legal and policy issues of the day — many of them generated by my mother’s law school reading assignments. How many fourth graders get the chance to debate the legal ramifications of setting up a temporary police roadblock to randomly test for drunk drivers? My mother’s law school friends attended many of those dinners, and I admired how fun and interesting they were. Those discussions and experiences definitely planted the seed for my later study of law.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I thoroughly enjoy interacting with students in the classroom. While some people predict that most higher-education classes will one day be taught online, I think it’s impossible to generate the same passion, energy and engagement that can develop face-to-face in a brick-and-mortar classroom setting.
What do you hope students gain from your courses?
I hope my students gain a strong understanding of both the theory and practice of Alternative Dispute Resolution, whether in mediation, negotiation or arbitration. They should thoroughly understand the theories/concepts/principles on an intellectual level, but, equally important, they need to be able to implement that knowledge on a “skill” and “practice” level. In other words, it doesn’t help a student to be able to write an A+ paper on negotiation if that student cannot also be a truly effective negotiator in practice.
What did you do prior to entering academia?
I clerked one year for the Massachusetts State Appeals Court and then worked for seven years as attorney-advisor within the Office of General Counsel at the United States Commission on Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. The Commission, which is an independent, bipartisan fact-finding agency of the executive branch, conducted civil rights investigations in areas such as voting rights, university integration and police misconduct.
What are you passionate about outside of the law?
My family and my greyhound rescue, EAPR (pronounced “EE-per”), which stands for Elvis Aaron Presley Reilly.
What are your research interests?
My research focuses generally in the area of Alternative Dispute Resolution, with a strong interest in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, ethics, emotional intelligence, and theories of influence and persuasion within the context of mediation and negotiation.