Jim Stark is a nationally recognized expert in mediation and alternative dispute resolution who has been a member of the UConn School of Law faculty since 1979. A former staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, Professor Stark began his tenure at the school as Director of Civil Clinical Programs, supervising and training students in the litigation of civil rights and disability rights cases. From 1990 to 1993, he served as associate dean for faculty affairs, presiding over a faculty process that produced major revisions in the curriculum, including the creation of the first-year Legal Practice program. In 1994, he founded the Mediation Clinic, the Law School’s first foray into the field of alternative dispute resolution and a program in which (despite his official retirement in 2016) he continues to teach.
A graduate of Cornell University and Columbia Law School, Professor Stark is the co-author (with Douglas Frenkel) of The Practice of Mediation: A Video-Integrated Text (3rd ed. 2018), a top-selling law school dispute resolution text. His scholarly publications also include a Clinical Law Review article, Preliminary Reflections on the Establishment of a Mediation Clinic, which was selected for inclusion in the first edition of Clinical Anthology: Readings for Live-Client Clinics; and Changing Minds: The Work of Mediators and Empirical Studies of Persuasion, an article that won the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution Award as Best Professional Article of 2014 in the field of dispute resolution. Professor Stark has lectured on mediation and clinical legal education topics widely throughout the United States, as well as in Germany and Italy.
Professor Stark’s numerous professional activities include having served as an editor of the Clinical Law Review, as chair of the Association of American Law Schools' Committee on ADR Clinics, and as the reporter to the Connecticut Council for Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Practice Mediation Standards Committee, work that earned him that organization’s Outstanding Service Award.
James H. Stark & Maxim Milyavsky, Towards a Better Understanding of Lawyers’ Judgmental Biases in Client Representation: The Role of Need for Cognitive Closure, 59 Wash. U. J. L & Pol’y.185 (2019)
Douglas N. Frenkel & James H. Stark, Improving Lawyers’ Judgment: Is Mediation Training De-Biasing?, 21 Harvard Negot. L. Rev 1 (Fall 2015)
James H. Stark & Douglas N. Frenkel, Changing Minds: The Work of Mediators and Empirical Studies of Persuasion, 28 Ohio State J. Dispute Resol. 263 (2013)
James H. Stark, Preliminary Reflections on the Establishment of a Mediation Clinic, 2 Clinical L. Rev. 457 (1996)
Professor James Stark was recently named Scholar-in-Residence to the International Academy of Mediators (IAM) for a period of two years, commencing January 1, 2021. IAM is a by-invitation-only organization of leading commercial mediators around the world. Stark will serve with his long-time writing partner, Douglas Frenkel of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Professor Jim Stark served as a junior scholar mentor at the Dispute Resolution Works-in-Progress Consortium Series: “Discovering New Voices in Dispute Resolution” on February 12, 2021, commenting on Laura Frase, Refining Our Thinking About Thinking: Battling the Sway of Cognitive Biases in Negotiation.