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2018 applications are being accepted through February 9, 2018

Providing opportunities for the next generation of diverse panelists and practitioners

The American Arbitration Association (AAA) is committed to providing opportunities for diverse panelists and practitioners to become the next generation of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) leaders. To this end, in 2009 the AAA created the AAA Higginbotham Fellows Program to offer training, mentorship, and networking opportunities to a select group of up-and-coming diverse ADR professionals. The program is named in honor of Judge Aloyisus Leon Higginbotham, Jr., a prominent African-American civil rights advocate and scholar and the first African-American to serve as a Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania prior to his appointment to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

The AAA Higginbotham Fellows Program is a biennial program spanning the full breadth of AAA resources for these diverse and emerging ADR professionals. The program’s foundation is a week-long intensive training program with additional training and networking opportunities given throughout the year. Each AAA Higginbotham Fellow is paired with a mentor in his or her field of interest.

We are proud of the gains that the AAA Higginbotham Fellows are making in the alternative dispute resolution field, including the to-date successful advancement of 33 past Fellows onto the AAA’s Panel.

A program offering the full breadth of AAA resources

• A week-long intensive training program conducted at AAA’s offices, consisting of interactive seminars on dispute resolution topics taught by leading ADR professionals, participation in mock arbitrations and mediations, and courses focused on building a career in ADR.
• Attendance at the AAA’s Annual Meeting’s related events.
• Through AAA Education Services, access to courses that cover a wide range of topics from mediation and arbitration fundamentals to effective negotiation skills.
• Ability to select up to three courses, webinars, or live events offered by the American Arbitration Association with the tuition waived up to $250 per course.

• Fellows are matched with AAA panelists in their field of interest who commit to providing networking opportunities and advice to their mentees during their Fellowship.
• Past Fellows have utilized their mentorships to shadow their mentors at arbitration hearings, co-facilitate ADR trainings, obtain career advice, and critique business plans.

• Invitations to attend networking events, seminars, and lectures at AAA’s regional offices across the country.
• Opportunities to engage with local ADR professional communities and participate in dialogue about significant issues in ADR.
• Opportunity to appear in the AAA Higginbotham Fellows Program Yearbook.
Requiring demonstrated promise for an outstanding career in the field of ADR

• The program is open to diverse lawyers, arbitrators, mediators, and other ADR practitioners who demonstrate promise for an outstanding career in the field of alternative dispute resolution.
• Some experience in the ADR field is required, whether as an arbitrator, mediator, advocate, or other ADR professional.
• Applications may be supported by work experience, pro bono work, recommendations, academic achievement, personal essays or articles, and current work plans.

Applicants for the 2018 program must be available to travel to AAA’s New York offices for a one-week training program beginning May 21, 2018. Applications for the 2018 AAA Higginbotham Fellows Program will be available in October 2017.

If you are interested in more information about the AAA Higginbotham Fellows Program, please visit