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Nicolas Parra

S.J.D. Candidate

Graduate Fellow, LL.M. Advisor. Harvard Law School

Visiting Professor at Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

nparra at



Mapping ADR Temperaments: Experimentation of Conflict Resolution in Colombia

I plan to investigate how debates over alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) embody contrasting economic interests, political and philosophical positions, and competing views of justice with a focus on Colombia as a case study. My working hypothesis is that ADR has been informed mainly by three temperaments: efficiency-privatization, empowering-communitarian, and transformative-narrative. Each temperament implies an underlying notion of justice, a political agenda, a conception of the role of law, and a posture towards conflict resolution.

Using Colombia as a case study to map ADR has many advantages. First, Colombia has a long-standing tradition of ADR that goes back to 1825 when the first mandated conciliation was established. Second, Colombia is one of the few countries that has enshrined into its Constitution the possibility for privates to administer justice as mediators, arbitrators or judges of peace, thus creating background rules for a highly experimental culture on dispute resolution. Third, Colombia started a transitional justice process, which incorporated mechanisms to transform the perception of conflict through dialogical practices.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Critical Theory in Legal Scholarship with Professor Janet Halley, Harvard Law School, Principal Faculty Supervisor.
  • Institutional Design and Transitional Justice with Professor Martha Minow, Harvard Law School.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) with Professor Amy Cohen, The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law.
  • Pragmatism with Professor Vincent Colapietro, Pennsylvania State University.

Additional Research Interests

  • Philosophy of Law
  • Private Law
  • Law and Humanities
  • Constitutional Law
  • Legal Interpretation and Semiotics


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate August 2019- Present
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M. 2019 (requirements fulfilled, degree waived)
  • Universidad de los Andes, Specialization degree in International Business Law, 2016
  • Universidad de los Andes, Cum Laude, M.A. in Philosophy, 2013
  • Universidad de los Andes, Magna Cum Laude, Abogado (J.D. equivalent), 2013
  • Universidad de los Andes, Magna Cum Laude, B.A. in Philosophy, 2011.

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • Harvard Law School, 2019-2020, Graduate Program Fellow, LL.M. Advisor
  • Universidad de los Andes, 2019, Professor of Negotiation, Mediation and Dispute System Design at the International Summer School
  • Universidad de los Andes, 2014-2018, Lecturer of the following courses: (i) Legal Theory, (ii) Law of Obligations, (iii) Torts, (iv) Legal Hermeneutics, (v) Logic and Rhetoric, and (vi) Introduction to Law
  • Universidad del Rosario, 2014 and 2018, Lecturer of the following courses: (i) Legal and Political Ideas and (ii) Legal Theory
  • Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, 2013, Lecturer in Philosophy of Law
  • Pennsylvania State University, 2009-2010, Visiting Scholar at the Philosophy Department.

Representative Publications

Additional Information

  • Languages: English (fluent), German (fluent), and Spanish (native)
  • Op-Ed Columnist at Ámbito Jurídico (2015-present).
  • Founder of Kairos, a culture website
  • Jazz enthusiast

Last Updated: July 24, 2019