Rachel A. Viscomi ’01 has been appointed assistant clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School and named director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP). She was formerly a lecturer on law at HLS and the acting director of HNMCP.
“Rachel Viscomi has a deep understanding of both the theory and practice of negotiation and conflict-resolution, which she teaches expertly in the classroom and the clinic,” said John Manning, the Morgan and Helen Chu Dean of Harvard Law School. “I am delighted that Professor Viscomi is joining our faculty to teach negotiation to our students and to enhance learning about this important field.”
“I am honored to join such a distinguished and inspiring faculty and grateful to work alongside such talented staff, students, and colleagues,” Viscomi said. “It is a joy to help our students become creative, thoughtful lawyers as they learn to seek the wisdom and transformation that conflict offers. As we enter the next phase of our work, I am deeply committed to helping our students learn how to listen for and raise up the stories of those who have not always found a seat at the table.”
Viscomi, who holds an M.A. in Italian from Middlebury College and a B.A. summa cum laude in Italian Literature from Columbia University, came to HNMCP in 2013 as its assistant director and a clinical instructor. In her clinical work, she supervises projects related to dispute systems design, conflict assessment, facilitated dialogue, strategic negotiation advice, and curriculum design. She teaches several advanced negotiation courses, including Dispute Systems Design, The Lawyer as Facilitator, and Multiparty Negotiation, Group Decision Making and Teams. Viscomi regularly presents on topics related to facilitation, mediation, dispute systems design, and negotiation. In recent years, she has worked to expand opportunities for facilitation and dialogue as part of HNMCP’s growing political dialogue efforts. She has also worked closely with the Harvard Mediation Program, and with the Harvard Law School Negotiators and Harvard Negotiation Law Review as they work to expand opportunities on campus for students interested in dispute resolution.
Prior to joining HLS, Viscomi was a principal in the Corporate Education Practice of Vantage Partners, a Boston-based consulting firm. She has taught negotiation and conflict resolution for clients across the globe, including as part of UMass Boston’s Emerging Leaders Program, NALEO’s National Summit on the State of Latino Education, Amsterdam’s ADR Institute, and at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. Before joining Vantage, Viscomi was a civil litigator with the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, LLP, where she worked on First Amendment, contract, employment, prisoners’ rights, and construction-related issues.
Viscomi succeeds Robert C. Bordone, founder of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program, who has decided to conclude his long service to Harvard Law School on June 30, 2019 to devote himself fully to his numerous professional activities and interests beyond HLS, including his work as a professional facilitator and conflict resolution consultant. Dean Manning said, “I extend my sincere thanks to Bob Bordone for creating a program that has been widely recognized as path breaking and innovative in the critical fields of negotiation, mediation, facilitation, and dispute systems design.”