Levin College of Law

Joan Stearns Johnsen

Senior Legal Skills Professor

(352) 273-2739


Joan Stearns Johnsen specializes in Alternative Dispute Resolution related skills including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Professor Johnsen also coaches the International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competition Team, is the faculty advisor to the ADR Teams, and is the Director of the Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Professor Johnsen has over thirty years experience mediating and arbitrating complex commercial, financial, and employment matters and her teaching reflects her expansive practical experience and expertise. She is on numerous dispute resolution panels including the arbitration and mediation panels of the American Arbitration Association and the International Center for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (“CPR”). Professor Johnsen is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, (“FCIArb”), is certified by the International Mediation Institute, (“IMI”), and accredited by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (“CEDR”).

Professor Johnsen began her career as an Enforcement Attorney for the Commodity Futures Commission in Washington, DC and worked in-house as Associate General Counsel for the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (now a Designated Contract Market within the CME Group) and as Assistant Commodities Counsel for Smith Barney (now Morgan Stanley Wealth Management) both in New York.

Professor Johnsen is a leader in the dispute resolution field. She is a past Chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, a member of the CPR Council, Vice Chair of the International Bar Association Mediation Committee, and an academic board member of the Miami International Arbitration Society.


J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law
B.A., French Literature and Language, Northwestern University


Arbitration Law - LAW 6930
  • This course covers the law governing arbitration from the 1925 enactment of the federal arbitration act through the supreme court's key decision: AT&T Mobility V. Concepcion. It focuses on how courts treat Arbitration, including their enforcement of arbitral awards.
Mediation Advocacy - LAW6930
  • The focus of this course is the role of the lawyer advocate in the mediation process. The course presents a forum for the analysis and implementation of how to fully participate in the mediation process as an advocate. The course will include class lectures, class discussions, and workshop sessions on particular topics, all resulting in the participation in several simulated mediations.
Negotiation - LAW 6385
  • Using simulations and role plays, this course explores negotiation skills lawyers employ in both transactional and dispute resolution contexts.