Jennifer E. Shack

Director of Research
Email: jshack[at]aboutrsi[dot]org

Ms. Shack has been Director of Research at Resolution Systems Institute since 2000. In this role, she conducts complex evaluations of court-based mediation programs and researches the effectiveness of mediation in court settings. As part of RSI’s efforts to help courts monitor the functioning of their mediation programs, she has designed data collection systems that are in use around Illinois. This includes the cloud-based case management and monitoring system used by the Attorney General-funded foreclosure mediation programs.

Program evaluation is Ms. Shack’s passion. During her time at RSI, she has evaluated the performance of six foreclosure mediation programs in Illinois, conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the Child Protection Mediation Program in Cook County, Illinois and examined mediation programs in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois as well as others in the state courts in Illinois.

Ms. Shack has also written a number of articles, including "Mediation in Courts Can Bring Gains, But Under What Conditions?", published in the Winter 2004 issue of Dispute Resolution Magazine; "Judicial Settlement Databases: Development and Uses," co-authored with Magistrate Judge Morton Denlow and published in the Winter 2004 issue of Judges' Journal. Most recently, she co-authored two articles on foreclosure mediation: "Foreclosure Dispute Resolution Programs: Do They Work?" in Probate and Property, December 2013, and "A (Mortgage) Crisis in Communication: Foreclosure Dispute Resolution as Effective Response?" in Arkansas Law Review, Spring 2013. Ms. Shack also discusses issues related to court ADR on RSI's blog, Just Court ADR, and summarizes research for RSI’s e-newsletter, Court ADR Connection.

Nationally, Ms. Shack has led a committee to develop model evaluation forms for civil case mediation programs and sits on the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Research Task Force. Over the past decade, she has presented on program monitoring and evaluation at numerous conferences.

Ms. Shack was first drawn to ADR by seeing it in action in Benin, West Africa during her Peace Corps service. She is thrilled to be involved in assuring its effective use here in the US.