Jennifer E. Shack
Director of Research
Ms. Shack joined Resolution Systems Institute (RSI) in 1999 and became Director of Research a year later. In this role, she heads up the Monitoring and Evaluation program at RSI, and is the creator of the Court Mediation Effectiveness Tracking System, in use in circuits around Illinois. She also conducts evaluations of mediation programs in state and federal courts in Illinois.
In another aspect of her position, Ms. Shack is responsible for the growth and evolution of the Court ADR Resource Center, which contains thousands of resources pertaining to the use of ADR in the courts. Most significantly, she led transition of the Resource Center to a new, sophisticated web site, CourtADR.org.
Ms. Shack has been fortunate to pursue her research passion as well by conducting a number of significant research projects. The projects include a well-noted bibliographic survey and analysis of evaluations of court mediation programs. She also conducted an assessment of more than 1,100 court ADR rules from around the United States, which resulted in a guide on how to create rules for various types of ADR programs. In another project, she conducted a survey of legal services lawyers’ and mediators’ knowledge of and attitudes toward the use of mediation for disputes involving individuals who are poor and have low incomes.
Ms. Shack has written and co-authored 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. Additionally, she has presented at the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts annual conferences, among others. Ms. Shack also discusses issues related to court ADR on RSI's blog, Just Court ADR.
Ms. Shack was first drawn to ADR by seeing it in action in Benin, West Africa during her Peace Corps service. While there, she served as a county supervisor in the national Guinea Worm Disease Eradication Program.