Jean Sternlight

Professor of Law
Director, Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution
Expertise: Arbitration, Negotiation, Mediation, Litigation, Psychology and lawyering, Legal education


Jean Sternlight is the Michael and Sonja Saltman Professor of Law at the UNLV Boyd School of Law, where she also directs the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution. A member of the Boyd faculty since 2003, Sternlight is internationally recognized for her scholarship and law reform activities in the field of dispute resolution, specifically both litigation and alternatives to litigation including arbitration, mediation and negotiation.   

In particular, Sternlight is frequently cited by courts and the press as an expert with respect to "mandatory" arbitration, the practice whereby companies require employees and consumers to resolve disputes through private arbitration rather than in public courts. She has criticized this practice on both legal and policy grounds in numerous books and articles and in Congressional testimony. She argues that companies are using mandatory arbitration to deprive consumers and employees of access to attorneys and access to court, for example by preventing them from joining together in class actions.

Sternlight also focuses on improving legal education. She argues that it is important to blend both theory and practice. Her most recent book, Psychology for Lawyers: Understanding the Human Factors in Negotiation, Litigation and Decision Making (American Bar Association, 2012), argues that lawyers who know about psychology can be more effective in interviewing, counseling, negotiation, writing, and courtroom performance. 

Jean Sternlight In The News
September 13, 2019
Jean R. Sternlight, Michael and Sonja Saltman Professor of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law, has published a journal article titled, “Pouring a Little Psychological Cold Water on ODR (Online Dispute Resolution),” Journal of Dispute Resolution, Forthcoming. In her scholarly work, Professor Sternlight looks at the potential good and bad aspects of online dispute resolution (“ODR”).
ABA Journal
August 27, 2019
If you attended Venable’s Washington, D.C., summer recruiting reception for law students in June or DLA Piper’s Boston associate recruiting event in March, someone may have handed you a flyer on the way in about the big firm’s mandate that staff and associates sign arbitration agreements as a condition of employment.
Buzzfeed News
August 9, 2019
Jane Doe, a hospice worker from California, was still undecided midway through an investor recruitment meeting in 2014 for a multilevel marketing company, ACN. But the promotional video she watched featuring Donald Trump — still in the midst of his run as star of The Celebrity Apprentice — won her over.
International Bar Association
April 9, 2019
For some it was a shock. For others, a foregone conclusion. In February 2019, Google ditched mandatory arbitration clauses from its employee contracts. The #MeToo movement has placed the issue of employee rights firmly on the agenda and raised red flags over the misuse of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). As the pushback against discriminatory employment practices continues, there are growing concerns that NDAs and mandatory arbitration clauses are two sides of the same coin.

Articles Featuring Jean Sternlight

Lake Mead
Business and CommunityJuly 19, 2016
Why two Saltman Center experts say mediation is key to resolving the water woes of the American West.