The American Arbitration Association (AAA) created the AAA A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. Fellows Program in 2009 in order to provide training, mentorship and networking opportunities to up and coming diverse alternative dispute resolution professionals who have historically not been included in meaningful participation in the field of alternative dispute resolution.

Connecting with the right networks — and being included in them — is critical to a successful career. Alternative dispute resolution can offer a satisfying career path, and the AAA Higginbotham Fellows Program is designed to provide historically marginalized professionals more meaningful participation in the field of alternative dispute resolution. The not-for-profit American Arbitration Association® (AAA®)-International Centre for Dispute Resolution® (ICDR®) is the largest private global provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services in the world.

Find the 2020 AAA Higginbotham Fellows Guidelines here. Find more information on the program and the application here. Final decisions will be announced in February.

The 2020 AAA Higginbotham Fellows Program will be hosted in New York City during the week of May 3, 2020. During the program, Fellows will engage with leading ADR practitioners for an intensive week of training, seminars, and networking events. Fellows will also have the opportunity to meet with AAA Board of Directors and Council Members at special events related to the AAA’s Annual Board Meeting, which coincides with the one-week Fellows Program.

The foundation of the Fellowship is a week-long intensive training program conducted at the AAA’s offices, consisting of interactive seminars on dispute resolution topics taught by leading ADR professionals, participation in mock arbitrations and mediations, and courses focused on building a career in ADR. Fellows also have the opportunity to attend the AAA’s Annual Meeting’s related events. Fellows are also matched with AAA arbitrators and mediators in their field of interest who commit to providing networking opportunities and advice to Fellows during the Fellowship year. Past Fellows have utilized their mentorships to shadow their mentors at arbitration hearings, co-facilitate ADR trainings, obtain career advice and critique their business plans. In addition, Fellows have served as speakers at several AAA sponsored events.

The AAA Higginbotham Fellowship Program continues to exceed expectations with past Fellows making gains in their ADR careers, including those who have successfully advanced to the AAA’s Roster of Arbitrators and Mediators. Most of these Fellows have been listed on numerous arbitrator and mediator lists provided to the parties in the short period of time that they have been on the panel, and nearly all have been appointed to arbitrations and mediations administered by the AAA.

Find the 2020 AAA Higginbotham Fellows Guidelines here. Find more information on the program and the application here. Final decisions will be announced in February.