Associate Professor, Director of Clinical Programs
B.A., 1989, Marquette University
J.D., 1992, University of Michigan
LL.M., 1997, Loyola University Chicago
Professor Olson joined the law school faculty as a visiting professor in 2001 and became an Assistant Professor of Law in 2003. She is the Director of the Clinical Programs at the law school. These programs include litigation, tax and mediation clinics and an externship program. She served as the Mediation Clinic Director from 2001 – 2003. In 2004, she won the Faculty Excellence Award for Public Service. In addition to teaching the mediation clinic, she has also taught Family Law, Family Mediation and Mediation Seminars, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Domestic Violence courses. She helped create the U.A.L.R. Graduate Certificate Program in Conflict Mediation. Before coming to Arkansas, she was the ChildLaw Mediation Projects Coordinator at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she taught ADR and family mediation and lectured in juvenile law, elder law and domestic violence courses. While seeking her LL.M. in Child Law at Loyola, she had a graduate fellowship and served as a Senior Editor of the Loyola Children’s Rights Journal. Before graduate school, Professor Olson worked as General Counsel at a small telecommunications company. She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan.
Professor Olson is currently serving as the chair-elect of the American Association of Law Schools Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and on the Arkansas Conflict Resolution Association Board of Directors. She is a member of the editorial board of the Family Court Review, the Legislative Committee of the Arkansas Coalition against Domestic Violence and serves the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission as an ex-oficio member.
She mediates and supervises mediation in dependency/neglect, special education, custody and small claims cases. She is a frequent national speaker and trainer on mediation, domestic violence and children’s legal issues. She is currently working with the Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts to implement a mediation program for foster care youth transitioning out of foster care and to create a mentor program for the certification of new juvenile mediators in Arkansas.
Professor Olsonâ€™s publications include:
- Special Editor (with Bernie Mayer), Special Issue of the Family Court Review, Mediation and Conferencing in Child Protection Disputes, Volume 47, Number 1, January 2009
- Family Group Conferencing and Child Protection Mediation: Essential Tools for Prioritizing Family Engagement in Child Welfare Cases, FAMILY COURT REVIEW Volume 47 No. 1, January 2009
- Special Editor (with Nancy Ver Steegh), Family Court Review, Inter-professional Collaborations on Domestic Violence and Family Courts, Volume 46, Number 2, April 2008
- Book Editor (with Nancy Ver Steegh), Innovations in Family Legal Practice, AFCC Publication January 2007
- The Importance of Using Alternative Dispute Resolution Techniques and Processes in the Ethical and Informed Representation of Children, 6 Nev. L.J. 1333, Spring 2006
- THE BOOKSHELF: Martin Guggenheim, What’s Wrong With Children’s Rights, 44 Fam. Ct. Rev. 330, Spring 2006 (Book Review)
- Abuse, Neglect and Dependency Cases in Juvenile Court, Chapter V, ADR Handbook for Judges, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Publication, September 2004
- Lessons Learned From a Child Protection Program: If at First You Succeed and Then You Donâ€™tâ€¦, FAMILY COURT REVIEW, Vol. 41 No. 4 480-496 October 2003; reprinted in On Teaching Family Law, Essays from the Family Court Review, May 2004