Kelly Browe Olson

Associate Professor of Law; Mediation Clinic Director
B.A., 1989, Marquette University; J.D., 1992, University of Michigan; LL.M., 1997, Loyola University Chicago
Room 105K | Phone: 501-916-5451 | Email
Assistant: Sara Smallwood | Room 105 | Phone: 501-916-5404 | Email

Bowen Law Scholarship Repository Professor's HEIN Profile


Kelly Browe Olson is the Director of the Mediation Clinic and an Associate Professor of Law. In addition to directing the Mediation Clinic, she also teaches Family Law, Mediation and Negotiation Seminars, ADR, and Domestic Violence courses. She oversees a state-wide Special Education Facilitation and Mediation project. She helped create the UA Little Rock Graduate Certificate Program in Conflict Mediation. She is a passionate advocate who focuses on educating law students, judges, lawyers, and other professionals on conflict resolution and communication.

Professor Browe Olson currently serves on the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission, the editorial board of the Family Court Review and on the joint taskforce modifying the ABA and AFCC Model Standards of Family and Divorce Mediation. She has previously served as the Chair of the Arkansas Parent Counsel Commission, on the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) executive board and the editorial board of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Dispute Resolution Magazine. She has been the President of the Arkansas Conflict Resolution Association, the co-chair of the American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution annual conference from 2015 – 2018 and on the executive board of the AALS ADR Section. In Arkansas she is a consultant for ongoing juvenile mediation projects for the Administrative Office of the Courts and has served on numerous boards and subcommittees for the Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts’ Court Improvement Project; the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission; the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission; Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Arkansas Women’s Leadership Forum. Nationally she has been a resource for the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution, AFCC, the Family Court Review and the National Child Welfare Decision-Making Network. She won the Bowen School of Law Faculty Excellence Award for Public Service in 2004 and 2013.

Professor Browe Olson is a frequent national speaker and trainer on communication, mediation, domestic violence and children’s legal issues. Before coming to Bowen, she was the Child Law Mediation Projects Coordinator and taught clinical and ADR courses at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she served as a Senior Editor of the Loyola Children’s Rights Journal and also held a graduate fellowship. Earlier, Professor Browe Olson spent almost three years working as an attorney, Director and General Counsel at Hilltop Communications, a small telecommunications company.

Professor Olson’s publications include:

  • Co-Editor, Family Dispute Resolution: Process and Practice (to be published by Oxford University Press, April 2024)
    Author, Chapter 13, Intimate Partner Violence and Family Dispute Resolution: Coercion, Capacity, and Control
  • Family Engagement and Collaborative Processes, Book Chapter, NACC Red Book IV, Publisher: National Association of Counsel for Children, Fall 2022
  • Post-Grillo: New Family Mediation Protections and Revised Dangers, Commentary on Trina Grillo’s Article, The Mediation Alternative: Process Dangers, in DISCUSSIONS IN DISPUTE RESOLUTION: THE FORMATIVE ARTICLES (Hinshaw, Schneider, and Cole, Eds.) (Oxford Univ. Press Book, 2021)
  • Family Engagement and Collaborative Decision-Making Processes Provide Multiple Benefits in Child Welfare Cases, 58 Fam. Ct. Rev. 937 (2020)
  • Guest Editors’ Introduction to the 2020 Special Issue on Dependency Courts, 58 Fam. Ct. Rev. 870 (2020)
  • The View from Minnesota: How Early Neutral Evaluation Can Help in Family Cases, co-written with Marty Swaden, ABA Dispute Resolution Mag., Spring 2019 at 14, (republished in Summer 2019 by the ABA solo, small firm and general practice section)
  • Model Child Protection Mediator Competencies (co-edited with Laura Bassein, Gregory Firestone, FL Marilou Giovannucci, and Susan Storcel, (AFCC publications, 2019)
  • Mediation Best Practices: Working with Non-Represented Litigants, AFCC Essay Series, Spring 2017
  • Chapter 26, Family Centered Decision Making and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Child Welfare Law and Practice, Duquette, Haralambie and Sankaran, Editors, National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC), Bradford Publishing Company, Summer 2016
  • Book Review: The Conflict Paradox: Seven Dilemmas at the Core of Disputes by Bernie Mayer, 54 Fam. Ct. Rev. 530, Summer 2016
  • Practical Challenges: One Crucial Skill: Knowing How, When, and Why to Go into Caucus, ABA Dispute Resolution Mag., Winter 2016, at 32
  • Co-editor, Association of Family and Conciliation Court Guidelines for Child Protection Mediation, 51 Fam. Ct. Rev. 605 (2013)
  • Screening for Intimate Partner Violence in Mediation, ABA Dispute Res. Mag., Fall 2013, at 25
  • Family Group Conferencing and Child Protection Mediation: Essential Tools for Prioritizing Family Engagement in Child Welfare Cases, 47 Fam. Ct. Rev. 53 (2009)
  • Mediation and Conferencing in Child Protection Disputes, 47 Fam. Ct. Rev. 1 – 194 (Special Issue) (Kelly Browe Olson & Bernie Mayer, eds., 2009)
  • INNOVATIONS IN FAMILY LAW PRACTICE (Kelly Browe Olson & Nancy Ver Steegh eds., AFCC Publishing, 2008)
  • Inter-Professional Collaborations on Domestic Violence and Family Courts, 46 Fam. Ct. Rev. 434 -529 (Special Issue) (Kelly Browe Olson & Nancy Ver Steegh, eds., 2008), Introduction of Special Issue Editors, 46 Fam. Ct. Rev. 434 (2008)
  • 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
  • Book Review: 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 Don’t…, 41 Fam. Ct. Rev. 480-496, October 2003; reprinted in On Teaching Family Law, Essays from the Family Court Review, May 2004
  • Relationship of Juvenile Court to Other Courts, ILLINOIS JUVENILE LAW AND PRACTICE, Ch.17, (Ill. Inst. for CLE, 1997) (co author)
  • Child Support in America, 16 Child. Legal Rts. J. 40, 1996