Raye Rawls, a senior public service faculty member in the J.W. Fanning Institute of Leadership Development at UGA, received the 2018 Chief Justice Harold G. Clarke Award from the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution and the Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Georgia in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of alternative dispute resolution in Georgia.

Rawls has worked in the field of dispute resolution since receiving mediation training in 1982, providing ADR neutral and training services to numerous court programs and private organizations. She is a long standing approved trainer through the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution and has served as a mediator, arbitrator and facilitator in thousands of cases throughout the United States and internationally.

In the early 1990s, she worked with a team of experts in domestic violence to craft the first set of guidelines on mediating when domestic violence is identified among parties. Over the past three years, she helped facilitate a domestic violence working group to transition these guidelines into rules, which were approved by both the Commission on Dispute Resolution and the Commission on Family Violence this year. She was appointed by the Georgia Supreme Court to serve the Commission on Dispute Resolution from 2002-07.

“I am honored to receive this award,” Rawls says. “Throughout my career, my focus has remained on helping to provide access to justice. I am so appreciative of the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution and the Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Georgia and their leadership in this arena. I look forward to continuing to work with them for years to come.”

Rawls is the fifth recipient of the award, which was first presented in 2013.

“Throughout her career, Raye has stayed at the forefront of dispute resolution, working across Georgia and beyond to train individuals in mediation and dialogue skills,” says Maritza Soto Keen, Fanning Institute Interim Director. “Her work has helped countless communities, organizations and individuals around the state, and we are proud of her accomplishments. This award is a well-deserved honor for Raye.”

The Commission and the Dispute Resolution Section created the Clarke Award in 2013 to honor the memory of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold G. Clarke. From 1990 to 1994, when Clarke served as Chief Justice, he led the Supreme Court and the State Bar in creating a system of processes, such as mediation, arbitration and early neutral evaluation, that helped courts manage their heavy dockets and offered litigants productive ways to resolve their legal disputes outside of litigation.

Rawls, a member of the Fanning Institute faculty since 2004, provides training and services in alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation, arbitration and early neutral evaluation to communities, individuals and organizations. She also convenes large group processes using facilitation and dialogue to address conflict and diversity issues that prevent a community or organization from achieving its goals. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1974, master’s degree in human resources in 1981 and her law degree in 1985, all from Georgia State University.