Professor Phyllis E. Bernard




Phyllis Bernard

Office Hours:

By appointment

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Administrative Law
  • Professional Responsibility
  • State and Local Government Law

A.B., Bryn Mawr College

M.A., Columbia University

J.D., University of Pennsylvania


Professor of Law

Robert S. Kerr Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law

Director of the Center on Alternative Dispute Resolution

Phyllis Bernard is the Robert S. Kerr, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law at Oklahoma City University School of Law, where she teaches state and federal administrative law, alternative dispute resolution, and legal ethics. She is the founding director of the Oklahoma City University School of Law Center on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which has the mission of expanding the use of mediation, arbitration, negotiated settlement and other non-litigious forms of dispute resolution through class instruction, scholarly research, and community outreach.

Professor Bernard is a frequent lecturer and presenter at academic and professional conferences throughout the nation. Her research and teaching interests in mediation derive from practical experience as a litigator, lobbyist and adjudicator in Washington, D.C. Professor Bernard is a fellow of the National Association of Administrative Law Judges. She has served as a consultant to the Administrative Conference of the United States in developing an ADR process to replace most Medicare adjudications for institutional providers under the then-$50 billion Part A program. As a state Commissioner serving on the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission, Professor Bernard assisted in developing the rules and procedures replacing most of the state merit system appeals process with ADR, and in developing the first ethics rules for Merit Protection commissioners. She serves on the Board of Directors for Southwest Power Pool, lnc., a not-for-profit entity with responsibility for maintaining reliable electricity on non-discriminatory terms for public and private power companies in an eight-state region of the United States.

On the international level Professor Bernard has served as a consultant to the U.N. World Health Organization, advising the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on privatization of their health care system and development of a quality of care dispute resolution system. With the International Federation of Women Lawyers in the Niger Delta Professor Bernard has designed an appropriate tribal peacemaking program, using the Early Settlement model. This model has become a successful prototype for bridging traditional and civil justice systems at the village level, being adapted for use in Liberia, Kenya and the Sudan. As a consultant with the ABA Africa Law Initiative, she has developed a mediator training program for the Rwandan civil courts providing guidance for 18,000 volunteer mediators nationwide.

Professor Bernard holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a master’s in history from Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and a bachelor’s in history (cum laude) from Bryn Mawr College. She is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia, the federal courts for the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. In the American Bar Association, she has served on the governing councils of three sections: the Africa Law Initiative, the Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice and the Dispute Resolution Section, where she also served as Long-Term Planning Officer. She is Chair of the ADR Section of the Association of American Law Schools; and is co-editor of the book, Dispute Resolution Ethics: A Comprehensive Guide, published by the ABA.

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