David A. Hoffman

David Hoffman
Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School

Founder, Boston Law Collaborative, LLC 

David A. Hoffman is the John H. Watson, Jr. Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches three courses: Mediation; Legal Profession: Collaborative Law; and Diversity and Dispute Resolution. He trains mediators with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Hoffman is an attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and founding member of Boston Law Collaborative, LLC, where he handles cases involving family, business, employment, and other disputes. He is past chair of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution.

Hoffman has published three books including Bringing Peace into the Room (with co-editor Daniel Bowling) and more than 100 articles on law and dispute resolution. Prior to founding Boston Law Collaborative in 2003, Hoffman was a litigation partner at the Boston firm Hill & Barlow where he practiced for 17 years. Before that he served as a law clerk for Judge Stephen G. Breyer on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

He has received a number of awards for his work as a mediator, including the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators and the D’Alemberte-Raven Award for service in dispute resolution from the ABA. Hoffman has an A.B. from Princeton University, an M.A. from Cornell University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. His TEDx talk about “Lawyers as Peacemakers” can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKXv1_Sqe_4. Hoffman lives in a cohousing community in Acton, Massachusetts with his wife, Leslie Warner, who is a career coach. They have five adult children, an adolescent cat, and a rescued golden retriever from Serbia.


A.B., Princeton University

M.A., Cornell University

J.D., Harvard Law School

Research interests

Mediation, negotiation, dispute resolution

Selected publications

  • With David Matz. Massachusetts Alternative Dispute Resolution. Butterworth Legal Publishers, 1996.
  • With co-editor Daniel Bowling. Bringing Peace into the Room: How the Personal Qualities of the Mediator Impact the Process of Conflict Resolution. Jossey-Bass, 2003.
  • Mediation: A Practice Guide for Mediators, Lawyers, and Other Professionals. MCLE, 2014.
  • With Richard Wolman.The Psychology of Mediation.” Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution 14 (2013): 759.
  • “Mediation and the Art of Shuttle Diplomacy.” Negotiation Journal 27 (2011): 263.
  • “Op-ed: Microsoft and Yahoo: Where Were the Mediators? It Works for Countries and Couples—Why Not Businesses?” Christian Science Monitor, May 12, 2008. (This article won an award for best short article from the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution.)

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