Sonja ChenFrom 2012-2022, Clinical Professor Emerita and former Director Sheila Purcell led the Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution (CNDR) to numerous awards, helped maintain its position in the top ten ADR programs in law schools, and helped expand its international reputation. In recognition and celebration of her contributions to UC Law SF and CNDR, past and present members of the UC Law SF community and other donors established a student scholarship honoring Professor Purcell. The Sheila Purcell ADR Scholarship will support students pursuing opportunities through ADR internships.

This year, 2023, marks the first year CNDR has awarded The Sheila Purcell ADR Scholarship. The recipient, Sonja Chen, UC Law SF Class of ’24, has taken numerous dispute resolution classes including the Mediation Clinic and Advanced ADR Colloquium. Sonja found her calling in the field of ombuds work.  She took the initiative to seek out other professionals and attend the International Ombuds Association (IOA) Conference this spring. The award will support Sonja’s work this summer with the Department of Energy’s Ombuds Office. Congrats Sonja!

Message from Recipient Sonja Chen:

“I am honored to receive the inaugural Sheila Purcell ADR Scholarship in support of my goal of becoming an ombudsperson. I first learned about this career in the Fall 2022 Mediation Clinic with Professor Candler and after attending the IOA Conference in Seattle, I am inspired and thrilled to find a career that aligns with my personal values and interests. I look forward to dedicating my career to cultivating workplace communities where people feel seen, heard, and understood.

This summer I will be working at the Department of Energy Office of the Ombudsman, obtaining my Mediation Certificate, and completing the IOA Foundations of the Organizational Ombuds Course. I want to thank Professor Candler, Professor Robertson, Professor Aragaki, my Mediation Clinic friends and my Social Justice Concentrator community for empowering me to be myself and encouraging me to persevere in law school.”

Clinical Professor and CNDR Director Sheila Purcell

Message from former Director Sheila Purcell:
“Congratulations to Sonja Chen, the wonderful first year recipient of the scholarship in my name. I am especially honored that the lead donor, Leslie Ariola Murviet, thought to initiate this scholarship and to contribute. I am equally delighted knowing students will have a new opportunity to seriously explore ADR and ADR careers thanks to this scholarship.

When I was a student in the mid 1980s at UC Law SF (then Hastings) scholarships made all the difference and enabled me to pursue a public interest/ADR career. Each donor should be proud knowing how impactful their help can be. Thank you!”

A big thank you to all the scholarship donors!

  • Anita Knowlton
  • Ascanio Piomelli
  • Colin Rule
  • David Seward
  • Debra Gerardi
  • Gary Benton
  • Howard Herman & Claudia Bernard
  • JAMS Foundation, David Brandon
  • Janet Martinez
  • Lois Weithorn
  • Morris Ratner
  • Nicolas Ulmer
  • Patricia Brown
  • Schwab Charitable Fund, Leslie Airola-Murveit
  • Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Carolyn Purcell
  • The Rotary Foundation, Brian Purcell