On Thursday, Feb. 16, Professor Tom Stipanowich, Director of Pepperdine’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, joined Professor Joshua Wolf Shenk, noted author of Lincoln’s Melancholy, for an evening program entitled, “Abraham Lincoln as Negotiator, Problem-Solver and Manager of Conflict” at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Boyd School of Law. The program was co-sponsored by UNLV’s Saltman Center for Dispute Resolution and the Black Mountain Institute. Following a speech by Prof. Stipanowich, the two engaged in a conversation taking a fresh look at Lincoln and some of the lesser-known aspects of Lincoln’s life and career, including:
- Lincoln’s efforts to come grips with internal struggles, including depression, self-doubt and personal life choices, and this supremely rational man’s efforts to wrestle with questions of faith.
- Lincoln’s rational, practical approach to law practice, reflected in his famous admonition to fellow lawyers to “discourage litigation” and instead seek pragmatic solutions aimed at better serving clients’ interests.
- Lincoln’s evolution in the rough-and-tumble world of antebellum politics, and the duel he narrowly averted.
- As our nation’s leader during its greatest conflict, Lincoln’s masterful negotiations and power-leveraging on many fronts–exemplified by his game-changing Emancipation Proclamation, and his remarkable ability to set his own ego aside.