Professor of Law
B.S. Psychology, Yale University
M.S. Psychology, Yale University
J.D., Stanford University
Ph.D. Psychology, Stanford University
Dr. Shestowsky teaches Criminal Law, Negotiation Strategy, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and a Seminar in Legal Psychology. Her main research objective is to examine basic assumptions underlying the structure of the legal system and to explore ways in which the legal system might be improved using the methodological and analytic tools of psychological theory and research.
Dr. Shestowsky is the sole principal investigator of a multi-year research project, funded by the National Science Foundation and the American Bar Association, which examines how litigants evaluate legal procedures. Her recent scholarship based on this work was awarded the 2016 Mangano Dispute Resolution Advancement Award.
Dr. Shestowsky's legal and psychological commentary has appeared in national sources such as CNN, NPR, and the New York Times. She advises courts in the development of court-connected ADR programs and provides negotiation education services to corporations, law firms, and national organizations. She also coaches the King Hall Negotiation team, which ranked 1st in the world in the international law student negotiations competition in 2009. She was the 2007 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.
Her research has been published in top journals in both Psychology and Law, including the Stanford Law Review, Law and Human Behavior (twice), and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. She is dedicated to helping legal practitioners make use of empirical research. To that end, she also publishes in journals with broader audiences, such as Court Review and Dispute Resolution Magazine.
Dr. Shestowsky was awarded a J.D. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. During the 2003-2004 academic year, she was jointly appointed to the faculty at Northwestern University School of Law and the Kellogg School of Management.
Subject AreasAlternative Dispute Resolution, Juries, Negotiations
Selected Career Highlights
- Visiting Assistant Professor, Northwestern University School of Law, 2003-2004
- Visiting Assistant Professor, Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern), 2003-2004
- Instructor, Stanford University, Department of Psychology, 2001-2002
In the News
Donna Shestowsky, When Ignorance is Not Bliss: An Empirical Study of Litigants' Awareness of Court-Sponsored Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs, Harvard Negotiation Law Review (in press).
Pietro Ortolani & Donna Shestowsky, Disputant Psychology in International Arbitration: What Can a Comparison with Domestic Arbitration Teach Us?, in The Roles of Psychology in International Arbitration (Tony Cole ed., in press).
Donna Shestowsky, How Litigants Evaluate the Characteristics of Legal Procedures: A Multi-Court Empirical Study, 49 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 793 (2016).
Donna Shestowsky, Mediation? Negotiation? Arbitration? Trial?: A Multicourt Study Looks at Litigants' Preferences, Disp. Resol. Mag., Summer 2015.
Donna Shestowsky, How Litigants Evaluate Legal Procedures at the Start of Their Cases, 50 Ct. Rev. 126 (2014).
Donna Shestowsky, The Psychology of Procedural Preference: How Litigants Evaluate Legal Procedures Ex Ante, 99 Iowa L. Rev. 637 (2014).
Stephanie D. Block, Donna Shestowsky, Daisy A. Segovia, Gail S. Goodman, Jennifer M. Schaff & Kristen W. Alexander, That Never Happened: Adults’ Discernment of Children’s True and False Memory Reports, 36 Law & Hum. Behav. 365 (2012).
Lee Ross & Donna Shestowsky, Two Social Psychologists’ Reflections on Situationism and the Criminal Justice System, in Ideology, Psychology, and Law 612 (Jon Hanson ed., 2011).
Donna Shestowsky, An Evaluation of the Ventura Superior Court Small Claims Mediation Program (2011) (limited distribution report).
Donna Shestowsky & Jeanne Brett, Disputants’ Perceptions of Dispute Resolution Procedures: An Ex Ante and Ex Post Longitudinal Empirical Study, 41 Conn. L. Rev. 63 (2008).
Donna Shestowsky, Disputants’ Preferences for Dispute Resolution: Why We Should Care and Why We Know So Little, 23 Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol. 549 (2008).
Donna Shestowsky, Misjudging: Implications for Dispute Resolution, 7 Nev. L. J. 487 (2007).
Donna Shestowsky, Dispute Resolution, Psychology of, in Encyclopedia of Law and Society: American and Global Perspectives (David S. Clark ed., 2007).
Donna Shestowsky, The Psychology of Interpersonal Persuasion: Lessons for the Advanced Negotiator, in The Negotiator’s Fieldbook 361 (Andrea Kupfer Schneider & Christopher Honeyman eds., 2006).
Donna Shestowsky, Psychology and Persuasion, in The Negotiator’s Fieldbook 361 (Andrea Kupfer Schneider & Christopher Honeyman eds., 2006).
Janice Nadler & Donna Shestowsky, Negotiation, Information Technology, and the Problem of the Faceless Other, in Negotiation Theory and Research 145 (Leigh L. Thompson ed., 2006).
Donna Shestowsky, Procedural Preferences in Alternative Dispute Resolution: A Closer, Modern Look at an Old Idea, 10 Psychol. Pub. Pol’y & L. 211 (2004).
Donna Shestowsky & Leonard M. Horowitz, How the Need for Cognition Scale Predicts Behavior in Mock Jury Deliberations, 28 Law & Hum. Behav. 305 (2004).
Donna Shestowsky, Improving Summary Jury Trials: Insights from Psychology, 18 Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol. 469 (2003).
Lee Ross & Donna Shestowsky, Contemporary Psychology’s Challenges to Legal Theory and Practice, 97 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1081 (2003).
Franklin Strier & Donna Shestowsky, Profiling the Profilers: A Study of the Trial Consulting Profession, Its Impact on Trial Justice and What, if Anything, to Do About It, 1999 Wis. L. Rev. 441 (1999).
Donna Shestowsky, Where is the Common Knowledge? Empirical Support for Requiring Expert Testimony in Sexual Harassment Trials, 51 Stan. L. Rev. 357 (1999).
Donna Shestowsky, Duane T. Wegener & Leandre R. Fabrigar, Need for Cognition and Interpersonal Influence: Individual Differences in Impact on Dyadic Decisions, 74 J. of Personality & Soc. Psychol. 1317 (1998).
The Psychology of Litigants Project - sole principal investigator for longitudinal study of how litigants evaluate legal procedures, sponsored by the National Science Foundation