Finding a PREMi Resolution Specialist Near You…

PREMi  is an organization of dispute resolution experts who have numerous years experience in the various dispute resolution techniques.

Laura A. Athens

Laura A. Athens is an attorney, mediator, facilitator and arbitrator in Rochester Hills, Michigan, who has over 30 years of legal experience. Laura provides alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services in a variety of matters, including elementary and secondary education, higher education, university faculty grievance, employment, vocational rehabilitation, student discipline, eldercare, guardianship and disability rights cases. Laura currently serves as an arbitrator in automotive consumer and home warranty cases and previously served as a Hearing Officer in special education and vocational rehabilitation due process hearings.

As an Adjunct Professor at Wayne State University Law School, Laura taught education law, health law and bioethics. She also taught Legal Research and Writing at Washington University School of Law as a Visiting Assistant Professor.

Laura is an associate of Professional Resolution Experts of Michigan, LLC (PREMi) and has served on the State Bar of Michigan Alternative Dispute Resolution Council and as a former Chair of the Oakland County Bar Association ADR Committee. She is on the roster of DeMars & Associates, CAP Ford Motor, Porsche, RV and Home Construction Warranty Programs.

Laura has published numerous articles on arbitration, mediation, facilitation, education and employment law in the Michigan Bar Journal, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Laches, Oakland County Legal News and ADR Quarterly. She frequently lectures and appears on cable TV programs regarding ADR and school-related topics.

Laura received her law degree from Washington University School of Law, her master’s degree in social work from University of Wisconsin and her bachelor’s degree in psychology, magna cum laude, from University of Michigan.

Personal Website/Email

AREAS OF Practice
  • Education Law
  • University Faculty Grievance
  • Employment/Workplace Conflict
  • Washington University School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Wisconsin, M.S.S.W.
  • University of Michigan, B.A., Magna Cum Laude
  • Annual ICLE Advanced Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Institute – Speaker and Participant
  • Divorce Mediation Training, Mediation Training and Consultant Institute
  • Mediation Training, Oakland County Bar Association
  • Advanced Mediator Trainings:
  • Mediating Monetary Disputes
  • The Brain Science Behind Mediation
  • Conflict Coaching
  • Dialogue and Consensus Building & Mediating in the Public Arena
  • Med-Arb: The New Frontier in ADR
  • Restorative Justice Training
  • Conflict Resolution in the Schools Project
  • Inn of Court 1997-2003
  • Judicial Clerk, U.S. District Court of Eastern Missouri

Order of the Coif

  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Oakland County Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Chair 2004-05
  • State Bar of Michigan, Alternative Dispute Resolution Council, 2007-13
  • Michigan Special Education Hearing Officer 1995-2006
  • Michigan Rehabilitation Services Hearing Officer 2002-08
  • Board of Social Work, Master’s Social Worker, Clinical and Macro License
  • Judicial Law Clerk, United States District Court of Eastern Missouri 1987-89
  • Autism Alliance of Michigan Board Trustee
  • Adjunct Professor, Wayne State University Law School
    • Education Law, Health Law, and Bioethics 1993, 1994, 2001, 2003
  • Visiting Assistant Professor and Adjunct Professor, Washington University School of Law
    • Legal Research & Writing 1987-92

The Role of Restorative Practices in Effectively Addressing Gender Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace,
Legal Daily News, January 2020

Facilitating Positive Change in the Workplace, Legal Daily News, November 2018

The New Emergency Seclusion and Restraint Statute and the Role of the Mediator, Legal Daily News, August 2017

Bullying and Harassment in the Schools:  The Prevalence, Parameters and Proactive Solutions, Laches, January 2016

Overcoming Reluctance to Engage in Mediation, Oakland County Legal News, March 2014

Confidentiality Does not Automatically Extend to Pre-Mediation Resolution Sessions, Laches, May 2010 

Creating Parameters for Arbitration, Laches, May 2009

Alternative Dispute Resolution in Special Education, Laches, May 2005

Special Protections for Students with Disabilities, Laches, March 2001

Search for other PREMI professionals

PREMi is a unique association of lawyer ADR professionals with unparalleled expertise in ADR processes, the substantive disciplines that underlay disputes, and the state and federal courts that hear them.  Our mediator/arbitrators are diverse in every respect: dispute resolution styles, legal and educational backgrounds,
race, gender, and geography.