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Ndaba Dube – Student Success Journey in Alternative Dispute Resolution

December 14, 2022

Roz Bahrami

The 2021 intake of Part-Time Professional LLM students includes diverse professional backgrounds – from lawyers to senior project managers to corporate directors. Geographically, our students are spread out across Canada (though there are a few from outside of Canada as well!). Today, we’re focusing on the subject of Dispute Resolution

We’re following our students’ success journey from their time of admission, checking-in with them during their studies, and again after convocation.  

Join us as we dive into their stories. 

Meet: Ndaba Dube

Ndaba is a senior HR leader who has worked in both the public and private sector. He has a Master’s in leadership and is currently a student of OsgoodePD’s Professional LLM in Dispute Resolution.

About Ndaba

Over the course of his 20+ year career as a senior HR leader, Ndaba Dube has worked in both the public and private sectors in Canada and abroad. He started the program with significant experience in grievance resolution using alternative dispute resolution approaches in an employment setting.

He first heard about the program when discussing professional development opportunities with a colleague. While he was not thinking about doing a graduate program at the time, the advantages of taking the LLM became clear.

“I immediately saw the program as being a critical piece to add to my repertoire of skills. I felt completely energized by the whole program!”  

Sharpening his skills as a mediator is only part of Ndaba’s motivation; scholarship and life-long learning are part of his core values. He is particularly interested in how organizations can create inclusive workplaces that reflect Canada’s multicultural diversity.

To that end, he pursued a Master’s in Leadership to explore this topic through an anti-racist framework. He wants to continue contributing to scholarship in this area through his work as an LLM student and in the future, as part of doctoral-level work. 

Ndaba’s Experience so Far…

We caught up with Ndaba in his final year of the Professional LLM in Dispute Resolution, and he shared his experience with us.

What courses have you found to be the most rewarding so far? What makes them so great?

All six required courses truly bring the program together; they broaden and deepen the value of alternative dispute resolution in our country and the world. Courses like Cultural, Diversity and Power in Dispute Resolution and International Commercial Arbitration were highly insightful. They highlighted international business complexities and how to resolve conflict across different cultures and legal systems, from civil to common law.

This LLM program moulds your critical thinking and sharpens your ability to reframe conflict to achieve desired outcomes effectively. More than ever, this is a growing area of practice for lawyers and non-lawyers, and I recommend it to anyone hoping to be a successful conflict resolution practitioner.

What was your classroom and networking experience like?

Although COVID-19 resulted in most of the course being taught online, I want to thank the professors and my classmates for making the sessions lively through interactive and experiential delivery methods. For example, we held mediations online and tried new approaches like online dispute resolution (ODR), this was something I had never done in the real world. It was fun and educational. I’ve also made lifelong friends and joined a community of lifelong learners, and I am very grateful for that. In my personal experience, the elective courses that are part of the LLM program made it easy to meet different people from other programs and broaden my network.

Has the program helped you in your professional or personal life?

As a seasoned HR and alternative dispute resolution practitioner, I am rarely surprised in my role. However, the Professional LLM taught me one additional lesson: where there is human interaction, there can also be conflict, and that is okay. 

The most critical skill for the practitioner is listening without judgement or implicit bias, identifying what people want at their core, and then finding a solution. This Professional LLM program helps students develop into more self-aware and humble leaders. I am able to communicate my views without dominating others; the kind of approach that keeps you heard without diminishing or judging others. This program helps you refine your emotional intelligence as a leader. 

What advice would you give to prospective students who are looking to apply to a Professional LLM program?  

Don’t worry if you are not a lawyer. The legal industry needs non-legal professionals because dispute resolution is not always focused on points of law, rather people differ on points of view, which may not always be legal issues.

Alternative dispute resolution is growing in all sectors related to humans. If you come from a non-legal background, you still have an excellent opportunity to contribute and learn in this program. I also felt scared when I first applied, but when we dove deeper into the program, I noticed that the diversity of our career backgrounds was a strength.

What’s Next for Ndaba?

Join our email newsletter to learn where Ndaba’s journey takes him post-graduation in 2023. You’ll also learn more about other student success journeys. Sign up here

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