Michele Straube was a practicing lawyer for more than 15 years, representing private and public sector clients. She has extensive experience with administrative agencies in their regulatory and enforcement functions. For the past 20 years, she has focused exclusively on alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, facilitation, training, and collaborative problem-solving. Before coming full-time to the law school, Straube maintained a private mediation practice in which she designed and facilitated consensus-building processes and offered conflict management training. In addition to being on several national rosters for environmental third-party neutrals, she conducted mediations for the U.S. Postal Service REDRESS program, and was a long-term-care ombudsman for Salt Lake County. From January 2008 to August 2010, Straube directed Salt Lake Solutions, SLC Mayor Ralph Becker's collaborative government initiative. Salt Lake Solutions projects model collaboration by engaging all segments of the community to address difficult public problems.
As an adjunct professor, Straube designed and taught Environmental Conflict Resolution, as well as Conflict Management, a course designed to introduce students to the broad range of conflict prevention, management and resolution options available in addition to litigation. Both courses are now offered spring semester in alternating years. She has also taught Conflict Management and Public Policy Collaboration as an Adjunct for the Masters of Public Administration Program.
Straube joined the law school faculty in February 2012 as Director of the Wallace Stegner Center's Environmental Dispute Resolution Program (EDRP). The program promotes collaboration, mediation, and other dispute resolution processes as a means to address contemporary environmental conflicts. Focusing initially on environmental and natural resource conflicts in Utah, EDRP is building capacity for expanded and improved collaboration and mediation, while also documenting and shedding new light on the extensive collaboration efforts already occurring in Utah and the Mountain West.