top of page


Dick Calkins photo_.jpg
Richard M. Calkins

Richard M. Calkins attended Dartmouth College and Northwestern University Law School, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1953 and his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1959. In the latter institution, he was on the Law Review Board and graduated Order of the Coif.

From 1959-1961 he was law clerk to Judge Elmer J. Schnackenberg, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. In 1961, he joined the Chicago law firm of Chadwell, Keck, Kayser, Ruggles and McLaren, where he became a partner. In 1969 he was a founding partner of Burditt and Calkins in Chicago.

In 1980, Calkins was appointed Dean of the Drake University Law School where he served until 1988, and has been an adjunct law professor since that time. 

In 1985, Calkins established the first national intercollegiate mock trial competition (now known as the American Mock Trial Association) to teach college students about the American adversarial system. Approximately 600 teams from over 400 universities and colleges compete annually in these tournaments.


In 1988, while also teaching at Drake Law School, he joinged Zarley, McKee, Thomte, Voorhees & Sease law firm as partner (1988-1993). In 1993, he established his own law firm practicing primarily antitrust law.


In 1995, Calkins went into the full-time practice of mediation and arbitration. Since 1996 he has trained over 1000 lawyers and 1300 law and undergraduate students and conducted over 2100 mediations.

In 1999, Calkins established the National Intercollegiate Mediation tournament for undergraduate students. The following year he established the International Law School Mediation Competition and helped found the International Academy of Dispute Resolution (INADR) that now has participants from 48 countries on six continents. 

Positions held by Mr. Calkins include:
President of the American Mock Trial Association from 1984-2004
President of the Blackstone Inn of Court from 1992-94

President of the American Academy of ADR Attorneys from 1999-00

President of the International Academy of Dispute Resolution from 2014-2016

bottom of page