David Dowling, JD, MDR

I grew up in Ireland where divorce was illegal until 1997.  Separation and divorce were never part of the culture or community.  That changed for me when my aunt moved to England to divorce her husband.  My family was not surprised by her decision, but we were sad and frustrated that she had to move to another country to get a divorce.  It troubled me that couples were forced to stay together without alternatives.  As a mediator I have had the opportunity to help divorcing couples open the lines of communication and avoid the adversarial environment of court. Even today, when it seems easier to obtain a divorce, the process can be as daunting and difficult as it was for my aunt.  I believe mediation provides an opportunity for couples to reduce and even eliminate the negative feelings associated with divorce.  I have participated in mediations where couples have learned to communicate effectively and put the needs of their family first.

After receiving my B.A. from Brigham Young University, I earned my JD from Chapman University School of Law.  I worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers for a couple of years, before earning a Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and Pepperdine University School of Law.  From 2009 to 2018, I was a Clinical Professor of Law and the founding director of the Mediation Clinic and Criminal Justice Dispute Resolution Clinic at the Chapman University Fowler School of Law.  This diverse background provides me with a unique perspective into the legal and dispute resolution communities.  I want to help clients transition into their new life, using my experience and education to guide them on their path. 

What I Want Our Clients to Know

I want clients to know that as a husband and father of four children, I understand the difficulties of marriage and parenting.  As a mediator I also know the importance of communication when facing problems within the family.  Whether families stay together or separate, it’s essential that healthy communication is the foundation of any change.  As an Irishman, I love connecting with people.  I want to create an environment where clients feel comfortable sharing their stories, and find strength and support.