Deborah Thompson Eisenberg

Vice Dean,
Piper & Marbury Professor of Law and
Director, Center for Dispute Resolution (C-DRUM)




(410) 706-5995


(410) 706-6644

Photo of Deborah Thompson Eisenberg


  • BA, 1991 University of Maryland Baltimore County, summa cum laude
  • JD, 1994, Yale Law School


Vice Dean Deborah Thompson Eisenberg is the Piper & Marbury Professor of Law. She serves as faculty director of Maryland Carey Law’s Dispute Resolution Program and Center for Dispute Resolution. Professor Eisenberg teaches in the areas of dispute resolution, mediation, and civil procedure. She received her JD from Yale Law School in 1994 and graduated as valedictorian with a BA in Political Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 1991.

Professor Eisenberg is a recognized scholar in the areas of dispute resolution, employment law, and equal pay. She has published peer-reviewed articles relating to the costs and benefits of court-annexed ADR (with Lorig Charkoudian and Jamie Walter). Professor Eisenberg’s equal pay scholarship has been recognized in many national media outlets, including The New York Times,,, The Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, and others. She has testified as a pay discrimination expert before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Professor Eisenberg serves as a mediator in employment discrimination and civil cases. Through the law school’s Center for Dispute Resolution, she provides professional trainings in negotiation, mediation, mediation ethics, restorative practices, managing workplace conflict, and other conflict resolution topics. Professor Eisenberg serves on the executive committee of the American Association of Law Schools Dispute Resolution Section and previously served as co-chair of the ADR Committee of the AALS Clinical Law Section.

Prior to academia, Professor Eisenberg practiced complex civil litigation for more than 15 years. She was a partner at Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP in Baltimore, with a practice focused on employment law. Prior to that, she served as director of the Appellate Advocacy Project and staff attorney at the Public Justice Center, litigating a variety of civil rights, wage and hour, and poverty law cases. She started her legal career at the Baltimore firm Ober Kaler (now Baker Donelson).

Book Chapters

Negotiating Lessons from the Women of Star Wars, in Star Wars and Conflict Resolution: There Are Alternatives to Fighting (Noam Ebner & Jen Reynolds eds., 2022).

Frank Sander: Father of Court-Based Dispute Resolution, in Discussions in Dispute Resolution: The Foundational Articles 337 (Art Hinshaw, Andrea Kupfer Schneider & Sarah R. Cole eds., 2021).

Creating a Culture of Conflict Resolution: The Maryland Example, in Beyond Borders—Konflikte Diesseits und Jenseits von Rechten und Pflichten (Sascha Ferz ed., 2019).

The Equal Pay Act: Past and Future, in The American Middle Class: An Economic Encyclopedia of Progress and Poverty (Robert Rycroft ed., 2016).


ChatGPT Goes to School: Now What?, Maryland Bar Journal (July 27, 2023). Abstract

What Matters to Employment Attorneys When Considering Online or In-Person Mediation?, 41 Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation 151 (2023) (with Donna Shestowsky & Robert Niccolini). Abstract

Disrupting the Eviction Crisis with Conflict Resolution Strategies, 41 Mitchell-Hamline Journal of Public Policy & Practice 125 (2020) (with Noam Ebner). Abstract

Beyond Settlement: Reconceptualizing ADR as "Conflict Process Strategy," 35 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 705 (2020). Abstract

The Role of Mediation in an Integrated Eviction System, 2 Maryland Bar Journal, no. 2, 112 (2020) (with Toby Guerin and David Spinosa)

School Conflict De-Escalation: A Coordinated Approach for Educators and SROs, 74 Dispute Resolution Journal, no. 2, 2019, at 29. Abstract

What Works in Alternative Dispute Resolution? The Impact of Third-Party Neutral Strategies in Small Claims Cases, 37 Conflict Resolution Quarterly 101 (2019). Abstract

What Works in Custody Mediation? Effectiveness of Various Mediator Behaviors, 54 Family Court Review 544 (2018) (with Lorig Charkoudian and Jamie Walter).

What Difference Does ADR Make? Comparison of ADR and Trial Outcomes in Small Claims Court, 34 Conflict Resolution Quarterly 1 (2017) (with Lorig Charkoudian and Jamie L. Walter). Abstract

The Restorative Workplace: An Organizational Learning Approach to Discrimination, 50 University of Richmond Law Review 487 (2016). Abstract

What We Know (and Need to Know) About Court-Annexed Dispute Resolution, 67 South Carolina Law Review 245 (2016). Abstract

Reflections on "Innovations in Family Dispute Resolution", 75 Maryland Law Review Endnotes 1 (2016). Abstract

Against School Suspensions, 16 U. Md. Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender & Class (2016). Abstract

Regulation by Amicus: The Department of Labor's Policymaking in the Courts, 65 Florida Law Review 1223 (2013). Abstract

Stopped at the Starting Gate: The Overuse of Summary Judgment in Equal Pay Cases, 57 New York Law School Law Review 815 (2013). Abstract

Alternative Dispute Resolution and Public Confidence in the Judiciary: Chief Judge Bell's "Culture of Conflict Resolution," 72 Maryland Law Review 1112 (2013) (with Rachel Wohl and Toby Treem Guerin). Abstract

Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes: Lessons for the Legal Quest for Equal Pay, 46 New England Law Review 229 (2012). Abstract

Money, Sex, and Sunshine: A Market-Based Approach to Pay Discrimination, 43 Arizona State Law Journal 951 (2011). Abstract

Shattering the Equal Pay Act's Glass Ceiling, 63 Southern Methodist University Law Review 17 (2010). Abstract

Opening the Doors to the Local Courthouse: Maryland’s New Private Right of Action for Employment Discrimination, 9 University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender, and Class 7 (2009). Abstract

Methods of Legal Advocacy to Implement the Educational Promise of the McKinney Act for Homeless Children and Youth, 31 Creighton Law Review 1209 (1998).

The Woman in the Street: Reclaiming the Public Space from Sexual Harassment, 6 Yale Journal of Law & Feminism 313 (1994). Abstract