I’m Lisa Fisher, founder of Black Belt Mediation.
For the express version of my background, click below.
Conflict Resolution and Legal Training:
- Magister iuris, University of Linz School of Law, Austria (1989)
- LL.M., Yale Law School (1994)
- Mediation Workshop, Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (2008)
- Mediating the Litigated Case, Pepperdine Law School – Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution (2011)
- Diploma in International Arbitration, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (2012)
Martial Arts and Yoga Training:
- Kenpo Karate training (2007 – present)
- Shodan - first degree black belt (2016)
- Vinyasa, Hatha and Yin Yoga practice (2013 – present)
- Yoga Teacher certifications: Yin Yoga (2017), RYT 500 (2018), Embodied Yoga Principles (2020)
- Foundations of Embodiment (2020)
Admitted to the bar in New York (1995) and California (1997).
Fluent in German.
For more than just bullet points, please continue reading.
I have been the designated diplomat, sounding board, smoother of tensions, and restorer of harmony in my family since my early teens. Back then, I had no idea that people did this sort of thing for a living, so I went to law school. After graduating from University of Linz in my native Austria and obtaining an LL.M. degree from Yale Law School, I spent many years negotiating deals as a big firm corporate transactional lawyer.
Not surprisingly, I kept attracting projects that needed a calm personality to manage complex interpersonal dynamics, facilitate meaningful dialogue, and bring people together. When I discovered that “mediator” was an actual job, I dove into training at Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation and at Pepperdine Law School’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and began to help resolve litigated conflicts.
While this work was intellectually stimulating and rewarding, simply “settling the case” felt like I wasn't doing enough. I saw human beings suffering because communication had broken down, and they were going home with the glorified band-aid of a settlement agreement but without the ability to treat each other differently in the future. Wanting to raise the collective capacity of our species to foster mutually respectful, empowered and compassionate relationships, I shifted my conflict resolution practice towards coaching.
Rather than merely acquiring communication skills, my coaching clients dig below the surface to shift their mindset, utilizing their entire mind-body system. Drawing on my martial arts background (I earned the rank of Shodan – first degree black belt – in Kenpo Karate) and Yoga teacher training (RYT 500 through YogaWorks; Embodied Yoga Principles), I help my clients stay calm and focused in the face of fear and stress, so they can actually remember and use their fancy conflict resolution tools in tense situations.
I am thrilled to guide individuals and teams as they transform the way they interact and work together. It makes my day when a client reports that there is now more camaraderie in the office, that coworkers are able to discuss their differences and find their own solutions, that workflow is more efficient and productive because it is mindful of people’s personalities and plays to their strengths, and that a valuable employee no longer wants to quit but enjoys coming to work again.