At the helm of ADR Services, Inc., its Founder and President, Lucie Barron has become for some, synonymous with the concept of alternative dispute resolution.
Ms. Barron has had a remarkable professional and personal journey. Born in Germany of Russian parents who were prisoners of war, Ms. Barron spent the first few years of her childhood in a refugee camp before her family immigrated to a small suburb in Adelaide, South Australia. At age seventeen, Ms. Barron left home to study psychology at the University of Adelaide, and then moved to Sydney where she obtained a Masters of Psychology at the University of Sydney. Seeking adventure but not knowing anyone in North America, Ms. Barron crossed the Pacific Ocean to settle in beautiful, charming, but icy Montreal, Canada, where she began working as a psychologist. She married, and after the birth of her first child, changed careers to broaden her skill set by earning an MBA from McGill University, Canada.
After seven years, she relocated to Southern California with her then husband and four young children, a number which quickly became seven.
Ms. Barron’s business acumen and warm, gregarious personality were recognized early in her career within the financial industry, and she rose quickly through the ranks. After the birth of her fifth child, Ms. Barron left the banking industry to focus on the needs of her family. A growing Los Angeles real estate market provided the flexibility to care for her growing family while offering additional opportunities to hone her business skills.
In the wake of a difficult divorce, Ms. Barron abruptly found herself the sole supporter and caretaker of seven young children. Serendipitously, personal litigation indoctrinated Ms. Barron into the legal system, where she recognized the value of alternative dispute resolution, an emerging field at that time. Following her intuition and her multifaceted business and educational experience, Ms. Barron spent countless hours at the University of California, Los Angeles business and law schools, studying the laws, procedures and marketplace of private dispute resolution. After devouring everything she could find on the subject, Ms. Barron contacted a list of retired judges and invited them to join her fledgling panel. Enticed by her vision and intrigued by her determination, eight retired judges originally agreed to work with what has now become the fastest growing ADR provider in California.
Unsurprisingly, Ms. Barron’s vision was frequently met with skepticism from the legal community. At first glance, Ms. Barron’s psychological, business training and experience is not the archetypical background of those in the legal field. Yet the lack of a formal legal background or legal industry experience was just the advantage she and ADR Services, Inc. needed. It gave Ms. Barron a receptive and unique perspective in understanding and tailoring ADR Services, Inc. to the needs of her clients. A self-described lifelong student, Ms. Barron persistently asks questions and constantly confers with attorneys and jurists to learn how best to adapt the company to fit their needs and those of the business and legal community.
Now, over two decades later, Ms. Barron is ever-present in the legal community, expanding the company’s presence, attending nearly every industry event and major conference. Ms. Barron has also been a speaker at legal conferences both locally and internationally, proudly representing the United States on the subject of dispute resolution in Ukraine, Austria and Mauritius through the World Jurist Association.
Ms. Barron’s dedication to philanthropy, education, and community service is reflected by, together with her panel, the donation of thousands of hours in pro bono mediation services. Additionally, ADR Services, Inc., as an accredited Continuing Legal Education provider, offers free courses to legal associations and law firms throughout California.
The beginnings of ADR Services, Inc. were equally as humble as that of its Founder and President. Opening its doors in 1994, the company started as a single subleased office space with access to a pair of conference rooms. ADR Services, Inc. now operates in seven offices across the state, with over 135 conference rooms and 130 retired judges and attorneys. ADR Services, Inc., has expanded at a significant rate due to Ms. Barron’s tenacity and dedication, developing a reputation for successful resolution with its highly diverse and experienced neutrals. Through decades of change and growth, the company remains a small business at heart. Informed by her own life journey, Ms. Barron guides the company knowing that ADR Services, Inc.’s most important responsibility to both counsel and clients is serving as Your Partner in Resolution.