Amy J. Schmitz

This individual is no longer with Colorado Law.

Professor of Law
Arbitration, International Arbitration, Contracts, Contract Theory, Consumer Empowerment, Service Learning, and Secured Transactions

University of Colorado Law School
Wolf Law Building Room 470B
401 UCB
Boulder, CO  80309-0401
Office: 470B
Phone: (303) 735-0285

Curriculum Vitae:  View (PDF format)

Personal Link:

Educational Background:
J.D.   University of Minnesota Law School   1995   summa cum laude, Order of the Coif
B.A.   Drake University   1992   summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Professor Schmitz teaches courses in Contracts, Secured Transactions, Arbitration, International Arbitration, and Consumer Empowerment (service learning). Her current research explores empirical and behavioral realities of contracting behavior, as well as various other issues related to consumer, arbitration and consumer law and policy. Professor Schmitz has been active in recent debates regarding consumer protection, consumer arbitration and online dispute resolution, and is often an invited speaker on these topics. Recent speaking engagements include events at Stanford Law School, Pepperdine University, University of California Hastings, Loyola in Chicago, Wake Forest University, Fordham University, Penn. State, and American Bar Association Meetings. Professor Schmitz also serves on the AALS Executive Committee on Commercial and Related Consumer Law, has been an Amici in several United Supreme Court cases involving arbitration. She also has been an expert and liaison for the United Nations working group seeking to create a global online mechanism for resolution of consumers' and businesses' e-contract disputes.

Professor Schmitz is currently the advisor for Women's Law Caucus (WLC), the Construction and Real Estate Law Association (CREALA) and the Christian Legal Society (CLS), and is a liaison for CU study abroad and public interest fellowships. She is also involved with CU's Service Learning program and has been on on the Steering Committee for CU's Institute for Ethical and Civic Engagement. Her Outreach work involves various projects, including production of a consumer film ("Fine Print Foils"), a non-profit consumer outreach website (, and various service-learning courses. Her recent service-learning projects have led to a Consumer Empowerment blog and free public seminars on pressing consumer issues through a joint project with the Boulder County Community Services. This work aims to provide the public with valuable information while inspiring the student presenters from Professor Schmitz's classes to gain deeper understandings of consumer and contract law "in action." Students in Professor Schmitz's service learning classes also have created written materials and presentations covering consumer topics. See the attached materials from recent years.  These materials are a guide, and are not the rendering of any legal or professional advice.

Click here to access the March 2016 Consumer Empowerment PowerPoint

Click here to access the March 2015 ourtreach presentation

Click here to access the Consumer Tips Booklet

Click here to access the Consumer Empowerment Workshop presenation

Professor Schmitz is also a guest blogger on  Her postings can be found at


Building Trust in Ecommerce Through Online Dispute Resolution, in RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON ELECTRONIC COMMERCE LAW, ___ (Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming 2016).

Published Books

Consumer Tips in a Tough Economy (2011); Savvy Consumer Survival Skills (2009); Be a Savvy Consumer (2008):
These were all related to Joint Projects with CU Law Consumer Empowerment Seminars & Boulder County Housing Authority, (student written, Amy J. Schmitz ed.).


Secret Consumer Scores and Segmentations: Separating Consumer "Haves" from "Have-Nots", MICH. ST. L. REV. 1411-1473 (2015). abstract
Females on the Fringe: Considering Gender in Payday Lending Policy, 89 CHICAGO-KENT L. REV. 65-112 (2014).
Introducing the "New Handshake" to Expand Remedies and Revive Responsibility in Ecommerce, 26 St. Thomas L. Rev. 522 (2014).
Sex Matters: Considering Gender in Consumer Contracts, 19 CARDOZO J. OF LAW & GENDER 437-509 (2013).
American Exceptionalism in Consumer Arbitration, 10 LOY. U. CHI. INT'L L. REV. 81-103 (2013).
Ensuring Remedies to Cure Cramming, 14 CARDOZO J. OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION 877-97 (2013).
Organic Online Dispute Resolution: Resolving "Cramming" Claims as an Example, 32 No. 9 BANKING & FIN. SERVICES POL'Y REP. 1-15 (2013) (invited article for professionally edited publication through Aspen Publishing Company).
Access to Consumer Remedies in the Squeaky Wheel System, 39 PEPPERDINE L. REV. 279-366 (2012).
Building Bridges to Consumer Remedies in eConflicts, 34.4 U. A. L. REV. 779, 779-95 (2012).
Arbitration Ambush in a Policy Polemic, 3 PENN STATE YEARBOOK ON ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION 52-92 (2011).
Legislating in the Light: Considering Empirical Data in Crafting Arbitration Reforms, 15 HARVARD NEGOTIATION L. REV. 115-194 (2010).
"Drive-Thru" Arbitration in the Digital Age: Empowering Consumers through Regulated ODR, 62 BAYLOR L. REV.178-244 (2010).
Pizza-Box Contracts: True Tales of Consumer Contracting Culture, 45 WAKE FOREST L. REV. 863-901 (2010).
Nonconsensual + Nonbinding = Nonsensical? Reconsidering Court-Connected Arbitration Programs, 10 CARDOZO J. OF CONFLICT RESOL. 587-625 (2009).
Curing Consumers' Warranty Woes Through Regulated Arbitration, 23 OHIO STATE J. ON DISPUTE RESOL. 627-686 (2008).
Ethical Considerations in Drafting and Enforcing Consumer Arbitration Clauses, 49 S. TEX. L. REV. 841-878 (2008) (also published by special request from the journal and with permission from South Texas Law Review in 8 ICFAI UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LAW 24-52 (2009)).
Consideration of "Contracting Culture" in Enforcing Arbitration Provisions, 80 St. John's Law Review 123 (2007).
Dangers of Deference to Form Arbitration Provisions, 9 NEV. L.J. 37-57 (2007).
Consideration of "Contracting Culture" in Enforcing Arbitration Provisions, 80 ST. JOHN'S L. REV. 123-72 (2007).
Embracing Unconscionability's Safety Net Function, 58 ALA. L. REV. 73-117 (2006).
Confronting ADR Agreements' Contract/No-Contract Conundrum with Good Faith, 56 DEPAUL L. REV. 55-106 (2006).
Untangling the Privacy Paradox in Arbitration, 54 KANSAS L. REV. 101-44 (2006).
Mobile Home Mania? Protecting Procedurally Fair Arbitration in a Consumer Microcosm, 20 OHIO STATE J. ON DISPUTE RESOL. 291-373 (2005).
Refreshing Contractual Analysis of ADR Agreements By Curing Bipolar Avoidance of Modern Common Law, 9 HARVARD NEGOTIATION L. REV. 1-74 (2004).
Ending a Mud Bowl: Defining Arbitration's Finality Through Functional Analysis, 37 GA. L. REV. 123-204 (2002).
Providing an Escape for Inner-City Children: Creating a Federal Remedy for Educational Ills of Poor Urban Schools, 78 MINN. L. REV. 1639-71 (1994).

Other Publications

Consumer Casualties?, HARVARD BUSINESS L. REV. (March 18, 2011) (invited article for the online journal).
Assuming Silence in Arbitration, New Jersey Lawyer, April 2011. This article was originally published in the April 2011 issue of New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, a publication of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and is reprinted here with permission.
Regulation Rash? Questioning the AFA's Approach for Protecting Arbitration Fairness, 28 No. 10 BANKING & FIN. SERVICES POL'Y REP. 16-35 (2009) (invited article for professionally edited publication through Aspen Publishing Company).
Promoting the Promise Manufactured Homes Provide for Affordable Housing, 13 J. OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEV. L. 384-415 (2004) (scholarly journal reaching broader policy-related audiences).
Bennett Explains Arbitration Fundamentals, Without Legalese, DISPUTE RESOLUTION MAG., Fall 2002, at 27 (editorial board made up of leading ADR scholars).
Schmitz (under former name, Amy J. Christophersen), Preclusive Effect of Arbitration on Non-Parties, CONSTRUCTION BRIEFINGS NO. 99-7, June 1999, at 1-10 (under former name)(trade publication).
Schmitz (under former name, Amy J. Christophersen, with Bruner), Feature Comment, Allocating Risks in Design Defects: Design vs. Performance Specifications, THE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR, Feb. 8, 1999, 27, at 3-5 (under former name) (trade publication).

Selected Press, Media & Publicity

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Targets Arbitration Clauses | Law Week | Thursday, April 14, 2016
The Big Fight | The Economist | Saturday, February 6, 2016
How to Get What You Want from Customer Service | | Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Expert tips for getting better service | The Denver Post | Monday, September 16, 2013
Customer service changing rapidly, but is it changing for the better? | The Denver Post | Monday, September 16, 2013
Got a consumer complaint? Be polite, persistent and assertive | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Friday, May 3, 2013
The word on warranty protection | | Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Personal Finance: Learn to be a 'squeaky wheel' | The Sacramento Bee | Sunday, April 28, 2013
How to complain: Squeaky wheel still gets the grease | | Monday, March 11, 2013
Microwave mystery | Consumer Reports | Friday, March 1, 2013
Speak up to resolve complaints | Consumer Reports Money Adviser | Friday, March 1, 2013
Unhappy with a Purchase? Try this! | Consumer Reports Shopsmart Magazine | Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Arbitration Changes Brewing In Congress: 'This Will Be The Kiss Of Death,' Predicts Arbitration Honcho | Law Week Colorado | Monday, April 6, 2009
Consumer conundrum | Denver Post | Thursday, January 29, 2009


Spring 2016 Consumers and the Law LAWS 8021-001
Fall 2015 Contracts LAWS 5121-803
Fall 2015 Arbitration LAWS 7751-001
2015 Dispute Resolution Digital Age LAWS 7461-001
Spring 2015 Secured Transactions LAWS 6021-001
Spring 2015 Consumers and the Law LAWS 8021-001
Fall 2014 Contracts LAWS 5121-803
Spring 2014 Arbitration LAWS 7751-001
Spring 2014 Consumers and the Law LAWS 8021-001
Spring 2013 Consumers and the Law LAWS 8021-001
Fall 2012 Contracts LAWS 5121-803
Fall 2012 Arbitration LAWS 7751-001