Georgia State Law Professor Doug Yarn in his office.
November 17, 2010
ATLANTA -- Before Doug Yarn became a College of Law professor, he owned a chain of music stores and played in a rock band.
While playing Jethro Tull, Alice Cooper and Yes in cover bands, his music stores blossomed into the 3rd largest catalog retailer of rare and antique instruments in the U.S.
“I sold instruments to Stephen Stills and Johnny and Edgar Winter, and other 70s rock stars,” Yarn said.
Eventually, Yarn left the business and turned to the law and after law school, Yarn became an early advocate of conflict resolution, a subject he has been teaching at Georgia State since 1994.
A well-known authority on the topic, he established the Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, a multi-disciplinary theory building center at GSU currently focused on restorative justice. He has mediated hundreds of civil, legal and public policy disputes. He also studies the biology of conflict, on which he is writing a book.
Prior to Georgia State, Yarn practiced as a litigator and in-house counsel for an investment banking firm and worked for the American Arbitration Association as their in-house attorney and mediator.
But his interest in music didn’t disappear entirely. While recuperating from the same viral infection that claimed the life of Muppets creator Jim Henson, he turned to music.
“The illness awakened my long dormant interest in music,” Yarn said. “It was a wake-up call to mortality.”
With a new lease on life, Yarn learned how to play the tin whistle and later the uilleann pipes, which he played in a traditional Irish Ceili band. Last summer, Yarn attended bagpipe camp in North Carolina with the North American Academy of Piping and Drumming. The highlight: playing the Great Highland pipes atop Grandfather Mountain.
“Playing bagpipes is like resolving conflict – it’s hard as hell to get them in tune, but once you do, it’s an amazing feeling,” Yarn said.