How do I get Started with a Mediation Career?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 23 February 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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The easiest way to get started with a mediation career is to gradually increase the amount of time dedicated to mediation-related work. Mediation is a series of processes used to resolve disputes through discussion and compromise. The use of mediation as a way to resolve business and personal disputes has grown substantially, and that trend is expected to continue.

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is accepted by the legal system as a way to reach a mutually agreeable solution to a range of disputes. Increasingly, small claims, divorce and civil cases are sent to mandatory mediation. For this reason, there has been an increased interest in mediation careers. Business training and expertise can be very helpful for anyone looking to establish a career as a mediator of business or civil law disputes.

There are two types of professionals typically interested in mediation careers: lawyers and counselors. Both have completed a minimum graduate-level, post-secondary education from a recognized university. Many people who want to make the transition to a mediation career also complete certificates in mediation from post-secondary institutions. Subjects covered in this type of program include human psychology, negotiations, conflict resolution techniques and crisis management.

To get started with a mediation career, take the time to research any local and federal requirements necessary to obtain certification as a court-approved mediator. This is a great way to begin for people who are not already working in the legal system. Typically, a list of court-approved mediators is provided to potential clients. They then select a mediator from the list and schedule an initial appointment to try to negotiate a resolution.

Lawyers who want to transition to a mediation career can begin by accepting clients who have been ordered to attend mediation sessions and by advertising their mediation certification. This work can be quite profitable, and many law firms are expanding their practices to include mediation. This shift in focus from an adversarial system to alternative dispute resolution is welcomed by many lawyers as a more enjoyable career option.

A professional counselor who wants to start a mediation career must first become certified to practice. Mediation can then be added to the list of services offered by the counselor. Liaisons with social service agencies and family court officers are the most effective way of building a list of clients. Family support services provided by employers increasingly include mediation in the list of services provided.



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