Conciliators, otherwise known as mediators, assist conflicting parties toward resolution of their problems out of court as opposed to in court. The work entails getting the parties to come together, discussing alternative perspectives of the problem that both parties may not have considered, and enabling the parties to settle the matter without having to go to court. If you aspire to become a conciliator, you will generally need at least a college degree and possibly a graduate degree, depending on where you want to work.
The college degree that you seek can typically be in any area. Granted, it should be noted that each locality has its own rules pertaining to what is required to become a conciliator. For example, in some places, it could be acceptable to have solely a bachelor's degree, whereas in other places you may have to get a bachelor's degree and do graduate training in addition.
Getting a Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) degree in law and successfully passing the bar examination is typically recommended for anyone who hopes to become a conciliator. While in law school, it could be helpful for you to take law school courses or courses through the American Bar Association (ABA) relevant for your efforts to become a conciliator. For instance, courses that pertain to alternative dispute resolution, mediation techniques, and mediation law would be relevant because such courses have content consistent with the sorts of things conciliators have to know when working with clients.
If you seek to become a conciliator, you will also need to find a person currently working as a conciliator. This person will need to supervise you while you serve as a conciliator for your initial cases. Check local laws for specifics in terms of how many cases you must complete while supervised.
The process of becoming approved or licensed as a conciliator may require a background check. Also, you may have to get references from individuals familiar with your conciliation and other law-related work. Once you have gone through this process successfully, you will be able to work independently as a conciliator.
Keep in mind that being a conciliator is challenging work. For instance, the parties that conciliators work with are sometimes hostile, which means the conciliation process could be fraught with peril particularly during the beginning stages when neither side wants to compromise. While the parties are upset, the conciliator must be calm and objective. Granted, if you have the academic skills to get a college degree and a law degree and if you are very calm under pressure, a career as a conciliator might be a fit for you.