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Postby ks2pa » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:16 pm

Anybody on here know about careers in mediation? Is it difficult to obtain such a career? Does it require a legal background besides just a JD? What are salaries like? Any info would be appreciated.

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Postby caribelita » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:28 pm

I don't know a WHOLE lot about mediation, except that you don't actually need to be a lawyer to be a mediator. You can go through a mediation certification program and practice as a mediator. However, some lawyers who are frustrated with their jobs opt to go to the mediation-route because it offers an alternative for taking cases to court.

I don't know how much mediation pays, but I'd be curious to know whether mediators get paid a different amount depending on whether they had JDs or not. I found this out....

Mediator: Education & Training

Training for arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators usually consists of a 2-year master's program in dispute resolution or conflict management, or a 4-to-5 year doctoral program. Many mediators have a graduate law degree (JD), but master’s degrees in public policy, criminal justice, and related fields also provide good background for prospective arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators.
Mediator: Licensing & Certification

Requirements vary widely, but certification is highly recommended because certification is the professional standard. Mediators who practice in court-funded mediation programs usually must meet specific training or experience standards. The American Arbitration Association (AAA) requires mediators listed on its mediation panel to complete an AAA training course, receive recommendations from the trainers, and successfully complete an apprenticeship.
Mediator: Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mediators with a JD earned between $60,700 and $130,170.

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Postby hobbla » Mon Apr 23, 2007 11:31 pm

definitely could be an interesting profession

along similar lines, some JD's go into consulting

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Postby ks2pa » Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:55 pm

Wow so to do mediation I would need to spend another 2 years in school on top of law school? Or am i not reading this correctly? That seems steep.

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Postby sunnyea » Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:58 pm

i thought the name of this thread was "meditation."

ican'tread. :(

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Postby jonas » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:03 pm

You can focus on alternative dispute resolution/mediation at a number of law schools. The programs at Harvard, Oregon, Fordham, Columbia, Georgetown, Pepperdine, and Missouri are well regarded. (I'm sure other good programs exist, too, but those are the ones I've heard about.)

Wow so to do mediation I would need to spend another 2 years in school on top of law school?

Not from what I've heard. A JD seems to be enough, or more than enough.

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Postby Mitchmcdeere » Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:24 pm

No you do not need further education to be a mediator / arbtirator.

The people that I know who have experience in this are not considered mediators, in the same way there are attorneys and of counsel.

They are attorneys who have previous knowledge of a specific field and are asked to mediate / arbitrate due to that expertise. For instance, my boss has handled many UNCITRAL arbitrations in a certain field and because he has knowledge of a specific industry he has been asked to mediate matters as a independent third party.

Granted I have not asked him details about this, and this might not be entirely accurate, but this is basically what I've witnessed.

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Postby lindseyl » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:40 pm

i thought the name of this thread was "meditation."

Me, too. Only, I think that every time I see it, not just the first time. :)

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Re: Mediation

Postby UGAgirl » Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:53 pm

Wow so to do mediation I would need to spend another 2 years in school on top of law school?

Nope. At pepperdine you can do a JD and a Master's of Dispute Resolution concurrently, so you finish both in 3 years...I don't know If any other schools do that, though. And they're right, you don't really need a lot of training beyond the JD, though I'm sure it would make you more competitive.

I'm interested in becoming a mediator, too. I'm feeling very alone on these forums with all the biglaw people :)

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Re: Mediation

Postby RTR10 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:05 am

I'm feeling very alone on these forums with all the biglaw people

You shouldn't feel alone! A lot of the Biglaw firms have alternative dispute resolution practices.

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Re: Mediation

Postby sailorbear2008 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:10 am

Do you like to beat your head against a wall?

Of all the mediations I have been involved in, that is the basic look on the mediators face after 6 hours. You have to remember that the people you deal with are, almost always, people who have failed to work it out through attorney's, motions, and sometimes the can be annoying and futile.

That said, if you are good at it and can build name recognition for it, you can make bank. The one that the firm I worked for used a woman that charged $500 for 1/2 day, $1,000 full day (per side) and she was booked about 2 months backlogged. She was REALLY good at it. She runs the mediation firm with just her and a secretary. Considering there isn't nearly as much 'work' as a firm attorney, that's not a bad take home at the end of the year after salary for the secretary and costs.

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Re: Mediation

Postby zeezoo » Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:19 am

sailorbear is the man of a million unrealistic anecdotes

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Re: Mediation

Postby sailorbear2008 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:21 am

zeezoo wrote:sailorbear is the man of a million unrealistic anecdotes

Ok? You are correct, that story is a lie. My apologies.

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Re: Mediation

Postby DarlayBoo » Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:59 am

For a case I was working on, my firm worked with a big mediation firm in Chicago. Apparently a fair number of retired judges go into it and that's mostly who their mediators were. Given that they were pretty elite people, their hourly fee of $600 is not super high, but also nothing to sneeze at. Beats being a greeter at Walmart after you retire I guess :D

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Re: Mediation

Postby kevsocko » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:46 am

my dad has been a real estate litigator in southern california for 35 years, and endures mediations all the time. what he told me is that most mediators have at least 20 years experience in law; they are former lawyers that are retired or that don't want to practice law anymore, and they make some nice change doing mediation.
they are experts in a specific field, and have the experience to know pretty much where the dice will fall in any case that comes up to them.

no smart lawyers will hire some fresh grad as a mediator; why would they want someone with absolutely no experience mediating the case? from my understanding of this, it is pretty difficult to just "become" a mediator. you needs st33t cred

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Re: Mediation

Postby lightbulb1986 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:53 pm

Last edited by lightbulb1986 on Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mediation

Postby fixer » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:05 pm

Different states have different requirements. It is not heavily regulated in most places. In some places a 40 hour training course is all that is necessary to be a "mediator". To do family mediations, more training is required. Family cases involving children require a clear understanding of the law and how it relates to custody and the rights of children.

There is no universally accepted definition of mediation, so mediators can have very different methods and ideologies regarding conflict, resolution and the role of the mediator. This often leads to confusion regarding "what is mediation?" and the role of the mediator. Some mediators are evaluative or directive while others attempt to remain as detached as possible. The most important factor is the personality, demeanor and creativity of the mediator. All of these are essential to building rapport and gaining the trust of the parties. It is difficult for training to delvelop any of these characteristics.
It can be tough work. Not everyone is cut out for it. Unfortunately some people think they are better suited for it than they actually are. It is also more competitive and understood in some markets than others.

Some people believe that mediation is a process and anyone who can properly administer the process can effectively mediate. I do not believe this is universal. In contentious litigated cases (as opposed to mediation in community or parish (church) disputes) if the parties are represented my attorneys, they will want the mediator to understand the legal implications and the status of the suit. That want a mediator who "talks the talk".

If you are interested in mediation, explore opportunities to observe mediations in your community or university. The best information you can get will come from full-time professional mediators not part time atorney-mediators

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Re: Mediation

Postby TTH » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:34 pm

I know that not a lot of labor mediators have JDs. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service will hire people with experience in labor-management issues to serve as mediators without JDs. When I looked into it, they were starting around $50k in Ohio.

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Re: Mediation

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:58 pm

You don't go to law school and become a mediator. Its just not the way it works (like most of the career 'paths' that are talked about on TLS).

To become a mediator, you must have some sort of valuable knowledge/experience in a particular field, or else no one will hire you to mediate their case.

Typically mediators are:
a) ex-Judges (retired);
b) well known attorneys in a particular field with vast litigation expereince in a particular area;
c) retired well known attorneys in a particular field with vast litigation experience in a particular area;
d) 'Industry experts' like ex-finance guys, engineers, people with extensive experience with labor unions, etc.

Seldom do you walk out of school and say... I'm a mediator now! Come hire me!!

Before I even consider a mediator, they had better have 15 or 20 years of applicable experience and a demonstrated record of being able to settle cases, otherwise, its a waste of my time and my client's money.

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