Are you great at problem solving?
Do you have a solid knowledge of the law?
Can you withstand high levels of stress while maintaining an unwavering commitment to integrity and fairness?
– If so, your future may hold a career as a mediator.
If you have never previously heard of this job, you may soon: also known as conciliators and arbitrators, mediators are on the rise in the professional world.
An introduction to mediating
While many legal disputes have typically been resolved inside courtrooms, clogged courts and rising legal costs have led disputing parties to seek out a new process called alternative dispute resolution, or ADR. Mediators act as guides throughout the ADR process, lowering the chances of an eventual trial and helping parties reach an effective resolution.
A mediator helps disputing parties steer clear of the inside of one of these.
Mediators work collaboratively with conflicting parties toward compromise. They offer direction, facilitate negotiation and suggest creative methods for a mutually satisfying solution. While the specifics may differ depending upon the particular case, a mediator’s duties may include everything from preparing court reports and taking social case histories to implementing legislative enactments. A mediator only makes suggestions to both parties; unlike a judge, he does not make a final decision.
Qualifications of an effective Mediator
Many former judges and lawyers become mediators, but this background is not a prerequisite. In fact, prospective mediators in the U.S. are not required to undergo any one formal licensing or certification process, although some states do mandate training and experience requirements for court-appointed mediation programs. A variety of organizations, ranging from mediation membership organizations, such as the Academy of Family Mediators and the American Arbitration Association, to colleges and universities, do offer a number of training resources and programs, and many institutions of higher education in the United States now offer advanced degrees in key mediator skills, such as conflict management and dispute resolution.
While academic training and experience is important, personality traits and skills are equally so. Mediators must exhibit excellent critical thinking, communication and conflict resolution skills. They must be comfortable working with a wide range of people, from clients to community agencies to judicial staff. Being able to maintain neutrality is a critical part of a mediator’s role, along with honesty, patience and tolerance for stress. And while mediators are expected to have keen analytical minds, successful ones are also quite ingenious, particularly when it comes to devising creative solutions between disputing parties.
A good mediator is able to neutrally weigh both sides of the argument.
How much does a Mediator earn?
Because of the broad range of responsibilities pertaining to the position of mediator, salaries vary correspondingly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, mediators earn between $34,100 and $137,350 a year with a median annual salary of $61,280. Those in the legal field generally reap the highest paychecks, while state and local government employees are at the bottom.
This field of mediation is only expected to grow as people continue to seek out efficient and affordable alternative to lawsuits. The right combination of communication skills and legal knowledge indicates a beneficial career match for those considering pursuing a job in mediating.
Joanna Hughes enjoys writing on careers and tech, including the latest developments in online reputation management.