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How to become a Mediator?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered July 19 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
The process for becoming a Mediator is varied by field and by area. Many people such as Attorneys, Pralegals, or Psychologists can be licensed Mediators. However, most Mediators have some background education in law or conflict resolution. Here are some common steps to becoming a Mediator. 
  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.
Most Mediators have a graduate or law degree. As a first step, they obtain a Bachelor’s degree in an area related to their mediation specialty. For example, if you wish to mediate business disputes, you may want to pursue a Commerce or Economics degree. If you’re interested in the legal aspects of being a Mediator, you can also take a pre-law program. 
  • Go to law school or graduate school.
Many Mediators are attorneys or have some legal training, like a paralegal. However, you can also pursue a Master’s degree in a related field, such as psychology. Some programs even offer concentrations in conflict resolution. Look at programs and apply to the one that feels like a good fit for your goals and interests. 
  • Get additional training as a Mediator.
You may wish to pursue a post-graduate certificate, or go through a state program, either way. You will need to complete some formal education for mediation beyond your academic degrees.
  • Become licensed
Most states do not have licensing requirements for private Mediators but have some requirements if you wish to be “court-certified” and listed on official court directories. Depending on the state or the context you want to work in (family, business, health, etc.), the licensing requirements vary. Research the requirements for your area and your field of interest. 

What can help you become a Mediator
  • Join a professional association
Joining an association can help you access relevant research and job postings. The Association for Conflict Resolution has a quarterly journal that members can access and organizes a yearly conference for learning and networking.
  • Do your research
From the area of mediation to the professionals working in your area to mediation literature, there is a lot to learn. Read books and articles about mediation and what skills the profession requires.
  • Network
Introduce yourself to a Mediator and ask to meet them for a coffee. You can also ask if you can observe a mediation session (this will require you to sign a confidentiality agreement). By attending an actual session, you will gain insight into the day-to-day work of a Mediator.
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