Are you a good listener? If so, you could be well on your way to an unusual but rewarding career as a mediator.
Sure, it may sound complicated and involved but it really isn’t. In most states all you need to complete is a basic forty-hour mediation class to qualify.
A mediator is valuable in many ways. What you essentially do is provide an affordable alternative (that means, rather than using a lawyer) to going to court to settle a dispute.
Let’s face it, not every dispute requires a complete legal team chasing down details and digging up dirt when both sides are actually talking and willing to come to some kind of resolution. In some cases, the only people with the advantage are the lawyers on the job.
Many disputes can be settled out of court at minimal cost to the parties involved by using a mediator. The great thing about being a mediator is that you only work when you’re needed and you can pick and choose what cases you’ll get involved with which can allow you to be a part-time mediator.
If you are already good with people and have a way with being fair, understanding and capable of finding solutions to a variety of problems, you could turn being a mediator into a job that can boost your income well into your golden years. Depending on your interests and where you live, you could also specialize and just work on cases that involve animals, divorce or parent/child mediation.
If you were to choose animal disputes you could find yourself working in a very passionate field of specialty. In the case of animal mediation you can assist with resolving a conflict by avoiding costly legal action. In addition, when a dispute involving animals moves to the courts the animals usually end up being treated like objects or property to be divided in whatever way the legal minds in the court feel will reach a settlement.
As an animal mediator you will treat the animal as a family member and try to reach consensus from both sides on who gets to keep the animal. If you can imagine a family pet in the middle of a conflict that may result from a divorce, the dissolution of a civil partnership or the dealing of surviving animals following an owner’s death you may see how a mediator can be a useful resource.
There are also conflicts with animals that may result from a co-op or condo dispute, problems coming from a neighbor, landlord/tenant issues or in the matter of situations concerning pet owners in disputes with veterinarians, groomers, trainers, breeders or dog walkers.
Other places where animal mediation may be required could be in situations involving conflicts related to contracts between pet owners and breeders; owners and handlers; breeders clubs and members. These are just a few examples of where a mediator can play an effective role when specializing in just animal-related disputes. The possibilities are endless in other areas where you could focus your mediation efforts.
To find out other ways to become a mediator just search online for ‘mediation training’ or visit mediate.com. Once you become a qualified mediator you’ll want to get the word out about your new service. In addition to advertising online and in your local newspapers or with flyers and posters, you’ll want to concentrate your marketing efforts where it will do you the most good.
If you do choose to become an animal mediator you can contact veterinarians, dog groomers, breeders and dog walkers to let them know you are available. Not only will they be able to provide you will possible leads, some of these contacts may end up using your service themselves. You may also want to share the fact that you are in the business of providing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) with area lawyer’s offices.
While your service could be considered in competition with that of a lawyer, there will be clients seeking legal advice with a lawyer who could end up recommending you to settle the dispute based on circumstances, cost or a variety of other reasons that would make the ADR route more sensible and effective that a full blown legal battle.
That being said, ADR is an option many people may not realize is at their disposal so if you do become a mediator you will also be filling the gap for those who are not aware of such a service. This means you’ll also be doing a good thing for some people who may not be able to afford a lawyer but need a dispute settled with the assistance of an independent third party.
As for the earning potential of providing ADR service, you will want to have an hourly rate which can have quite a range depending on the types of mediation you plan to provide. Travel costs would be an additional fee as well as time spend conducting a hearing, administrative costs and a long list of other rates and conditional fees. You could also provide a flat rate fee schedule based on a set number of hours per day expected to be spent working on and resolving the dispute.
The important thing to keep in mind is that mediation always works. . Your service will guarantee a resolution which also enhances your skills to potential clients. This is probably one of the main reasons more and more disputes are being settled out of court with a neutral mediator paving the way to solving an issue.
Another motivation, of course, is that mediation is almost always less expensive than hiring lawyers and going to court. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, search online for a course you can take to earn your qualifications. Many options are found by using the term ‘adr courses’ with many that can be taken online or through correspondence.