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Mentee-Mentor Opportunities Matter in ADR

Posted By Claudia Farr, Thursday, October 12, 2017

Jeanne Franklin posted great comments for our consideration a few weeks back on diversity in ADR and access to justice.   Thanks Jeanne!  

On the mentoring topic, I agree that a focus on developing more opportunities for mentor-mentee relationships would be useful.  As in law and countless other fields, real, meaningful mentoring can make a profound difference in an individual’s ADR career path.  Many if not all of us can all remember mentors, formal or informal, who took us under their wing at some stage in our careers.  These people listened to us, advised us, challenged us, and inspired us.

In Virginia, certified mentor-mediators provide feedback and coaching to mediator certification candidates through mediation observations and co-mediations.  This presents one of the first opportunities for an emerging new mediator to learn from a more-experienced mentor not only how to mediate, but perhaps also how best to network, learn from peers, and market their practice once certified, among other things.  A little inspiration can also emerge.  

Once a mediator is certified, the usefulness of mentoring does not end.  Even in mid-career, the value of having a mentor, not necessarily a certified mentor-mediator at that point, can take an individual’s ADR practice to the next level.  So yes, let’s consider how best to encourage and enhance useful mentee-mentor relationships, formal and informal, throughout a new practitioner’s ADR career. 

At the Joint ADR Committee’s September 25, 2017 Symposium, I saw a large training room full of potential mentors, of all ages, some perhaps already paired with mentees through a law practice, ADR practice, or both.  How can we carry forward the wisdom of that room and Virginia’s larger ADR community to new and mid-career practitioners?  And, as Jeanne queries us in her post, how could we expand our role in outreach and recruitment of persons we see as potential valuable mediators in the communities where we practice?  Some things to consider. 

Tags:  ADR  mentee  mentor 

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Comments on this post...

Donita M. King says...
Posted Thursday, October 12, 2017
Well said. As a certified mediator mentor at all levels, I truly believe it is our obligation to help prepare those who are coming in behind us. One of the major ways we can assure the benefits of ADR will grow and be available to the public and advocates in the future.
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Jeanne F. Franklin says...
Posted Thursday, October 12, 2017
Perhaps the council would like to discuss and propose subjects for mentor mediators to pursue with their mentees beyond the subjects required for certification. Could you publish such a list on this blog or in the Newsletter? Perhaps the next program offered by the committee could include a discussion of mentor experiences and how to expand and enrich them. Could we collaborate with the young lawyers around this subject? Thank you for pursuing this line of discussion.
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Claudia Farr says...
Posted Friday, October 13, 2017
Thanks Jeanne,
I would be happy to publish a proposed subject list for mentor mediators, and really like your program topic suggestions. Great ideas, and definitely things to discuss further with Council and Committee members.
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