Mediation as a Profession presented by "Will Work for Food"
On Wednesday 2/24, MC3 President, Dr. Jack Goetz and Vice President, Jason Harper participated in an online panel presentation entitled “Mediation as a Profession”. The presentation, part of an ongoing series of programs entitled, “Will Work for Food”, was moderated by Chambers-ranked mediator Jeff Kichaven and MC3-Certified Mediator, Jean Lawler.
The program was a recognition of the fact that, in this age of COVID, as more and more dispute are being resolved through mediation, the practice of mediation is still listed in the U.S. as a ‘field, rather than as a ‘profession’. The program dealt with some of the efforts taking place to ‘professionalize the field’ and place mediation in its rightful place as a legitimate, recognized method of dispute resolution.
Dr. Goetz and Mr. Harper spoke about the landscape in which mediations take place and where mediators are employed. They referenced an environment where there is a general lack of understanding as to the role that mediators play and the work that they do, as well as an one where there is little uniformity of education, experience or accountability on the part of mediators. They also spoke about an all-too-common expectation that mediators can, or should, work for free.
In particular, both speakers spoke about the underpinnings of the MC3 Certification Standards. These standards, based on a 2012 ABA Task Force report are the hallmarks of all formalized professions: Education, Practical Experience, an Ethics Code, Self Governance, as well as an ongoing commitment to Continuing Education.
The well attended presentation, made to an audience largely less familiar with MC3’s genesis and history, provided an excellent introduction to the mission, objectives and accomplishments of MC3 and seemed particularly well received by all attending. The panel also included remarks by Lorraine Brennan, Esq., an arbitrator and mediator with extensive national and international dispute resolution experience.