How can I become a certified mediator in Texas?
Short Answer: There is no procedure for certification as a mediator in Texas. There is a law that sets out the qualifications for mediators who are appointed by a Texas Court to mediate a lawsuit. (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 154.052)
Long Answer: Mediation is a multi-disciplinary professional skill, and for non-court cases (neighborhood disputes, workplace conflict, partnership restructuring, etc.) no qualifications are prescribed by law. Through the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association, there is now a voluntary procedure for credentialing that is not a certification, but a designation as a mediator who has met minimum standards of training and experience. A grievance procedure is part of the voluntary credentialing. See www.txmca.org. for more information.
Is there an educational requirement for professional mediators?
The Texas statute prescribes 40 hours of classroom training for non-family court-ordered mediations. To mediate court-ordered family cases, an additional 24 hours of classroom training in family law, family dynamics, and childhood development are required. Our family mediation course exceeds the 24 hour minimum requirement to be in compliance with the stricter requirements of the Texas Mediator Trainer’s Roundtable as well as the requirements for Parenting Coordinators and Parenting Facilitators. No formal education level is required for either. Texas mediators come from many educational backgrounds. Requirements of the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association available at www.txmca.org.
What is the first course I should take at Texas Wesleyan University?
The Certificate Program is designed to be user friendly. An aspiring mediator (or conflict specialist) might logically begin with the Basic 40 Hour Mediation Course, and then Family Mediation or Negotiation and Persuasion. Any course may be taken first in the Certificate Program, except for the Practicum. The final course in the program is a Practicum, during which the new mediator perfects the new skills in actual mediations under the supervision and guidance of the ADR Coordinator, Kay Elliott.
Can I earn a living as a mediator?
Yes. If you commit to the field of Dispute Resolution and are prepared to train, get the necessary experience, and investigate career options, you can build a career in this field. The Certificate in Dispute Resolution from Texas Wesleyan University is the first step. Volunteering at one of the Texas Dispute Resolution Centers is the next step. Becoming credentialed through the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association is the next. Joining mediator associations and applying for jobs in the field would be the final step in building your new career. During the Practicum you will be assisted in accomplishing each step.
What does A.D.R. mean?
The acronym, ADR, stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution or Appropriate Dispute Resolution. The term implies that the process chosen to resolve a dispute (e.g., negotiation, mediation, arbitration) will be suited to the dispute and will be an alternative to litigation. ADR may be part of litigation when parties in a lawsuit choose to, or are ordered to mediate.
What jobs are there for conflict specialists? ADR coordinator for judges
Family court services mediator
Public policy/environmental facilitator (agency employee)
Ombudsman for a corporation
Self-employed mediator (family, commercial, insurance)
Director of student services mediation at a university
Designer of dispute resolution systems for corporations or healthcare organizations
Dispute resolution case manager or executive director at a Dispute Resolution Center *Government ADR specialist (U.S.P.S., EEOC, etc.)
Specialist for ADR provider (A.A.A., Keybridge Foundation, etc.)
Human resource manager
Examples of jobs in the fast growing field of conflict resolution include:
Do I have to be an attorney to be a mediator?
No. Mediators come from many professional backgrounds: government, mental health, education, business, science, law, diplomacy, etc. No educational background is required to become a mediator in Texas. It is helpful to have at least an undergraduate degree, especially in certain specialized fields, such as public policy dispute resolution and family mediation.
If I am not an attorney can I still have a career in conflict resolution?
Absolutely, being an attorney is helpful in building a practice when referrals from judges and lawyers are a main source of business. Many situations need mediation, facilitation, or conflict resolution services. See the answer to Question 6.
What fees do mediators receive?
Professional fees are set by each mediator and are a function of experience, case characteristics, and professional standing. For example, in a multi-million dollar anti-trust case, the mediator might receive from each party, for each day of mediation, $2,000 ±. For a neighborhood dispute at a local Dispute Resolution Center, the mediator would be a volunteer who receives no pay. In a family mediation the mediator might charge $300 to $1200 per party per session. There is no set standard for fees, just as there is no set standard for the fees of a physician, a lawyer, or a consultant.
What is a Dispute Resolution Center?
Texas counties with a certain population may elect to have a Dispute Resolution Center, where citizens can have their disputes mediated for a nominal administrative fee. Mediators at the Centers are volunteers who serve without pay. Some professional mediators with a private practice continue to volunteer their time at the DRC.