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Talking about transition matters (£)

Date:9 SEP 2015
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Tony Whatling, Mediator, Consultant and Trainer

To what extent are trainee and novice lawyer mediators exploring the complex transitional process involved in moving from legal practice to that of mediation - and should it matter?

This article raises issues about the extent to which trainee and novice mediators are aware of, and being helped to articulate the experience of, making the transition from practicing as a lawyer to that of a mediator.

The importance of this transitional journey cannot be overstated and yet, surprisingly, it is rarely ever discussed, neither have any references to it been found in mainstream mediation literature.

Drawing on over 30 years experience as a trainer and practice consultant the author identifies potential ‘blockers’ to exploring with trainers, colleagues and practice consultants, what can often be a discomforting and challenging experience.

He provides examples of some of the key differences between legal and mediation practice skills and techniques, that trainees need to develop, together with some significant philosophical differences in role responsibility that underpin the two different fields of practice.

These differences also include the extent to which conflict and emotion in mediation is regarded, not only as natural, but also as a potentially creative source of energy in the process of ending spousal relationships constructively.

The full version of this article appears in the September 2015 issue of Family Law.

Online subscribers can access the full version of the article here.

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