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
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
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.
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
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