From Gladiator To Mediator: The Challenges For Lawyers Who Become Mediators
Lawyers seeking training as mediators face distinct challenges due to their specialised legal training and experience. To make thetransition from counsellor to conciliator, there must be an awareness of the fundamental differences between the mediation process and adjudicative processes, the roles of an advocate and a mediator and the specialised techniques that are used.
The challenge for lawyers is to recognise the difference skill set of a mediator, while simultaneously applying their substantial base of knowledge and experience. Understanding the differences in procedural structure,
formality and the rules of evidence can help lawyers to find a degree of comfort in the flexibility, creativity and freedoms of mediation. Accepting these differences and being prepared to let go of a lawyer’s traditional role can actually broaden a lawyer’s base of skills for resolving disputes in the role of a mediator or in their role as an advocate.