Mediation Career Guide: A Strategic Approach to Building a Successful Practice / Edition 1

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In this definitive guide, Forrest Mosten—an internationally recognized mediation expert—helps would-be mediators answer the critical question "Do I have the values, skills, personality, and commitment necessary to mediate?"
A comprehensive resource, the book also explores a wealth of timely topics including the need to establish standards of the profession, how to maintain confidentiality, the pros and cons of co-mediation, and the place of mediation in the process of court and law reform. Straightforward and reader-friendly, the Mediation Career Guide is filled with practice tips, self-surveys, diagrams, reading resources, a list of training programs and volunteer opportunities, budget forms, and model standards of conduct. This hands-on resource is designed to make the challenging journey of becoming a peacemaker a one-step-at-a-time manageable process.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This volume anticipates and answers all the practical questions about becoming a mediator and provides a map for those interested in successfully traveling the mediation path." (Jay Folberg, professor of law and mediator, University of San Francisco and past president, Academy of Family Mediators and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts)

"For all aspiring mediators who have asked the question "How do I make mediation my career?" this book is for you.'"(Bernard Mayer, partner, CDR Associates, Boulder, Colorado, and author of The Dynamics of Conflict Resolution )

"A complete (how is it that he misses nothing?) and practical guide filled with brilliant ideas, useful tools, 'just go do it' insights, and invaluable advice for all."(Daniel Bowling, executive director, Association for Conflict Resolution)

Recommended Book of the Month (November): Mediation Career Guide by Forrest S. Mosten. If you have ever considered trying to make mediation your day job, this is the book to buy and read. It will help you decide if you have the skills, personality and commitment necessary to become a full-time mediator. It starts by pointing out the time and difficulty three famouse mediators had in establishing their careers (Mosten, Meirding and Melamed) and then gives further examples. It has self assesment materials (usefull ones, not fluff) and contains a solid, direct and applied set of tools for marketing your practice, considering your options, and developing yourself as a mediator. NOT merely a collection of handouts, previous materials or musings, well edited and complete. (Stephen R. Marsh, a mediator in Dallas, Texas. ADR Resources)

"This book applies useful advice about operating a professional services business to the special needs of mediators and is thus a valuable resource to both new and seasoned practitioners. (Virginia Mediation Network News, 1/02)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787957032
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 1,228,478
  • Product dimensions: 8.05 (w) x 9.39 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Forrest "Woody" Mosten is an attorney, mediator, author, and educator who provides training, services,and resources to mediators in hundreds of workshops and seminars across the country through his national network of Mosten Mediation Centers and Mosten Mediation Training courses. He is also an original partner in the groundbreaking firm of Jacoby and Meyers. Woody Mosten has been honored for his work as a leading trainer and practitioner in the field of conflict resolution by the American Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, and the Beverly Hills Bar Association. He is the author of The Complete Guide to Mediation (ABA , 1997), and Operating a Profitable Mediation Practice (self-published, 1998). His pioneering work in mediation has also been covered in publications worldwide. He can be reached at

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Read an Excerpt


I am a mediator. My background is as a lawyer. Over twenty years ago, I wanted to make peacemaking my day job. At that time, mediation was in its infancy and was often confused with meditation. It was an uphill climb to build my mediation practice. This book is my effort to help you avoid many of the costly mistakes I made along the way.

Everything in this book is self-taught from a mediator's perspective. Although modern mediation is still rather young, it has developed a flourishing literature contributed by pioneers who have both heavyweight academic credentials and the courage to forge a new profession. The names Jay Folberg, Frank Sander, Bill Ury, John Haynes, Christopher Moore, Michael Lang, Bernie Mayer, John Wade, and many others will long be remembered for the foundation that they have laid for generations of future conflict resolution professionals.

This book is built on their shoulders. I have taken their legacy and used mediation values and strategies to help others build satisfying conflict resolution careers and profitable practices. Bringing talented peacemakers into the field and having them make a living from their mediation craft are important for two reasons.

First, I cannot think of a more noble and worthwhile profession than being a mediator. If talented and committed people want to do this work, I want to help them live out their dreams. Second, and equally important, millions of people suffer from unresolved conflict and are underserved by the mediation profession. I want mediation to be the first stop on the conflict resolution highway and would like enough trained and experienced mediators available to meet this need.

The initial mediation pioneers were special in their willingness and ability to make such major contributions without adequate financial rewards. However, if the profession is going to expand to meet the needs of citizens in conflict, mediators must be able to earn a living.

As mediators, our skill and ultimate value is determined by how effective we are at the mediation table. Yet if we cannot pay our rent, few of us could afford to keep our round tables open for business. This book integrates mediation skills with practice building to provide a strategic approach that I hope will contribute to turning a growing pool of peacemakers into mediators who not only love the work but can make mediation their successful day job.


Visit any meeting or conference of mediators, and you will hear robust dialogue peppered with laughter and play. This book is a product of the generosity and collaboration of my friends and colleagues developed over twenty years in the field.

I owe a debt of gratitude to my talented colleagues of the vibrant organizations in the field: Academy of Family Mediators, Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution (now merged into the Association for Conflict Resolution), Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, American Bar Association, Beverly Hills Bar, Los Angeles County Bar, and the Southern California Mediation Association. The programs, committee meetings, and outreach projects provide a structure and emotional support for all of our work. My particular appreciation goes to Dan Bowling, Ann Milne, Peter Salem, Susan Bulfinch, Jeff Krivis, Jack Hanna, Neal Blacker, and Jeff Kichaven.

Outside formal organizations, mediators have shared their thinking and materials with me and others in the field. My colleagues at Mosten Mediation Centers-- in particular, Sharon Kianfar and James Macpherson-- daily test out and refine many of my theories of practice development. For nine years, my mediation study group met once a month in my living room, and my appreciation extends to Angus Strachan, Pam White, David Waller, Frank Garfield, Fred Glassman, and other lawyer-mediator colleagues. I extend special gratitude to my close friend John Wade of Australia for our talks and walks on both sides of the Pacific and to Mary Lund, my co-trainer, co-mediator, and close friend who has imprinted her style and approach in my work.

Much of my interest in mediation career development comes from my days in the training room working with mediators on all levels. I thank the motivated participants who have journeyed to Los Angeles to improve their craft and share their career aspirations. Their training was enhanced by my co-trainers, coaches, and course administrators in both Los Angeles and elsewhere. I am particularly grateful to Judge Dorothy Nelson of the Western Justice Center and Professor Andrew Schepard of Hofstra University for their support in making my dream a reality in the seminar and publication of Training Mediators for the 21st Century.

Over the past twenty years, I have been indebted to Steve Sorell for modeling how profitability can contribute to peacemaking. Steve's thinking is present throughout this book, but Chapter Eleven truly bears his blueprint.

The appendixes are largely a collection of information that has been provided by the generosity of Adele Boskey and Robert Collins of the Alternative Newsletter, (www. medate. com/ tan), Heidi Burgess of CRINFO. com, and Jim Melamed and John Heile of mediate. com. The unselfish cooperation of all these mediators has saved me hundreds of hours and provided needed resources for this book.

I am also very appreciative of the entire family at Jossey-Bass for producing a book that enhances the content inside. Jossey-Bass was my publishing house of choice, and I am proud to be part of a book catalogue that features many of my conflict resolution heroes and friends. My special thanks go to Alan Rinzler, who is single-handedly assembling a world-recognized body of conflict resolution scholarship, and to Amy Scott for her careful editing and wise suggestions that improved the book. Editing a book together gives colleagues an opportunity to share differing perspectives, and I am particularly proud of the way we blended our views.

Finally, I must give tribute to the legacy and influence of my friend and mentor Louis M. Brown (1909Ð 1996), whose photograph hangs in my training room, whose name is engraved in our firm's client library, and whose inspiration touches me every day.

Forrest S. Mosten
Los Angeles

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Table of Contents


PART ONE: Is Mediation Right for You?

1. Can Mediation Be Your Day Job?

2. Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Mediator?

3. Can You Do the Work?

4. Education and Training.

5. Job Opportunities in Mediation.

PART TWO: Building Your Career as a Mediator.

6. Creating Your Mediation Signature.

7. Expanding Your Mediation Services.

8. Defining Your Target Market.

9. Creating a Mediation-Friendly Environment.

PART THREE: The Nuts and Bolts of Private Practice.

10. Setting Up Your Office.

11. Strategic Planning and Investing in Yourself.

12. Managing Your Practice.

13. Marketing Your Practice Effectively.

14. What Do You Do Next Monday?

EPILOGUE: The Evolving Field of Mediation.

APPENDIX 1: Mediator Self-Survey.

APPENDIX 2: Professional Standards and Model Legislation.

APPENDIX 3: Mediation Training and Educational Programs.

APPENDIX 4: Books and Resources.

APPENDIX 5: Mediation Organizations.

APPENDIX 6: Sample Opportunities in Conflict Resolution.

APPENDIX 7: Sample Budget Forms.

APPENDIX 8: Sample Practice Forms.

APPENDIX 9: Mediation Pledge.


About the Author.


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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2002

    Valuable Information for all Mediators

    Whether you are a new or experienced mediator, Mr. Mosten's new book contains a wealth of valuable information. While some of the book deals with the professional decision to pursue a mediation career, most of the book is focused on building a career as a mediator. Mr. Mosten discusses the mediator's development as well as marketing oneself as a mediator. A wonderful reference book for the Alternative Dispute Resolution professional.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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