Advancing the Use of ADR Statewide
Being a mediator is stimulating and rewarding. Mediation allows for a deeper understanding of people and their needs. Mediators enjoy helping people resolve their disputes and improve their relationships for the future. However, developing a mediation practice requires a major time-commitment and is not a reliable source of full-time income in Maryland at this time. To avoid disappointment, we advise people that they are more likely to be satisfied if they are motivated by an interest in the process, rather than in the hope of achieving a livelihood through mediation. The best way to begin is to take a forty-hour basic mediation course. Mediation courses are offered on a regular basis by private trainers and institutions around the State. It may also be possible to take mediation training from a community mediation center and continue as a volunteer mediator in that program. After the forty-hour basic mediation course, there are additional mediation training courses you may choose, such as a course in custody/visitation mediation or marital property mediation. Some trainers also offer workshops on such topics as dealing with impasse in mediation, advanced mediation, and other mediator techniques.
Currently, there is no required certification to practice as a private mediator in Maryland. To mediate cases from the circuit courts, however, one must meet the requirements described in Title 17 of the Maryland Rules of Procedure. The Rules and the Maryland Standards of Conduct may be found, along with appropriate applications on our website. Placement on the lists does not ensure that any cases will necessarily be referred to you.
To mediate for one of the state's 17 community mediation centers, one must go through that particular community mediation program's training. A list of community mediation centers may be obtained by calling Community Mediation Maryland (CMM) at 410-553-0206 or accessing their website at marylandmediation.org.
Becoming a skilled mediator requires more than training; it requires experience and feedback. After you have taken training, the next best step is observation and co-mediation with experienced mediators. Some private mediators charge for this service and some provide it without charge, while the community mediation centers include co-mediation and mentoring as part of their program.
Mediation is both an art and a science. The process is deceptively simple and straightforward. However, good mediators are highly trained, experienced and skilled. We advise interested people to have patience and to take a long-term view of developing their mediation practice.