If you’d like to become a professional mediator, there’s one credential in Minnesota that’s recognized by the courts. It’s the Rule 114 Roster. It’s also known as the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Roster of Qualified Neutrals. For mediators, there is a family roster and a civil roster. The distinction between family and civil arises because Minnesota courts tend to distinguish between family cases (mostly divorce and parenting) and civil cases (lawsuits about nearly everything else, but not criminal cases). Being listed on the family roster suggests that you’re prepared to mediate cases involving divorce, parenting, or post-divorce issues. In order to qualify for that roster, you need to take a course that the Minnesota Supreme Court has certified for that purpose. That course includes at least 40 hours of instruction and at least 6 hours of instruction on Domestic Violence Issues. Simon Mediation offers “Certified Divorce and Family Mediation Training”, including a course coming up this June, in Saint Paul.
Simon Mediation also offers a “Certified Civil Mediation Training”, which qualifies you for the civil roster. These courses must include at least 30 hours of instruction, including a large proportion of role play exercises. The next opportunity to take this course is July 2018 in Saint Paul.
Simon Mediation’s courses are very highly rated for a few reasons. First, unlike courses available elsewhere, Simon Mediation’s Family and Civil Courses focus on the transformative approach to mediation. The transformative approach is the one that is most likely to lead to lasting resolution of disputes, because it focuses on whatever the parties to the dispute find most important. Other approaches seek to guide parties to cover the issues that the mediator believes are most important. Transformative mediation is based on the understanding that conflict is most effectively addressed when the parties are supported in addressing it on their own terms.
Second, Simon Mediation puts great effort into making the course not only meaningful, but also fun. Participants have opportunity to share their perspectives with each other and to play the roles of disputants and mediators. Past participants have said things such as “Dan is a natural teacher” and “the time spent in class absolutely flew by”.
Anyone can take Simon Mediation’s mediation trainings. Lawyers receive 40 or 30 CLE’s for the course. And other professions, such as therapists, also receive continuing education credits. But people from other professions or no profession at all also find the course very enlightening and inspiring. Lawyers are often the participants who find the courses most challenging, because it asks them to let go of a deeply-held paradigm. So others, regardless of education or experience, should feel very comfortable taking the course – and you’re needed, to help the lawyers keep up.