Since the closure of the Los Angeles Superior Court ADR Program, a challenge has arisen for mediators: how to connect with those in need of dispute resolution services? The Los Angeles Superior Court ADR Program served as a way for mediators to connect with potential clients and build their mediation practices. Once the ADR Program closed and the court did away with the requirement that all litigants must attempt mediation, it became increasingly difficult for many conflict resolution professionals to secure steady work.
There is little doubt that the peaceful resolution of conflicts, specifically mediation, is important and necessary work. The high volume of cases handled by the LASC ADR Program indicates the need for mediation services, but with the Program now closed there is a disconnect between those who need the service and those who provide it.
Mediation Awareness Week is an opportunity for mediators and providers to work together to educate the public and the bar about the many quality mediation services available in Southern California. As a hub of the Southern California mediation community, the SCMA, along with various ADR organizations, associations, non-profits, private panels, and educational institutions, is celebrating Mediation Awareness Week by hosting a variety of events – which are listed on our Mediation Awareness Week Calendar.
Our goal during Mediation Awareness Week is to to remind our community leaders, business leaders, the legal community, and the public at large of the important work that peacemakers do. That way, when a conflict does arise, parties know that they can take advantage of the range of exceptional mediation services available in Southern California.
If you are interested in becoming involved in the SCMA and working with us to raise the profile of mediation in Southern California, I encourage you to join an SCMA committee and help us in our efforts to connect those who are in need of mediation services with quality providers.
Robyn Weinstein is President of the Southern California Mediation Association and a fellow and adjunct professor for the Kukin Program for Conflict Resolution at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.