ADR Training & Certification (Alternative Dispute Resolution)

ADR training

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) allows two parties in conflict to resolve their issues before going into court or filing a lawsuit. By completing ADR training, you can learn how to be a neutral and objective negotiator and mediator to help clients deal with a very stressful period in their lives. In this role, you will help disputing parties save money, time and anxiety and help them come to a mutually beneficial conclusion, one potentially more favorable than one made in a courtroom. Gaining ADR certification can also help you in any field, such as business, healthcare and education, as well as with issues that may arise in your personal life.

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ADR & Dispute Resolution Courses & Curriculum

When you enroll in an alternative dispute resolution training program, you have the opportunity to take both theoretical and practical (experiential) courses. Dispute resolution curriculum exposes you to a variety of potential situations, from counseling clients before going to trial to dealing with civil rights injustices. Some institutions also offer online ADR training programs. Examples of courses include:

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Introduction to ADR/Negotiation and Conflict Resolution: Students are introduced to the three facets of conflict resolution: negotiation, mediation and arbitration. They also learn basic approaches to neutrally resolving conflicts, the psychological barriers that hinder resolution and theories of how conflict arises.

Dispute Resolution Dynamics: Students learn how social class, culture, beliefs and life experiences influence the process of dispute resolution. They also learn effective listening and communication skills, how to try and remain as objective as possible and what constitutes a genuine, rather than a “quick and easy,” resolution.

Mediation: Students have the chance to learn and then practice a variety of mediation techniques and theories. The skills students learn are put into context in a variety of settings, such as areas of healthcare, business, trades, government, family, community and the international arena.

Collaborative Conflict Resolution: In some cases, conflicts cannot be resolved by a single person. In this course, students learn how to organize collaborative teams that work cohesively to resolve a variety of disputes.

Conflict Specialist Roles: Students discover the various roles and career opportunities that stem from ADR training. In addition to mediator, arbitrator and negotiator, other roles include strategist, advocate, organizer and coach.

Legal Alternative Dispute Resolution: Students focus specifically on how to resolve conflicts between two clients seeking to potentially file a lawsuit or about to go to court. Students learn about legal negotiations, research in the area of litigation settlements and how to counsel clients before going to trial.

Internship/Practicum: Most institutes offer either a practical component where students put their professional skills to use in an actual legal, workplace or other setting or a simulated experience where students role play a plethora of possible situations.

Electives: Students also may choose electives that focus in an area of dispute resolution that interests them. These include commercial and labor settings, international business, litigation, international conflict, human rights and healthcare.


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ADR Training FAQs

Do I need to be certified to be an alternative dispute resolution mediator?

Generally, in order to be an alternative dispute resolution mediator in a legal context (a court-ordered mediator) you are required to have ADR certification. Each state has its own rules governing certification and required education/experience. ADR certification will also help advance careers in a number of fields, such as human resources, business and governmental affairs.

What are the requirements to become a mediator?

Again each state has its own guidelines for required education/professional experience to become a mediator. For example, as a family mediator, you may be required to have a Bachelor degree in addition to completing ADR training; as a district court mediator, you may be required to have a law degree and relevant legal practice experience in addition to alternative dispute resolution training.

How long do mediation programs take to complete on average?

Depending on the institution and the state in which you wish to work, ADR/mediation training courses range from 6 to 24 months.

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What is the salary for mediators & dispute resolution professionals on average?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for mediators/dispute resolution professionals is $60,440. The lower 10th percentile receive annual median wages of $32,910; those ADR professionals in the top 90 percentile make an annual median salary of $137,570.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2011,