Reposted from www.FairlyLegal.wordpress.com.  Click there for full blog and additional posts.

First--if you're a mediator--you know that most people think the mediation profession is a misspelled form of meditation.  Simply put: the average TV watcher is just not that familiar with what mediation is.

Most common response when I tell people I'm a mediator (after their eyes have glazed over): "So, you like do community service for the courts?"

Unfortunately, that's not far from the truth.  Except for the roughly 2% that make a living as a mediator, everyone else has a day job which is occasionally supplemented by a mediation.  Or the desire to bring peace to the world is satisfied by mediating a few days a month at a local community mediation center, while the desire to pay the mortgage is satisfied by working in HR at some local company.

Bottom line: people don't know what mediation is and so they don't know what great benefits they could get by hiring a mediator. So mediators are in effect doing community service for the courts, instead of using their incredible talents as their full-time job.

Second, Sarah Shahi is hot.  I mean, seriously, she was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.  She is going to do a much better job attracting interest to the field than I ever could.  Mediation is still a misunderstood field where most people think mediators chant during the meetings and wear tie-dye.  And don't get me wrong--I do love tie-dye.  But I also like that USA is bringing an element of professionalism, intelligence, and a little je ne sais quoi to the field of mediation.

The main thing to remember is: a show like Fairly Legal brings the word "mediation" up in conversation. It brings the word "mediation" up in Google searches.  And when the next argument gets out of hand, I pray that it brings the word "hire" up to a local mediator.

 

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Comment by Bryan Hanson on January 24, 2011 at 3:20pm
Thanks for posting this recap. This show has definitely provided some good opportunities for discussion over the past week. After reading the entirety of your blogpost, I feel very much the same. I felt the first episode did a good job highlighting some fundamental beliefs from our field. However, the actual processes that were illustrated were not exactly realistic, or matched well with how I would describe best practices for mediation. Overall, I think it should be a good show and it will hopefully make mediation more known across society.

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