Bryan Hanson- It is time once again to prepare for the 15th annual conference on Online Dispute Resolution, Cyberweek 2012. This online conference provides a week of activities and dialogue about the world of Online Dispute Resolution and how it relates to our work as conflict specialists. Cyberweek 2012 will take place Monday, October 29th through Friday, November 2nd.

We are currently in the process of identifying potential activities for the conference. Are you working on an interesting area in ODR, which you’d like to give a live webinar on? Are you interesting in facilitating a discussion forum on a topic of expertise? Do you have other ideas for activities (simulations, competitions, or anything else?)

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No 'Golden Bridge', $200 MILLION Wasted

Jeff Thompson- In William Ury’s popular book Getting Past No, there is an important section titled “Building  A Golden Bridge” for the other negotiating party.  In essence, having an offer available that the other side will love to agree with.  There are four key elements to creating this win-win situation that I detailed in a previous blog post.

...U.S. auditors have concluded that more than $200 million was wasted on a program to train Iraqi police that Baghdad says is neither needed nor wanted.

..."A major lesson learned from Iraq is that host country buy-in to proposed programs is essential to the long-term success of relief and reconstruction activities. The PDP experience powerfully underscores that point," auditors wrote in a 41-page summary of their inspection. An advance copy was provided to The Associated Press.

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What are the job prospects in ADR?

Andre Jackson- Last week there was a report on NPR about the job prospects for recent law school graduates. It said that “at some schools, less than a third of their graduating class were obtaining long-term, full-time legal jobs” and that “since 2009, the median starting salary in private practice has fallen 35 percent” (1).

That report focused on lawyers, but what about “alternative” dispute resolution experts? In a recent interview Vivian Scott said the following when she was asked what she would advise someone who pursued a career in ADR:  “Don’t quit your day job… it can be very, very difficult getting business” (2). When I contacted various mediators and mediation centers in my area they all reported business was very slow.

So what is the state of the ADR job market? Is it very good as reports like “Mediator Ranks Among Best Careers for 2009” (3) would you believe when they state that “a career as a mediator offers a strong job outlook and high job satisfaction”? 

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Q&A with Vivian Scott

Vivian Scott is a mediator based out of Washington. She has conducted hundreds of mediations and is experienced in a variety of conflict areas including workplace negotiations, family law, real estate issues and others. Vivian also does conflict coaching. She has received several mediation awards and is the author of Conflict Resolution at Work For Dummies and a contributing author of Thriving in the Workplace For Dummies.

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Online Mediation Simulations With Skype – Now FREE to Try

Sponsored by ACR Hawaii, our project Virtual Mediation Lab has shown how mediators around the world can practice and improve their mediation skill by participating with other mediators in online mediation simulations with Skype 

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