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The Satisfying Life of a Mediator

July 19, 2017  | 
The Satisfying Life of a Mediator by Clare Piro

{3:54 minutes to read} I just returned from the annual gathering of the NYS Conference on Divorce Mediation. This is my 12th conference, and I was as excited to go to this one as I was to my first.

While the focus is on education with plenaries and workshops on various aspects of family law and mediation theory, there is undeniably another element that plays a very big part. Whether we do it full time or not, are experienced mediators or just starting out, we all feel that we are doing something that is fulfilling and gives us satisfaction. And we all want to share our knowledge and experiences with our colleagues and support each other in a way that I have never found in other professional organizations.

I think a large part of this has to do with the generous spirit of those who enter this profession, but some credit also has to go to the high level of satisfaction we feel from what we do. Without any empirical evidence, I’m happy to relate my personal observations.

I used to represent clients in contested family law situations, real estate and estate matters. While I enjoyed nearly all of the interactions with clients, there was much that did not lead to a sense of career fulfillment:

  • There were deadlines and time constraints that invariably arose at the worst times in my personal life.
  • Vacations were always stressful before leaving, stressful when checking into the office to see if there were any looming disasters, and stressful in making up for lost time when returning.
  • Even a real estate transaction could become adversarial with brokers or attorneys making arbitrary demands, just because they could.
  • And of course, litigation would bring out the worst in not just the client, but in me as well.

Since I have limited my practice to mediation and representing clients in mediation several years ago, I certainly wouldn’t say that all stress has disappeared or that I always feel that I am leading a charmed life with all clients being undemanding and no matters causing me anxiety. But even in challenging mediations, I am still glad to be doing what I am doing and have the benefit of support from my colleagues.

More importantly though, I am not enmeshed in a situation in which there is an adversary. Even while representing a client in a mediation, that client has chosen to work collaboratively with the other party, and that makes all the difference.

I feel fortunate to be able to do something that I enjoy and at the same time provides a service that benefits so many people. And I appreciate the opportunity to speak with and help new mediators entering the profession.

As more professionals recognize the benefits of being a mediator, I have no doubt that more and more couples will choose to meditate and experience the benefits of handling their conflict through this process.

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

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