Mediation is a process whereby a neutral third party, the mediator, facilitates discussions and negotiations amongst the participants with a view to reaching a settlement. Mediation has proven to be an effective method of resolving disputes without the need to go to court. The Mediation Project was initially formed to provide qualified legal support to the Legal Clinic under Pro Bono by training students to become Accredited Mediators.
The training is provided by faculty at 218 Stand as part of the mediation charity ‘The Society of Mediators’ Outreach Project.’ Leading members of this society are Jonathan Dingle and Zoey White. They are recognised by the Law Society Panel and the Bar Council, as well as numerous other bodies.
The training programme provides approximately 40 hours of contact time, including independent assessments and examination. Last February, 24 students undertook a mediation training and are now qualified Civil & Commercial Mediators, in addition to 12 students the year before. They account that it was a unique and exciting way of developing a new skill and enhancing their commercial awareness. The unique structure of the training develops strong communication and persuasive skills. Training costs are highly subsidised by the Law School and the Society of Mediators.
The Mediation Project offers an excellent opportunity to gain mediation skills to work on pro bono cases. The training provides students with the opportunity to develop a number of valuable transferable skills for future employers (legal or otherwise), including transforming the way they and others communicate verbally and non-verbally, and learning how to settle disputes and conflicts effectively.
Read the below review by a fellow student who had secured a free place on a Mediation Training week with 218 Strand in September 2017 as part of the Mediation Project. Having attended the course, the student then became a Mediation Officer.
Xin Jamie Wang, Second Year in History and International Relations BA
I spent an amazing week with Jonathan, Christie, Tom and the rest of the Society of Mediation at 218 Strand. I was honestly highly surprised from what this course offered me and for how friendly the class environment was. Not only did I get to learn skills that will be useful for my personal and professional development, but I also got to meet great and inspiring people which I had an amazing time with. Indeed, when I applied to the scholarship through the Pro Bono Society, I had no clue about what mediation was and I thought it was mostly directed to law students. Instead, mediation is a practice open to people that come from every kind of background, whether you are a student, a lawyer or even a dentist. Mediation is the practice of finding peaceful resolutions that can satisfy all the participants involved in the case. This course, while it was intense and challenging was completely worth the efforts as it has allowed me to become an accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator. During the course, I have built up my confidence and I have improved many skills, among which problem-solving and communication skills, that will be useful for every career path I want to pursue in the future. In addition, the course has actually confirmed my decision, as a non-law student, to pursue a legal career, thanks to the lawyers that I had the opportunity to work with during the course: this course has also given me the chance of networking with qualified and experienced people. Therefore, I would highly recommend this course: it will be challenging, but you will have so much fun and you will learn so much from it.
The Mediation Project is kindly sponsored by Pinsent Masons LLP.