"Outside of the theory of law school classes, I learned that the practice of law
is not quite the same as portrayed in legal textbooks."
Last week, I was provided with the opportunity to attend the mediation for this case. I had never experienced any form of ADR (other than those I watched from my couch on tv) so I did not know what exactly to expect. This mediation was a great learning experience about how a mediation is conducted and how each lawyer has a unique style.
Below are my top 5 unexpected discoveries from the mediation:
It is time-consuming. We arrived at the location of the mediation at 10 a.m. and did not leave the venue until 4:15 p.m. While the mediation I attended settled in that time frame, some mediations take even longer.
Food! From the minute we arrived at the mediation venue until the very end of the day, food was at the centre of everyone’s mind. Everyone eats throughout the entire day. You have to keep up your energy when advocating for your client!
There can be a lot of free time. A big aspect of mediations is negotiations, with the mediator acting as the intermediary between the parties. While the negotiation aspect of the mediation is taking place, the mediator may separate the parties into different rooms to determine what each party is seeking to gain from the mediation process. While the mediator is with one party, the opposing party/parties are playing the waiting game.
It provides great networking opportunities. Being in a room full of lawyers has its benefits, especially for someone just starting out in the legal profession. At the venue where this mediation took place, there were multiple boardrooms with many different meetings, such as mediations, taking place. With so many lawyers in one location, it makes for a great opportunity to meet and talk with other members of the legal community.
Overall the mediation was a great experience and I look forward to being exposed to many more new opportunities as the summer continues.