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Academic Forum – Mediation and Employability

Academic Forum – Mediation and Employability

The May Academic Forum saw a rich discussion take place on a topic central to students with a keen interest in mediation; ‘Mediation and Employability’. The Forum also provided an opportunity to launch the new CMC membership category specifically designed to support academic institutions, their staff and students.


‘Mediation and Employability’ was the topic for last week’s CMC Academic Forum.  Professor Jane Bryan and Senior Careers Adviser Samantha Brown both from The University of Warwick, joined with Terry Renouf, Finance Director at the CMC to give a broad overview of opportunities in the mediation landscape for students in Higher Education.

Professor Jane Bryan outlined the breadth of areas where mediation could be incorporated in to a career including not just civil/commercial, workplace and family mediation but also the opportunities arising from mediation in the community which provided support to so many of our public services. Mediation work relating to international relations and hostage negotiation were also covered and the growth of niche mediation areas were mentioned with Jane referring to pet mediation as one such example.

Bringing a mediation career to life for students was Terry Renouf who spoke of his own pathway from lawyer to mediator.  Reflecting on his career to date Terry commented on the culture shift from litigation to mediation that he had witnessed over the years and how mediation skills gained at an early stage could improve legal skills by helping lawyers become more attuned to what clients really want.

Terry Renouf

So how can Higher Education support students who are interested to explore mediation as a career option?  Samantha Brown looked at the skills required by today’s employers noting that conflict resolution skills were high on the list, making the study of mediation useful for any career.  Samatha also considered practical steps that Institutions could take such as including mediation within their offer to students; whether that was within accredited mediation training, delivery of a mediation teaching module or within clinical legal education.

A rich discussion followed looking at what could be done to support those entering the profession, from 1-2-1 mentoring to access to observation opportunities. The session provided the perfect opportunity to advise that the CMC are launching an observation matching service and delivering a Q&A webinar which will include a discussion on building your mediation business.

The launch of a new membership category for mediation friendly academic institutions was announced and will go live from 1 June.  This new category is for organisations, keeping them informed of the latest developments in mediation and enabling staff and students of member organisations to benefit from significant discounts on mediation events. For more information contact the CMC Secretariat.

Delegates were reminded that nominations were now open for the 2024 National Mediation Awards and encouraged to nominate their mediation hero in one of 18 categories, to include ADR Academic Researcher of the Year. A reminder was also given for the next Academic Forum meeting which will take place on the 26 September 1pm-2pm, on the topic of mediation and student wellbeing. If you are a student in HE, work in the higher education sector or are interested in research, why not join this vibrant group. Contact CMC Programme Manager Victoria Harris for more information.

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