Dispute Resolution Careers

Explore options for a career in dispute resolution

The Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution (CNDR) is UC Hastings Law’s home for all things dispute resolution. When looking for a career in the ADR field, it’s important to find places you can meet people, get experience, and start using your skills. Many people start by taking basic mediation trainings, joining committees or groups, or volunteer mediation programs in the local courts or at nonprofits.

See some below for resources related to ADR careers, and please also refer to Hastings’ Career Development Office for more resources.

Types of careers and fields to consider in dispute resolution:

  • Private practice mediator/arbitrator/neutral
  • ADR case manager/administrator/program director (private, nonprofit, state and federal courts)
  • Omsbudsperson (organizational/workplace)
  • Facilitator (meetings)
  • Conflict coach
  • Negotiator
  • Conflict resolution trainer
  • Special Master
  • Judge/commissioner
  • Academics (Professor or educational staff at a university with and ADR program)
  • Human resources
  • Family law
  • Labor management/unions
  • Community or nonprofits
  • International or diplomacy

 

How Do I Start Getting Involved?

We created a sampling of the many local organizations and groups that specialize in dispute resolution, places where you can start volunteering or get connected with other ADR professionals.

From nonprofit community mediation programs to the courts and private practitioners, the San Francisco Bay Area in particular has a strong ADR community with many opportunities to learn and get involved in dispute resolution.

How Do I Start Getting Involved?

We created a sampling of the many local organizations and groups that specialize in dispute resolution, places where you can start volunteering or get connected with other ADR professionals.

From nonprofit community mediation programs to the courts and private practitioners, the San Francisco Bay Area in particular has a strong ADR community with many opportunities to learn and get involved in dispute resolution.

Where Do I Apply?

CNDR has collected some job listings sites for the ADR field. Tip for job searching: ADR can take many forms, so be sure to get creative and search many different job posting keywords such as “mediation,” “ADR,” “alternative dispute resolution,” “conflict resolution,” “negotiation,” “omsbuds,” “arbitration,” and “facilitation.”

We also encourage you to think outside the box and consider any place where there are interpersonal interactions, or systems/cultures where conflict may occur. People who are go-betweens or work with the general public are using ADR skills in their careers daily. Also consider local nonprofits or government agencies from the resource list above, or higher education – like CNDR and UC Hastings.

Where Do I Apply?

CNDR has collected some job listings sites for the ADR field. Tip for job searching: ADR can take many forms, so be sure to get creative and search many different job posting keywords such as “mediation,” “ADR,” “alternative dispute resolution,” “conflict resolution,” “negotiation,” “omsbuds,” “arbitration,” and “facilitation.”

We also encourage you to think outside the box and consider any place where there are interpersonal interactions, or systems/cultures where conflict may occur. People who are go-betweens or work with the general public are using ADR skills in their careers daily. Also consider local nonprofits or government agencies from the resource list above, or higher education – like CNDR and UC Hastings.

Bridge Fellowship Program

The UC Hastings Bridge Program provides competitive fellowships for graduates planning on starting their careers in the government and non-profit sectors. Graduates first secure a placement and then submit an application for up to 12 consecutive months of funding.

The Bridge Committee, comprised of members of the faculty and Career Development Office, reviews the application pool and awards are made based upon available funding, likelihood of placement leading to long-term employment, and strength of application and interviews. Questions to Bridge@uchastings.edu.

Bridge Brochure

Career Development Office

Learn More About Dispute Resolution Careers

Want to know more? Hear from some professionals in the field!

Professor Dodson Interviews Professional Mediators



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Mediators

Professor Scott Dodson, Director of the UC Hastings Center for Litigation and Courts,  interviews two mediators about their careers in dispute resolution. Howard Herman is a Hastings Adjunct Professor, JAMS mediator and arbitrator, and former ADR Program Director of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. The Hon. Richard Flyer (ret.) is a mediator with ADR Services, and served as a civil judge for 20 years.

ADR as 1st Career Video Blog



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Introduction to ADR as 1st Career video blog

A blog celebrating stories of individuals who started out their professional careers in the ADR field. Hear about the paths they followed, the advice they received, the challenges they faced, and the accomplishments they achieved. (From Co-Director and Clinical Professor of Law, Alyson Carrel, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Center on Negotiation and Mediation.)

"How I Made It" Series



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SCMA's "How I Made It" Webinar Series, Interview Debra Vey Voda- Hamilton

The Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA)’s “How I Made It” is an informative and entertaining webinar series that features discussions with a wide range of mediation professionals who have established successful and profitable dispute resolution based practices. The series is intended to provide viewers with accessible and actionable tips to help them grow and enhance their practice and join the ranks of those who “Have Made It”!

Where Else Should I Look?

Explore and apply to dispute resolution organizations and jobs directly. There are many more opportunities and employers out there, this is just a sampling, so do not stop here!

Where Else Should I Look?

Explore and apply to dispute resolution organizations and jobs directly. There are many more opportunities and employers out there, this is just a sampling, so do not stop here!