How to Become a Licensed Arbitrator

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Arbitrators are dispute resolution specialists hired to settle a conflict between two parties. Professional arbitrators, sometimes referred to as mediators, represent an impartial view of a conflict. They are neutral persons, trained in dispute resolution techniques, used to settle conflict issues out of court. Arbitrators review both party's cases and submit a final, nonbinding decision that can be overturned should either party object and wish to pursue a legal trial. The process of becoming a licensed arbitrator is a challenging one and will vary from state to state, as most state governments have their own licensing qualifications.

Consider attending law school. Many arbitrators are lawyers specially trained in dispute resolution. The extensive legal training received in law school will aid tremendously in delivering legally sound arbitration rulings. The ability to dissect testimonies and evidence, as well as a firm understanding of legal jargon and the legal process are advantages that a law school education will provide for aspiring arbitrators.

Contact your state government to inquire about licensing requirements for arbitrators. Each state governing body has its own set of rules regarding licensing for arbitrators and conflict resolution specialists. Some states may require a law degree for arbitrators while others only require state certification and training. Knowing these requirements in detail will help you plan your path to licensure.

Pursue the required training. Once you have contacted your state government and know the licensing requirements for your area, you can pursue the proper course of training. Generally, arbitrators hold at least a bachelor's degree; many continue their education with an advanced degree in conflict management or dispute resolution. In addition to formal education requirements, complete any special training programs that may be required in your state for actual licensing and certification.

Become knowledgeable about the field of conflict resolution. The American Arbitration Association (adr.org) is an excellent resource for current events, training and expertise in the conflict resolution field. In addition, once you have gained licensure in your state, the AAA will serve as a valuable outlet for employment and networking opportunities in the field.