When judges think about transitioning from the bench to another career, they often consider mediation as their next career step. For many judges, mediation appears to be a natural progression in their judicial careers. This article suggests that in order to have a smooth transition from our careers as judges on the bench to mediators upon retirement, judges should consider early in their careers the value and benefits of participating in a rigorous “hands-on,” interactive mediation course to prepare them for that transition. By taking a mediation course early in their careers, judges acquire skills to assist them in their own courts in a number of ways, from addressing administrative conflicts with court staff members to assisting litigants in the courtroom on the purpose and value of mediators to resolve their differences. Hence, by learning mediation skills early, judges will achieve a smooth transition to their future careers as mediators.
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