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Arbitrator is a popular career nowadays. Their job is similar to a judge during a court. In this article, BestLifeTips will guide you to the duties of this job and how to become an arbitrator.
What does an arbitrator do?
An arbitrator is a professional working to increase communication between two sides of a depute. The process of arbitration is a popular form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that is used by many individuals and businesses to resolve disagreements instead of pursuing a lawsuit.
An arbitrator works as the decision-maker and referee in an arbitration process. It is similar to a judge during court litigation. The arbitrator is bound by the rules of the parties’ arbitration agreement or his or her organization’s rules as well.
You can see an arbitrator as a private judge hired by the disputing parties to resolve their dispute. The arbitrator reviews statement and evidence presented by the disputed parties at a hearing and resolves the dispute by putting forward a decision that may include an award of money.
An arbitrator has a lot of duties. They may include:
- Writing a notice of arbitration clarifying what is expected of the parties and specifying all matters of the dispute.
- Explaining and applying the rules and laws applicable to the arbitration.
- Managing the scope of discovery that both parties can undertake.
- Conducting the arbitration hearing where both sides of the dispute may submit testimony, other evidence such as documents, and arguments.
- Making a decision to resolve the dispute based on the testimony, evidence and arguments submitted by both sides.
How long does it take to become an arbitrator?
Individuals that have aspiration to become an arbitrator may need an extensive amount of skills. They develop their skills through education, training, and work experience, which often takes 8 to 11 years.
You can get a degree in arbitration if available. Otherwise, you can get a bachelor’s degree depending on your field of expertise. For example, you may take business administration if you are working in such particular fields.
Arbitrators are usually lawyers, retired judges, or business professionals. They have to learn about the industry they are working for in order to connect to people with different backgrounds and traditions.
They might get their training from independent mediation programs, postsecondary schools, or volunteering at a mediation center.
What education and qualification to become an arbitrator?
There are no legal requirements to become an arbitrator. However, when disputes involve issues of law, having a law degree is the most helpful. If the disputes involve issues of fact, an expert in that particular aspect may be the most suitable arbitrator.
The requirements of arbitrator educationcan vary by position and often focus on real-world experience. Typically, you will need a degree or work experience in law for arbitrators.
Or you need to have experience in a certain field. For example, if you are going to handle labor disputes, you might need a degree in business administration or HR work experience.
You can also take training courses through mediation and arbitration organizations to prepare you for the career.
You will need to have the following skills to become an arbitrator:
- Problem-solving skills
- Self-confidence in decisions
- Commercial awareness and negotiating skills
- Good interpersonal skills
- Good communication skills
- Having knowledge and experience of the relevant sectors or areas of law
- Ability to be impartial, evaluate evidence, and make effective decisions
How to become an arbitrator?
Here are steps to become an arbitrator:
- Check your state’s requirements
There are no national requirements for becoming an arbitrator, and the requirements are different by state. Therefor, the steps to become an arbitration you need to take will depend on the state where you intend to practice.
- Complete the educational prerequisites
Educational requirements to become an arbitrator are different between the states. Basically, you will need a bachelor’s degree. In most states, you’ll need a graduate degree, typically in law or conflict resolution.
In some states, you will need additional certification in ADR to start as an arbitrator. This certification can be gained through a law school or university ADR center.
- Take part in local ADR community centers
Many cities and towns have community mediation centers. These centers are a form of ADR. Taking part in community mediation centers is a good way to introduce yourself to your local ADR colleagues.
Observing an experienced mediator or volunteering to mediate a decision under the supervision of an experienced ADR professional is a good way to gain the experience in the field of ADR.
- Find employment
There are very few firms practicing arbitration. Commonly, some arbitration work for law firms, another group work for governmental agencies, a smaller group work for insurance companies.
Most solo arbitrators are registered with a court that hears cases in the arbitrator’s specialty, typically a state civil court.
If you plan on getting work through court sponsored referrals, check out for any additional requirements they may impose.
- Choose a specialty
A new arbitrator should concentrate on a specific area of practice, such as insurance, labor-management relations, or family law. It is impossible to be an expert in every area of law.
- Find an organization representing your specialty
Most of the arbitration specialty areas have their own professional organizations. They uphold ethics standards, best practices, and offer certification and continuing education. Taking part in a professional organization is a great way to develop and expand your professional network.
- Determine the membership requirements
Some organizations, such as the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN), only allow lawyers to join or be nominated.
Others only allow those who have experience in working as arbitrators for a certain number of years and who have arbitrated a certain number of cases to join.
Other organizations like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have more comfortable entry requirements, but require all members to take a course and a certification test.
- Make sure the organization is useful to you
There are a lot of organizations offering to certify students as mediators or arbitrators. Make sure these organizations are worth joining.
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