By Steven G. Mehta
I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.
Thomas A. Edison
I must say that when I used to try cases, I enjoyed doing the cases, but it was work. Mediation, on the other hand, is fun. I enjoy the work. The hours are similar, and in some sense, there is at least as much stress as there is being a trial lawyer. But time flies. Unlike trial, where I lost 20 lbs. I can have the same schedule in mediation and not lose the same weight. I often tell people who want to change to mediation: Don’t worry about the money. If you love what you do, the money will come.
Many people enter mediation because they want to get out of law, or they want to retire, or they think it is glamorous. Those aren’t reasons to change into mediation. The reality is that it is hard to do mediation and make a living. It is hard to get clients. The vast majority of mediators don’t make money. One statistic found that the average mediator made approximately $50,000. That statistic also doesn’t reflect the many thousands of mediators that barely make any money. This is not to discourage people who want to enter the profession. Just to warn them that it is not an easy path; but then again, life isn’t always easy, and good things come to those who work for it.