Frequently Asked Questions

The Wisconsin Association of Mediators (WAM) is a non-profit association of professional mediators, volunteer mediators, and individuals interested in the field of mediation.  Our roots go back to 1983 when a small group of divorce mediators formed an organization to promote their professional interests.  Since that time, WAM has grown to nearly 300 members, including members from a number of states, several foreign countries, and nearly every area of mediation practice.

If you are thinking about becoming a mediator, WAM membership provides an opportunity to network with experienced mediators and participate in training and professional development activities to learn more about the field of mediation.

If you are a practicing mediator, membership in WAM assures that you will beinformed and have a say about the latest developments in the field, includingcredentialing and pending legislative actions.  WAM members in several communities have established an informal network to provide mentoring,supervision and case consultation opportunities.

WAM membership tells prospective clients that you are associated with aprofessional organization that provides you with important resources to aid you inthe practice of mediation including:

  • Ethical Standards for the Practice of Mediation
  • Model for Basic Mediator Training
  • Self-Assessment Tool for Mediators
  • Guide to Selecting a Mediator

WAM members derive substantial benefits from being a part of a vital and dynamic organization whose members are dedicated to the development of dispute resolution skills and the growth of the mediation profession.  At its conferences, meetings, and through its newsletter, WAM provides an importantnetworking opportunity for members to share ideas, information and challenges within and across different mediation interest areas.

Members receive the quarterly WAM Newsletter with feature articles focusing onkey issues facing mediators, tips to enhance your mediation practice, and upcoming training opportunities. WAM members also receive the Mediation Journal featuring scholarly essays on vital mediation topics.

Each fall, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin – Madison, WAMhosts the midwest’s premier mediation conference. The Emerging Issues in Mediation Conference includes institutes and workshops facilitated by nationally recognized practitioners that are designed to explore pertinent issues and to enhance mediation skills and practice. Members receive a substantial discount inconference registration fees.Each spring, WAM members have the opportunity to attend the annualmembership meeting held at varying locations throughout the state. Included in the annual meeting is a half day of training devoted to enhancing specific mediation skills or areas of practice. The only fee for members to attend theannual meeting is the cost of lunch.

It’s very easy. Simply fill out a membership form and send with your dues to the WAM office at

Wisconsin Association of Mediators
P.O. Box 44578,
Madison, WI 53744-4578.  
 
Or you can join online (link coming).

Individual dues for a calendar year are $75; full-time student is $30. Institutional dues are $195. Institutional membership allows three (3) mediators with the same organization located at the same address to be members.

Members receive reduced rates for WAM conferences and free attendance at the annual meeting/training day; a subscription to the quarterly Newsletter, a subscription to the Annual WAM Journal, one free copy of the Nationally recognized Self Assessment Tool, and copies of the WAM publications “Ethical Guidelines for the Practice of Mediation,” “Model for Basic Mediator Training” and “Guide to Selecting a Mediator.”

In addition to all of these benefits WAM members also are able to network with other mediators and are listed on the WAM website which is used for referrals to mediators.

Currently the field is open to anyone who wishes to become a mediator. Mediators who wish to receive referrals from the court to mediate child custody and access disputes are required to have completed 25 hours of mediation training that includes three hours of domestic abuse training.  Many courts and agencies that hire mediators require 40 hours of training. Some agencies also require abackground or professional degree in areas such as the mental health sciences or law.

Many community mediation services will provide the requisite training to their volunteer mediators, as well as the opportunity to observe mediations and comediate with experienced mediators.

WAM recommends in its Model for Basic Mediator Training that “the minimum training should be not less than 40 hours...and that there be an additional 15 hours of practicum” (see Model for Basic Mediator Training for specifics).

There are no specific training or degree requirements by law other than the 25 hours of mediation training required to mediate child custody and access disputes. The requirements of those who hire mediators vary.  Many courts and agencies that hire mediators require 40 hours of training. Some agencies also require a background or professional degree in the mental health sciences or law.  Training and professional background requirements by those hiring a mediator may also depend somewhat on the type of case being mediated such as equal employment opportunity, special education, environmental, civil, malpractice, etc. 

The practice of mediation is not licensed in Wisconsin. Several states, including Wisconsin, are looking into the issue of licensure and credentialing.

Training is available from many sources, including universities, mediation programs and private enterprises, both in Wisconsin and in other areas.

The University of Wisconsin Continuing Education Department sponsors a 40 hour divorce mediation training program.  The University of Wisconsin and Marquette University offer academic certficate programs as well as a variety of programs on mediation techniques, negotiation skills, mediation and domestic abuse issues and advanced applications.

Many agencies that utilize volunteers to provide mediation services will provide the requisite training to their volunteer mediators.

Other training is offered periodically by WAM members or sponsoring agencies throughout the state. Training opportunities are advertised in the WAM newsletter and on the WAM Website.

Malpractice insurance is available through Complete Equity Insurance to members of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and/or the Association for Conflict Resolution.  Application information can be obtained bycontacting Complete Equity Insurance, 1098 South Milwaukee Avenue, Wheeling, Illinois 60090 (800) 323-6234.

The WAM membership is available through a search engine here on our website. You can locate a specific mediator by entering their name. You can locate mediators in a specific geographic location by entering in either the city or zip code. You can locate mediators across the state in a particular area of practice by entering in the type of mediation

No, we refer clients to the website to locate a mediator.

There is no standard fee for mediation and fees vary greatly among private practitioners, community mediation centers, and government agencies. Hourly fees generally range from $50 - $300 per hour.  Some mediation rosters pay by the case which generally range from $300 - $1,000 per case.

Please check the website at www.wamediators.org for all upcoming WAM events.  The information for the WAM Annual Meeting and the Emerging Issues Conference is listed under their respective titles on the website.

WAM is governed by a board of directors elected by the membership at the annual meeting.  If you are interested in learning more about serving on the board of directors, please contact any board member.  Contact information can be found on the website at www.wamediators.org under WAM Structure.

There are four standing committees that would welcome your participation: Conference, Legislative, Membership and Public Education.  The chairpersons ofeach committee and their contact information are listed on the website under WAM Structure.

Members are encouraged to make submissions to the newsletter.  The newsletter editor is also listed on the website under WAM Structure.

There are also many opportunities to volunteer at the Emerging Issues conference including presenting a workshop to students in grades 4-12 at the Peer Mediation Institute.  Please check out Volunteer Opportunities on the website.

Mediators get clients in a variety of ways, the same as other professionals – through advertising, word of mouth, professional networking and presentations to organizations.  Some mediators contract with government and private agencies that provide roster mediators to clients.   Some mediators are employees of agencies that provide mediation services.

Many organizations that utilize volunteer mediators provide a practicum experience that includes observing actual mediations and/or co-mediating with an experienced mediator.  Academic programs may also include a practicum experience.  There is no formal mentoring program in WAM, although individual mediators may choose to provide mentoring services on a case-by-case basis.

Many organizations that utilize volunteer mediators provide supervision for their volunteers as do academic programs that include a practicum.   There is no formal supervision program offered nor is supervision required by state law.

Some nonprofit organizations that provide mediation services will accept interns. There are many volunteer opportunities with these organizations.  Please see the Volunteer Opportunities section of our site.

Most job opportunities are not listed under “Mediator Wanted” in the Help Wanted ads.  Some counties employ mediators in Family Court.  Nonprofit organizations that provide mediation services employ directors and other staff. Some mediators teach at universities while others are employed as other neutrals such as ombudsman.  WAM does not currently list job openings.

There is no “certification” at this time in Wisconsin.  There are certificate programs available at universities and many training programs will provide a certificate of completion.

There is no “certification” at this time in Wisconsin.  You may use that information in describing your credentials.

Continuing education credits and continuing legal education credits are available for these WAM events.