Work as an Arbitrator
If you’ve ever been to court, you know that it’s a costly, time-consuming process that ideally you’d like to avoid. Arbitrators help people avoid the headaches of a trial by helping them find mutually agreeable resolutions without stepping foot in a courtroom.
An arbitrator is an impartial legal professional who works to settle legal disagreements between opposing parties. They specialize in alternative dispute resolution. The goal of arbitration is to help both parties come to a mutually acceptable agreement over their dispute while saving them time and money. If they cannot agree on a resolution, the arbitrator makes a legally binding decision on the matter.
Arbitration is a fantastic alternative to court because it is faster, cheaper, less formal, and a more streamlined process. Arbitrators only work certain types of cases. Those include civil cases, contract negotiations, commercial disputes, labor disagreements, or family issues. They do not work with criminal cases or high value cases.
Arbitrators have a powerful job. They act as judge and jury during arbitration. For arbitration, the disputed parties get to choose the arbitrator or the court will appoint one. Once arbitration begins, the parties are legally bound to the arbitrator’s decisions. It’s a fair process that gets quick results.
During the arbitration process, the arbitrator handles evidence, questions parties, speaks to witnesses, listens to testimonies, defines deadlines, deals with delays, and applies laws, rules, and regulations to the situation. It’s their job to assess the dispute, make decisions, and determine a fair resolution. Ultimately, the arbitrator decides who wins and loses.
The arbitrator is under oath and legally bound to the laws of the state where he is working during arbitration. While working, they must be impartial and have no conflicts of interest. They can only speak to one party if the other party is present. The entire process is confidential.
To become an arbitrator you need to have a Bachelor’s degree in history, social work, or psychology. Many earn a certification or seek training in conflict resolution and dispute management. Some states mandate specific training for arbitrators. Each state has its own rules and regulations. Usually arbitrators are attorneys or paralegals, but it is not required to have a legal degree. Often business professionals with expertise in the disputed niche will act as arbitrators.
Arbitrators can find jobs with state or local governments or legal firms. They can work full time or only part time. While at work, arbitrators wear suits and command respect. These conflict resolution specialists must have a keen eye for detail, an impartial outlook, and extreme patience to deal with upset parties.
The job of an arbitrator is similar to mediators and conciliators according to the BLS. Mediators are similar to arbitrators, but their decisions are non-binding. Conciliators help guide resolutions by meeting with parties separately, but they do not deal with evidence or witnesses. Their results are also non-binding. All of these jobs fall under the umbrella of the alternative dispute resolution field. According to the BLS, this niche employs approximately 8,400 people as arbitrators, mediators, or conciliators in the US. This number is expected to grow by 10% by 2022.
Arbitration typically costs the opposing parties $50 to $125 per hour. Arbitrators typically earn between $35,000 and $135,000 per year. The average annual salary is $76,840. Pay depends on location, education, experience, industry, and other factors.
Do you want to help people find quick, affordable resolutions to their heated disputes without having to go to court? Can you remain impartial and make fair decisions at all times? Then maybe you should become an arbitrator.
Quick Facts About Arbitrators
Job Title: Arbitrator
Office: Legal offices
Description: Settle disagreements between opposing parties and determine legally binding and mutually agreeable resolutions
Certifications/Education: Bachelor’s degree, Legal experience
Necessary Skills: Impartial, Attention to Detail, Able to Listen, Decision Making
Potential Employers: Government, Legal firms
Pay: $35,000 and $135,000 per year