How to Become an Arbitrator

by Shenron on February 18, 2010

For those that don’t know, an arbitrator is someone that acts as a neutral observer in a dispute between individuals or businesses. Instead of going through the whole process of filing a lawsuit or taking a dispute to court, two individuals can settle outside of court by using an arbitrator to mediate between the two parties and come to a mutual agreement about what should be done about the matter. For example, if you run over your neighbor’s mailbox and they come to you and tell you that they’re suing you because you intentionally ran over their one of a kind mailbox and they demand payment for it, you can both hire an arbitrator to expedite the process of clearing things up. Arbitrators can help clear up the court system and leave the important cases for the court room. That’s all well and good, but how do you become an arbitrator for a living?

Arbitrator How to Become an Arbitrator

1. Becoming an arbitrator is actually a very convoluted process to try and explain in a simple document. Every state in the country has different regulators on who can become an arbitrator and how to go about it. The best thing you can do to begin with is scour the web for information about your state’s requirements for the profession. Some states are very lenient and only require people to fill out some paperwork and have completed some form of college degree. Others require that arbitrators have completed law school and have practiced within a court room for a certain number of years. Hopefully you can get this information in hand early on so you can understand where to go next. The rest of this guide will be a very general outline of what you need to do.

2. With the information about what you need to do in hand, it’s time to move on to the required training. Each state has different arbitrator training facilities. These training courses will outline the basics of civil law and will show participants how to write a legal document that makes the negotiation between two parties a legally binding agreement. Without the information you learn at these arbitration courses, you would not be able to legally bind either party to a contract. Just like step 1, each state differs in their training procedures. But, most of the time these courses last for no more than a few days and give you state approval to be an arbitrator.

Arbitrator 5 How to Become an Arbitrator

3. Unfortunately, state certification as an arbitrator isn’t enough to let you practice on your own. You’ll want to move on to working under another arbitrator to get a feel for the job. Some states require this “shadowing” period of learning the ropes from someone that already does arbitration for a living. Others let you get certified and jump right into the field. There’s a steep learning curve to the job, but with enough practice and cases under your belt, you’ll be moving through things with ease.

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