Frequently Asked Questions

What is WAM?

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.ess "Manage Questions" button.

Why should I join?

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 be informed and have a say about the latest developments in the field, including credentialing 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 a professional organization that provides you with important resources to aid you in the 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 important networking opportunity for members to share ideas, information and challenges within and across different mediation interest areas. WAM hosts 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 in conference registration fees.

How do I become a member?

Simply fill out a membership form and send with your dues to the office mailing address at: Wisconsin Association of Mediators PO Box 20914 Greenfield, WI 53220

What are the dues?

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. Fill out the form here.

What are the membership benefits?

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.

What is necessary to be a mediator in Wisconsin?

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.

Do I have to have certain training or a certain degree?

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.

Do I have to be licensed?

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

Where can I get training?

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.

What about malpractice insurance?

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.

What do mediators charge?

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.

Are there committees or things I can volunteer for?

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 There are four standing committees that would welcome your participation: Conference, Legislative, Membership and Public Education.

How do most mediators get clients?

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.

Is there someone who will let me sit in on a mediation so I can observe?

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.

Does anyone provide supervision?

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.

Are there any intership or volunteer opportunities?

Some nonprofit organizations that provide mediation services will accept interns. There are many volunteer opportunities with these organizations.

Where can I get a job? Does WAM list job openings?

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.

How do I become certified?

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.