First–if you’re a mediator–you know that most people think the mediation profession is a misspelled form of meditation.  Simply put: the average TV watcher is just not that familiar with what mediation is.

Most common response when I tell people I’m a mediator (after their eyes have glazed over): “So, you like do community service for the courts?”

Unfortunately, that’s not far from the truth.  Except for the roughly 2% that make a living as a mediator, everyone else has a day job which is occasionally supplemented by a mediation.  Or the desire to bring peace to the world is satisfied by mediating a few days a month at a local community mediation center, while the desire to pay the mortgage is satisfied by working in HR at some local company.

Bottom line: people don’t know what mediation is and so they don’t know what great benefits they could get by hiring a mediator. So mediators are in effect doing community service for the courts, instead of using their incredible talents as their full-time job.

Second, Sarah Shahi is hot.  I mean, seriously, she was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.  She is going to do a much better job attracting interest to the field than I ever could.  Mediation is still a misunderstood field where most people think mediators chant during the meetings and wear tie-dye.  And don’t get me wrong–I do love tie-dye.  But I also like that USA is bringing an element of professionalism, intelligence, and a little je ne sais quoi to the field of mediation.

The main thing to remember is: a show like Fairly Legal brings the word “mediation” up in conversation. It brings the word “mediation” up in Google searches.  And when the next argument gets out of hand, I pray that it brings the word “hire” up to a local mediator.

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