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.