Featured Workshop Presenters
18th Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference
What Focus Groups Can Tell Us
Session 4.6, Saturday, April 30, 2011 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Focus groups sponsored by the KCBA and WSBA ADR Sections met for nearly two years to discuss how to expand and improve the use of mediation. The more than 100 participants consisted of people who regularly use mediation and those who provide mediation services. This program presents some of the insights and recommendations that emerged from these focus groups.
Q&A with Courtney
NWDR: What's your theme - your central point?
CK: We will tell you what users and potential users of mediation want from the mediation process, based on focus groups spanning two years, more than 100 participants, and multiple practice areas.
NWDR: How do you describe your program?
CK: This program distills the thoughts of more than 100 focus group participants in multiple practice areas about the status of mediation and how to improve and expand its use.
NWDR: What's different about it?
CK: The focus group program is unique in its scope and purpose. Its results will provide you with a deep understanding of the current status and future of mediation in our area.
NWDR: With thirty-plus wonderful workshops at the conference, what would you like those attending to know as they make their selections?
CK: This program presents the results of what is essentially an extensive market survey for mediators. For mediators, this program will provide insight into what your clients and potential clients are thinking. For practitioners, this program will give you a roadmap for how to provide more effective and efficient services to your clients.
NWDR: For whom is your program especially relevant? Who would you like to see come?
CK: This program is for mediators interested in improving their services and expanding their client base and for practitioners interested in improving the use of mediation in their practice area.
NWDR: Are there particular "takeaways" - materials or skills - that you'll be offering to those who attend?
CK: The program will provide examples of the takeaways of two practice areas – land use and Collaborative Law – and will engage attendees in a mini-focus group so they can experience the process for themselves.
NWDR: What got you interested in the topic? Have a story for us?
CK: We were seeking better communication
between users and potential users of mediation and mediators. Also,
we wanted better use of mediation in our practice areas. For
example, mediation is rarely used in the area of land use. Yet, the
focus group immediately discovered intense interest among
practitioners. Individuals working in isolation on land use
mediation have been connected. The group has grown to include land
use attorneys representing diverse perspectives, hearing examiners,
administrative law judges, elected officials and mediators. There
is tremendous energy to change the culture of land use law to
include mediation. Focus group members are pursuing a number of
initiatives to realize this goal.
full list of all 2011