As a Law Student
Conflict Mediation Specialist
As a law student, I initially wanted to work at the APADRC because I believed it would greatly enhance my ability to properly resolve conflicts while providing an avenue for me to utilize my skills to help others. Today, after working at the APADRC, I can confidently say that I have achieved both these goals, and much more.
My early experiences were the basis of my desire to join the APADRC. As an early Korean immigrant, I saw my family go through many unfair struggles due to language and cultural barriers, and ever since, I sought for ways to help those who are in the same position now as my family was back then. The APADRC allowed me to do just that – it provides a unique resource to those who are not familiar with the American society or lack the language skills to communicate properly with others in this community. We provide assistance in English as well as various Asian languages, and cross-cultural mediation is a frequent occurrence at the APADRC. By accommodating such languages, we seek to eliminate any existing cultural barriers while offering empathy and support to our clients.
One of APADRC’s most fundamental beliefs is that through mediation, we can reach an optimal solution that makes both parties happy without needing to sour the relationship between them. It is a logical objective – an idealistic one, I admit – but it remains, at least in my humble opinion, one of the most appealing aspects of mediation and one of the biggest reasons why I was drawn to the APADRC. The program at APADRC strives to teach each and every one of their mediators how to reach that very solution – and how to foster a stronger relationship between the parties in the process. It starts with a three week training program to teach the basics of mediation, after which you are put to work. During your tenure at the APADRC, you will be faced with a wide variety of cases, from unpaid hospital bills to complex contractual disputes; whether it is cross-cultural mediation or not, each case is unique, and they are always interesting. At the end of the program, you are presented with a certificate that certifies you as a mediator.
Throughout this process, you will learn firsthand how to be an excellent mediator. One of the most rewarding aspects about working at the APADRC is the work environment – namely, your peers and supervisors. My experience at the APADRC would not have been the same if it were not for the cordial group of peers and approachable supervisors that not only helped me when things got tough, but also enriched my life by sharing their life experiences with me. Whether it was debriefing after a mediation or chit-chatting during the slow hours, the work environment at the APADRC never failed to be a comfortable and friendly environment. It truly was an environment that perfectly blended the personal with the professional. Through their friendship and mentorship, my peers and supervisors taught me important life lessons and broadened my perspective of this diverse community.
My stay with the APADRC was invaluable, and I strongly urge anyone who is interested in mediation to apply. Not only is mediation a growing trend in law, but it is also an amazing tool to have, as conflict resolution is something we all do throughout life. I appreciate everything that the APADRC did for me, and cannot wait to see the impact it has on you.