The IAM-Straus Institute Survey on Mediator Practices and Perceptions, was conducted in the spring of 2014 and is one of the three recent surveys carried out by the Straus Institute under the umbrella of the Theory-to-Practice Research Project.  It was facilitated by a grant from the IAM. Here is some initial information regarding the Survey:

Survey group

  • The IAM-Straus Institute Survey on Mediator Practices and Perceptions was sent to 153 individuals, all IAM Fellows, and 85.0% (130 individuals) participated in the survey; 78.4% (120 individuals) completed the entire survey.
  • The respondent pool included individuals who stated they “regularly practiced” in Africa; Asia, including the Middle East; Australia and New Zealand; Canada; Europe (both Western and Eastern, with a majority from the UK); Latin America; and the United States.


Extent of professional mediation practice

  • About ninety percent (89.8%) of respondents indicated that they worked “full-time” at the time the Survey was administered, and devoted, on average, more than seventy percent of their work time to mediation practice.
  • Nearly half (47.7%) of respondents indicated that they devoted more than ninety percent of their work time to practice as a mediator.
  • Survey participants had, on average, over 18 years of mediation experience, and had mediated, on average, almost 1,500 cases.


Forthcoming analyses In the coming months the Institute will be publishing a number of in-depth summaries and analyses of mediator perspectives and practices, including:

  • Mediator goals in mediation and self-assessments of “success” and “failure”
  • Mediator styles and strategies
  • Use of caucuses and joint sessions
  • Mediator patterns in communicating with counsel, parties, and others
  • Sources of mediator casework and their relationship to mediation outcomes
  • The role of professional reputations, panel affiliations, marketing, education, and other factors in success as a professional mediator
  • Mediation of class disputes
  • Mediator perceptions of the mediation field-at-large, and factors affecting the field
  • Mediators’ experiences with arbitration, med-arb, and early neutral evaluation

Thomas Stipanowich is William H. Webster Chair, Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law and Academic Director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. He is also an active arbitrator and mediator. See his writings on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN)