Arbitration is a process through which opposing parties settle a dispute without the intervention of the court. An arbitrator usually works without interference from any quarter or as a member of a panel. Arbitration proceedings are quite identical to a court trial. However, they are not as formal or private.
During a proceeding, an arbitrator might have to travel to neutral sites if the hearing needs them to. The position of an arbitrator is often as needed or sometimes, part-time. A few major requisites for this position are excellent communication skills and of course, a strong reasoning ability. Aside from that, being decisive is absolutely mandatory. If you are aiming to be an arbitrator, you must suffice the following career requirements.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Getting a bachelor’s degree is the initial step towards building a career as an arbitrator. Students who are willing to launch a career in arbitration can select a major that will help them garner the legal experience they need to embark on an arbitration career. Most of the arbitrators are either business professionals or experienced lawyers with ample experience of a law body or a particular industry. The specialties of arbitration include labor relations, insurance, real estate, and construction.
The degrees relevant to these can be business programs or courses like political science, history, or English – the ones that are studied at law schools. Students can train themselves by participating in various debates. Developing their communication skills as well as improve their logical reasoning should also be on the list of priorities. In case you are a leader of a student organization, you would automatically develop the ability to make decisions.
Get a Post-Graduate Degree
Arbitrators generally come from the line of business professionals or attorneys who have substantial experience under their belt. Therefore, an MBA or a Master in Business Administration or a JD i.e. a Juris Doctor is preferable and probably the most relevant degree options as far as post-graduate studies are concerned. Under normal circumstances, an MBA takes two years to complete, while one takes three years to earn a degree in law. A wide professional education is covered in both the aforementioned programs.
With that being said, if you want to specialize in arbitration, you would earn more opportunities at law schools. These places offer master’s degree programs or a dispute resolution certificate while you are pursuing JD. This degree or certificate in dispute resolution can open doors for you and help you get the training needed to launch a career in arbitration. Throughout the course, you can learn about practical strategies, conflict resolution, and cultural issues, too. There is also an internship available that arms students with the experience of handling disputes in the real world.
Get a License
If you aspire to be an arbitrator and intend to prepare by pursuing law, you need to have a license of a practicing attorney once you complete your law school. The requirements of a license tend to vary from state to state. But, you can only obtain the license after you get a law degree, pass the bar exam, and thereby, being a member of the state bar association. Those who wish to specialize in real estate or construction industries would need to acquire licenses issued by the state if they want to gather experience as architects, contractors, or real estate agents. You would have to meet the requirements of a state’s education, exam, and experience.
Aside from what has been discussed before, there is one important qualification that you need to have if you are thinking of taking up a career in arbitration and that is expertise. Those who are aspiring arbitrators must have mandatory experience of how the legal specialty or industry works to handle and settle disputes. If you wish to start a career in arbitration, you have to devote several years in the field of law or in some business or government agencies. The amount of work experience that a candidate must have under their belt ranges from 5 to 15 years.
In a nutshell, choosing a related field and having expertise on it is a must. A 10-year work experience is required before you submit yourself to the arbitrators’ rosters in your state. The best of luck in your journey in arbitration!