Advancing Your Family Mediation Career at APFM 2017 In Memphis
By Michael Aurit, Esq., MDR
Amanda Singer Esq., MDR, CDFA
We met three years ago at the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) Conference in San Diego. At the time, each of us was barely a year out of law school and preparing to take a leap to begin our own divorce and family mediation practice. We had come to APFM for the first time, not knowing what to expect, but hoping to find some support.
The prospect of finding focused substantive support at conference workshops and seminars was as appealing as connecting with other professional mediators – from young mediators like ourselves to some of the great pioneers in the field. The idea that our attendance would make us a part of the professional family mediation community seemed essential to becoming a professional mediator.
Since then, we’ve stayed connected, checking in regularly by phone and Facetime about what’s happening in our respective practices. We compare notes about our evolving marketing strategies, billing practices, and mediation approaches. In a field where one can easily fall into a lonely professional silo (and many do!) our experience at our first APFM conference resulted in an invaluable alliance as colleagues and friends. Last year we presented a program together on how to build a mediation business so we could share with others what we’ve learned.
Today, we are both members of the APFM Board of Directors. We have connected with dozens of other mediators from around the country because of our involvement with APFM and we are better, and more successful mediators for it.
Whether you are a new mediator or experienced veteran, APFM is your community of professional divorce and family mediators. Getting involved as a member, and engaging in our webinars and conferences can directly impact your professional growth. The satisfaction of being part of a group of people who truly “get what you do” is reason enough for attending APFM conferences and becoming an active member of the organization.
This year, APFM meets March 28 – April 2 in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. Exploring mediation over Memphis BBQ–what could be better?!
The only challenge with this year’s conference in Memphis is figuring out which program to attend. Three “Pre-Conference” 3-hour Institutes kick off the conference on Thursday morning, each led by three of the great mediators of our day: Chip Rose, Stephen Erickson, and Bill Eddy.
The cutting-edge conference schedule that follows will cover issues led by some of the most experienced mediators in the country: mindfulness practice in family mediation, creative parenting plan topics, pre-marital agreements, in depth financial approaches, dealing with high conflict clients, gender bias, elder mediation and several effective workshops on practice building and business strategies.
Together, with our friend and colleague Justin Kelsey (whom we also met through APFM) we are excited to present our own conference workshop, “The Next Generation of Mediation: Go Ahead, Quit Your Day Job.”
Memphis will be fun, no doubt. But, regardless of where we meet, the act of simply meeting is most valuable to us as individual mediators and to growing the field.
Whether you are a new mediator, a long-time attorney or behavioral health professional hoping to build your mediation practice, a young mediator, or one of the most experienced mediators in the world, you will find your peers at APFM. You will be a better, more successful mediator as a result.
Join APFM this year in Memphis – we would love meet you!
It’s not too late to register:
2017 APFM Annual Conference
“Family Mediation from A to Z”
March 30-April 2, 2017
See you in Memphis!