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Advancing Your Family Mediation Career at APFM 2017 In Memphis

by Michael Aurit, Amanda Singer
March 2017
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
Memphis, TN
Feel free to reach us with any of your questions. Connect with Michael at and Amanda at
See you in Memphis!


Michael Aurit, Esq., MDR, is a nationally recognized professional divorce and family mediator, attorney, and Co-Founder of The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation in Scottsdale, Arizona. Michael serves on the Board of Directors for The Academy of Professional Family Mediators. He also serves as Ethics Chair of the Maricopa County Association of Family Mediators. He is a professor of divorce and family mediation at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law. He is also a former American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Fellow. Michael is a contributor to The Huffington Post, NBC News and ABC News in Phoenix and as an expert on divorce mediation and healthy co-parenting approaches. He holds his Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University School of Law, Master’s Degree in Dispute Resolution from The Straus Institute at Pepperdine Law, and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The Boston Conservatory of Music. Michael and his wife, Karen Aurit, Co-Founder of The Aurit Center, live in Phoenix, Arizona with their daughter Daniella. 
Amanda Singer

Amanda D. Singer, Esq., MDR, CDFA is a professional family mediator and co-owner of San Diego Family Mediation Center. She is also a licensed attorney and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. She works to help families improve communication, solve problems and reach agreements while staying out of court. Amanda is on the board of Academy of Professional Family Mediators and is the co-chair for this year’s conference. She is a member of the State Bar of California and actively involved in Lawyers Club of San Diego. She earned her JD from Chapman University School of Law while completing her Master’s Degree in Dispute Resolution from The Straus at Pepperdine University School of Law. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Brandies University and has completed her courses as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.  San Diego Family Mediation Center works with families dealing with various family issues, including divorce mediation, premarital mediation, blended families and parenting plans.