Mediation Center is a recognized leader in the mediation and conflict resolution field. Established for over 30 years, and affiliated with the Dispute Resolution Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Mediation Center has a long reputation for excellence in providing direct services and training for professionals. A team of trainers/consultants, each with at least twenty-five years of experience, is led by experienced conflict resolution practitioner Aimee Gourlay.
Training participants learn to settle disputes, solve problems and manage decisions, enhance relationships and improve communication, negotiate with confidence, navigate workplace challenges, and hone leadership skills. Mediation Center training offers professional accredited ongoing education training for Rule 114 Roster Neutrals, attorneys in MN, LMFTs, and others.
Aimee Gourlay, JD, CEO of Mediation Center, brings more than twenty-five years of experience managing mediation programs, designing and providing adult education in conflict resolution topics, and as a mediator/facilitator for complex issues with multiple parties. She serves on the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution National Roster of Environmental Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professionals, on the senior facilitator and mediation panels of the State of MN Department of Administration Master Contract Program, on the umpire panel for the WI Department of Natural Resources for environmental remediation disputes, as a lead faculty member for MN CLE’s court certified Civil Mediation Skills course, and was the MN Supreme Court ADR Ethics Board’s Consultant between 2005 and 2018.
With expertise in providing facilitation and other conflict resolution assistance to people who hold diverse worldviews, Aimee mediates and facilitates resolution of workplace issues, public policy concerns and organizational problems. Her clients include corporations, non-profit organizations, professional associations, state and local governments, and educational institutions. Her work includes conflict assessments, process design consulting and mediations. Examples of the broad range of the topics in Aimee’s experience include: conflict resolution for teams within state and local government, facilitation of nonprofit organizational dispute resolution processes, development of and facilitation for community advisory committees; design and management of community comment processes; mediation to address systemic racial discrimination claims; process design to decide allocation of public resources; legislative policy making dialogue; and mediation of environmental disputes. She is also on the team for Strategic Stakeholder Engagement Services’ which focuses on organization-wide collaboration; and served on the EEOC panel of mediators and the United States Postal Service EEOC State of Minnesota Department of Human Rights mediator panels.
Aimee is a Qualified Neutral under Rule 114 of the General Rules of Practice for the MN District Courts, and she graduated Cum Laude from the University of MN Law School. She teaches Organizational Conflict Management Systems Design and Family Mediation Skills at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, MN, where she is a Senior Fellow at the nationally ranked Dispute Resolution Institute.
Frequently Asked Questions
Becoming a Mentor FAQ
To become a qualified mediator in Minnesota, you must take the requisite basic mediation training (civil or family) and apply to join the Minnesota Statewide ADR-Rule 114 Neutrals Roster (mediators in Minnesota are not certified or licensed in ADR).
Minnesota Rules of Practice for the District Courts Rule 114 (Rule 114) is the court rule that governs conduct for mediators and other types of neutrals in Minnesota. Rule 114 contains training requirements for civil and family roster neutrals. In order for mediation training to be “Rule 114 Certified”, it must meet the training requirements listed in Rule 114.13 and gain the approval of the State Court Administrator. Rule 114 Appendix-Code of Ethics governs ethics for mediators and other types of neutrals.
The Minnesota Statewide Neutrals Roster is a list of neutrals who have taken the requisite training and have been accepted to the roster. The State Court Administrator reviews the applications and accepts qualified individuals to be rostered. Mediators have a variety of backgrounds, so there is no educational or professional background requirements. After taking a Rule 114 Certified basic training (for mediators, either 30-Hour Civil Mediation Training, 40-Hour Family Mediation Training, or both), you are eligible to apply for the roster. Please see the Rule 114 roster application for additional requirements that may apply to licensed professionals.
Mediation is generally not a full time job. For most, mediation is a part time job. Don’t plan on supporting yourself with providing mediation services alone, especially since it can take some time to get started in the field, and to develop a referral network. It can take several years to establish yourself as a mediator, depending on the amount of time spent pursuing work in the field.
Many newly trained mediators connect with an experienced mediator to shadow during the mediation process to gain some experience, others volunteer with a community mediation program or opt for other volunteer mediator opportunities. Being proactive and searching for opportunities is the best way to gain some mediation experience.
No. However, we’re happy to suggest options for professional networking, consult groups or volunteer opportunities.
There is no prerequisite for 30-Hour Civil Mediation Training and 40-Hour Family Mediation Training.
The prerequisite for Parenting Consulting Training, Parenting Time Expediating Training, and other types of training is 40-Hour Family Mediation Training. Please see the training description pages for prerequisites.
Choosing a mediation training depends on the focus of your practice. If the focus of your practice is civil (not family related), the 30-Hour Civil Mediation Training is most likely the appropriate training for you (but call us at 612-222-0023 if you’re not sure). If the focus of your practice is family related or you plan to go into a family related field, you can start with the 40-Hour Family Mediation Training.
However, taking both the civil and family training is recommended for most mediators. The civil mediation training is structured as an introduction to the process of mediation, whereas the family mediation training adds the complexities of family dynamics in conflict. For example, a mediator learns that an upcoming mediation over business assets involves several family members. In this example, the skills learned in both civil and family training would be useful.
Both 30-hour civil mediation training and 40-hour family mediation training are required by Rule 114 to include much of the class time spent on role plays, real life simulations and experiential learning. Both also cover conflict resolution theory and ethics. However, family mediation training covers certain family law concepts, such as child custody and support, maintenance, and property division. Another focus of the family mediation training is family dynamics in conflict, such as psychological issues related to separation and divorce, and the issues and needs of children in divorce. For more information about civil and family mediation training, please see the training descriptions linked below.
Yes. Qualified mediators must complete 18 hours of continuing education related to alternative dispute resolution within a three-year period. Once you’ve joined the Rule 114 roster, you should keep track of your ongoing education hours by logging the title of the training or conference, the date and location, the course or conference sponsor, the hours of education, and the ways in which the training or conference expanded your skills as a neutral. The State Court Administrator mails a roster renewal application every three years; roster neutrals list ongoing education hours for the past three years on the renewal application. There is no online portal for reporting ongoing education hours for roster neutrals.
Parenting Consulting, Parenting Time Expediting, Custody Evaluation and Family Arbitration Training are advanced family neutral trainings for roles that go beyond the scope of a mediator. 40-Hour Family Mediation Training is a prerequisite for advanced family neutral training at Mediation Center. In addition, some advanced family neutral roles require that the roster applicant have a certain number of years of experience working with high conflict parents and be a recognized professional in their field.
Parenting Consulting is a child-focused process that assists high conflict parents with resolving disputes regarding parenting decisions. The Parenting Consultant (PC) incorporates neutral facilitation, coaching and decision-making. The scope of the PC’s role is defined by the terms of the contract for services, but the PC can make a decision when the parents are at an impasse.
Parenting Time Expediting is another child-focused role that clarifies and addresses parents’ issues and concerns regarding an existing parenting time order, and makes determinations as to unresolved disputes, when appropriate. The Parenting Time Expeditor (PTE) is limited to addressing parenting time disputes not addressed in a court order, interpreting existing orders, and determining whether violations of a court order has occurred. If the parents are unable to agree, the PTE can make a decision regarding the dispute. PTEs are appointed by the court pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 518.1751.
For more information about training, please see our training page, or call 612-222-0023.
Mediation Center training offers:
- Rule 114 basic and continuing education credits for qualified neutrals
- Continuing legal education credits for licensed attorneys
- Continuing education credits for licensed marriage and family therapists
- Continuing education credits for licensed social workers
If you are interested in gaining ongoing education credits for a profession that is not listed above or credits for licensed professionals practicing in a state other than Minnesota, please call 612-222-0023 for more information.
No, unfortunately Mediation Center doesn’t offer installment payment plans. The training must be paid for in full on or before the first day of training.
Yes. If you are a non-profit employee and your employer is paying for your training, or if you are a government employee and the government is paying for your training, you qualify for a discount.
There are limited scholarships available, and there are many factors considered when awarding scholarships. Partial scholarships may be offered to those who will use their training for volunteer purposes and/or to serve an underserved community, and who bring a unique perspective to the training. Please fill out the contact form or email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about a scholarship application. Please note, Mediation Center does not offer full scholarships; scholarship recipients are asked to cover some of the costs of the training.
Trainings may be cancelled due to low registration. If a training is cancelled, Mediation Center staff will alert you of the cancellation as soon as possible and you will receive a full refund of your training registration cost. Mediation Center is not responsible for non-refundable travel and lodging expenses.
Please see our transfer/cancellation policy below:
Transfer Policy – Out of respect for unforeseen schedule conflicts, Mediation Center will transfer a participant into another training (one or more days of training), for a twenty percent (20%) administration fee if the participant notifies the Center up to seven days before the start of the training.
Cancellation Policy – Mediation Center recognizes there are unforeseen events, schedule conflicts, and family emergencies that arise. Out of respect for the above, please review our policy on accommodating participants who need to cancel:
- Full refund – up to 30 days before the start of the training less a twenty percent (20%) processing fee.
- Fifty percent (50%) refund – up to 14 days before the start of the training.
- No refund – 14 days or less before the start of the training.
There are many options for lodging near the training locations. Please see a link to the list of lodging options below.