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Better, what is my certificate good for? Is it magic or does it represent something tangible?

Going through training, forty hours or four hundred hours, does not transform you. A certificate, even from SMU is not magical and this class is even less magical.  It is, however, legitimate, useful and valuable.

The training is useful to make what you do, better. While the rare person in the program has tripled his income by using what they've learned in the program as an independent insurance adjuster, and one of my students picked up a six figure contract (over two hundred thousand dollars a year) as a consultant, those experiences are not typical.  More generally, people work as insurance adjusters contract officers, EEOC compliance officers, in human relations programs, and in general, using dispute resolution skills to further their professional goals and skills that they already have.

Some people have also used the skills, in connection with their background training and professions, to become primarily dispute resolution professionals.  This is not the norm.

The certificate program is something tangible, but it is not magic. The program is sold, taught and provided as a way to improve your skill base, improve your professional spectrum of abilities, and adjust your focus, not as something that transforms you without any other qualifications or abilities. It makes more of who you are, it does not replace who you are.

This arbitration class fits the same place in the program as the program fits in your education. It adds to your understanding, skills and abilities. For some individuals, especially those who are doing some NASD or other arbitrations, it will fill in gaps in your training and improve your professionalism. For others, it will complete areas and aspects of your dispute resolution experience and understanding. A few will find it helpful in exploring arbitration as a party or as an arbitrator and in career development.

For all, it enhances your career, your facilities and your profession, it does not replace your career, your skills or your endeavors. While some of you will become arbitrators, or become better arbitrators, from being in this class, most will merely become better dispute resolution professionals and will reach a better understanding of all dispute resolution processes from participating in this class. That is what this class is -- something to improve what you are, not something to change what you are.

So, who is better off for being a part of the program?  In spite of the number of students I have who have decided to go to law school, that isn't on the list, but the following groups are listed because I have seen them benefit from being a part of the program.  The groups are:

So, that should let you know how this class, and how almost any arbitration class, fits your needs, goals and aspirations.  No magic, but it does have a real value, depending on who you are and what you intend to be.


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Copyright 2000 by Stephen R. Marsh