Yes. Attorneys can indeed practice law and mediate. They can also arbitrate while practicing law.
It does take some extra work to maintain neutrality and avoid conflicts of interest, but we are already to have systems in place for checking conflicts, and clients have the option to waive them with Informed Consent.
As a FINRA arbitrator, I have to update my profile regularly so those potential conflicts are disclosed automatically to parties who are considering me for a panel.
We err on the side of disclosure, which also aligns well with my core values and practices I’ve had in my business since I started it.
Have a conflict keeping you up at night? Tell me more
Nance L. Schick, Esq. is a New York City attorney and mediator who focuses on keeping people out of court and building their conflict resolution skills, especially in business and employment disputes. Her holistic, integrative approach to conflict resolution draws from her experience as a crime victim, human resources supervisor, minor league sports agent, and United Nations representative. She is a 2001 graduate of the State University of New York Buffalo Law School trained in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM). She is also creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by the New York Economic Development Corporation/B-Labs (Finalist, Best for NYC 2015 & 2016), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards), and Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In (Finalist, 2013 Pitch Competition).