Q: How did you get started? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do or has it evolved?
A: I didn’t start my professional career with the intention of being a mediator but, in retrospect, the path seems very natural. I was drawn to the legal profession years ago because I had the general notion that I wanted to work on justice and policy matters and law school emphasizes litigation as the way to resolve significant issues. I worked as an environmental litigator, first in private practice and then for the government enforcing environmental laws. But even though I found the issues very important and compelling, I felt there was something about this kind of work that was lacking for me, regardless which side of the lawsuit I was on. Over time, I became involved in community matters where I came to appreciate the value of collaborative effort. About a dozen years ago, I decided to train in mediation out of interest in exploring an alternative dispute resolution model. I found mediation to be a positive and powerful approach to resolving conflict. Over the past decade, I’ve mediated hundreds of cases. Last year, I founded Marbrook Collaborative Solutions with a partner as a private mediation practice.