The world of trusts and estates is changing before our eyes - the "multidiscipline practice" trend may radically change the traditional practice of the probate bar. There is one constant, however, besides change and that is conflict. That conflict is oftentimes lurking beneath the surface when a lawyer becomes involved in the estate planning process. All of the technical knowledge you may possess about the legal system and its rules is valuable and necessary. But, the estate planning lawyer is preeminently a counselor at law. In the strongest possible way I urge students to become aware of conflict management skills and I specifically recommend that they take advantage of learning more about what mediation has to offer. My message is the same to all of you, but I offer an additional challenge to all of you: Get involved in your state or local bar association and determine how you might build that house and how you might make sure that all have access to that house. The field of mediation is still very wide open and much still needs to be done at the structural level. You may find, as I did, that this activity is both meaningful and self-satisfying. Your participation and hard work CAN make a difference.
Ronald R. Volkmer,
Institutionalizing Mediation: The Role of Lawyers and Bar Associations ,
1 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/drlj/vol1/iss2/7