Q: Are neutrals serving in a court-connected program compensated?
A: Rates of compensation for neutrals vary in order to meet the demands and circumstances of the local courts. Courts use a variety of approaches to compensation, including volunteers, free-market neutrals, and fees caps as high as $150 per hour. All compensated neutrals are encouraged to contribute some pro bono hours to their program, and every court program in which neutrals are compensated by the parties must provide ADR services free of charge to indigent parties.
Q: How much money can I earn as a registered neutral?
A: That depends on several factors, including your ADR training and experience, your training and experience in other professions, your education, your location, your marketing skills, your networking skills, the compensation system of the particular local court program, and whether the local court program needs someone of your professional and personal background to work in their jurisdictions. You can serve on more than one local court roster. Competition is high for court cases and for openings on local court rosters, particularly in the metro Atlanta area. Some neutrals in Georgia are able to earn a living working full-time in ADR. It takes diligence and patience to build a practice, both in the court system and outside the courts. For many neutrals, serving the courts as a neutral is a part-time endeavor. Some find satisfaction in volunteering with their local courts. We strongly urge you to contact the local court programs in areas where you are interested in working for more information on work opportunities.