“A Sample of Your Pro Bono Success: The Eviction Diversion Mediation Clinic” was recently published in the Dauphin County Bar Association’s February 2021 eNewsletter.
Attorney Victoria Edwards is using her experience as a mediator to help landlords and tenants through the Dauphin County Bar Association’s Eviction Diversion Mediation clinic. This program assists landlords and tenants who are facing possible evictions. During the mediations, MidPenn Legal Services helps navigate the legal issues and Help Ministries provides rental assistance to eligible tenants. The clinic provides a means for landlords and tenants to come to an agreement that is beneficial to both parties. They do this by helping both parties recognize that there isn’t a winner or loser, but a solution to a problem.
Edwards’ role as a volunteer mediator allows landlords and tenants the opportunity to hear the other’s side while she assists them with questions and resolutions. The goal of each session is to avoid an eviction and help bring both parties to a fair agreement. The meditations were held on Zoom, which Edwards believes allowed the participants to feel comfortable in their own spaces. Edwards said this set-up helped to alleviate any hostility that may have been present in an in-person mediation.
In Edwards’ interview about the clinic, she highly recommends that mediators volunteer their time to this cause. “It’s a great way to hone your mediation skills and give back to make a difference in someone’s life.”