Attorney at Law Magazine Los Angeles Publisher Sarah Torres sat down with Stacie Feldman Hausner to discuss her career and what she hopes to accomplish in the future.
AALM: When did you first know you wanted to become a mediator? What drew you to this career?
Hausner: I was a middle child who, even at a young age, enjoyed helping family and friends resolve their everyday conflicts. Growing up, listening to my trial lawyer father share intriguing work tales over dinner, I dreamed of pursuing some type of legal career. I began my career as a lawyer, where I enjoyed many years representing both plaintiffs and defendants across a varied and broad civil litigation practice. Yet I recall one day, when I was embroiled in a complex, personal injury mediation, that something clicked inside. I realized that mediation, rather than litigation, might prove a more interesting overall arena for me, allowing me to combine my excitement for the law with my lifelong interest in dispute resolution.
AALM: Did you have a career or ambitions outside of the law prior to becoming a lawyer?
Hausner: If I hadn’t become a lawyer, I probably would have become a psychologist, like both my mother and my mother-in-law. Clearly, one of the many things I enjoy about mediation is the psychological aspect of moving people toward resolution.
AALM: What experiences have taught you the most?
Hausner: I graduated from The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law, where I received an LL.M. in dispute resolution. Straus was tremendously helpful in teaching me about the psychology of conflict, effective conflict-based communications, negotiation strategies, and other tools and skills that can help effect settlements. Additionally, my experience mediating at the Santa Monica Courthouse was exceptionally beneficial at teaching me about the practical components of mediation. I was given the opportunity to help mediate a broad range of disputes there, from multimillion-dollar multiparty cases, to real estate conflicts, breaches of contract, personal injury and employment cases. Those early experiences really helped me learn how to mediate a variety of disputes with a vast array of people and attorneys.
AALM: What do you find particularly rewarding about your practice?
Hausner: As a mediator, it’s easy see the huge psychological toll that disputes can take on individuals. I love that I can help people resolve their conflicts and move forward with their lives.
AALM: What first drew you to your firm? Tell us about the culture of the firm.
Hausner: Early in my career, I was fortunate to meet Ralph Williams at ADR Services Inc. He generously let me shadow some of his mediations and took the time to share the more nuanced components of the practice of mediation. He later introduced me to the incredible Lucie Barron, ADR Services Inc.’s founder. Both Ralph and Lucie have served as inspiring mentors for me. I feel so fortunate to now be a mediator at ADR Services Inc. It has an impressive roster of effective, talented neutrals and a wonderfully kind and helpful support staff .
AALM: What do you most hope to accomplish in the future?
Hausner: I really hope to keep mediating in the future. I also would love to continue my work as an adjunct faculty member at Straus, where I teach mediation because I love working with the students and the teaching reinforces the work I do as a private mediator. I feel very grateful to have found a career where I genuinely feel excited to go to work each and every day.