Attorney at Law Magazine sat down with Amanda Slyter the founder of Slyter Mediation to discuss her career as well as her aspirations for the future.
AALM: Tell us about your background.
AS: I’ve been an entrepreneur since the age of 18 and became a restauranteur at 19. I owned and operated several small restaurants. I’ve had other small businesses throughout the years and worked in various fields to build experience and skills that transferred to my current legal and mediation practice. I hold an associate degree in paralegal studies, a Bachelor of Arts in early childhood education, and numerous certificates, including legal, psychology, medical, business, and an aviation license. After a nasty divorce and becoming a single mother, I turned my focus to my passion for helping others through the legal field. I’m used to wearing many hats and making them fit.
AALM: Tell us what first drew you to the legal industry.
AS: I’ve always been the creative, outspoken, problem-solving, and peacemaker/keeper type with a bubbly attitude and dedication to whatever I work on and whomever I’m working with. Helping people through their issues and fighting for what is right has always been my passion.
I have dreamed of becoming a trial attorney since I was a child and hope to accomplish that goal in the future. I became a paralegal 11 years ago, built up legal experience, and eventually created Slyter Legal Solutions, LLC, where I take on overflow paralegal work, trial and pre-trial prep, case consulting, and work as lead trial paralegal for jury trials. I’ve worked on numerous cases, including construction, real estate, family law, criminal, labor and employment, bankruptcy, personal injury, medical malpractice, organized crimes and corruption, financial crimes, healthcare fraud and conspiracy, intellectual property, contracts, and partnerships. I also work and travel nationwide with my husband, Keith, as a husband-and-wife trial team, specializing in complex civil and white-collar criminal defense jury trials.
AALM: Tell us about the founding of Slyter Mediation, LLC, and what influences your business approach.
AS: Mediation is a valuable addition to my professional skillset. With over a decade of experience as a paralegal and legal consultant, I understand the litigation process, expenses involved, effects of emotional and financial burdens, and have seen destroyed relationships. Unfortunately, it rarely results in outcomes that benefit both parties. Mediation is a chance for parties to personalize an agreement that may not have been an option in court but in a private, confidential, and informal setting. It’s faster than court, much cheaper than litigation, less stress for everyone, eases the court’s docket, and is an opportunity to preserve relationships.
Starting my mediation practice allows me to help people resolve conflicts outside the court. I focus on matters involving family, school, divorce, small claims, personal injury, contracts, and business disputes. However, almost any non-violent conflict can be mediated, given a chance. I use a combined evaluative and facilitative approach that allows parties to control their outcome by identifying issues and needs, finding common interests, and evaluating the weaknesses and strengths of their positions.
Mediation helps me understand what’s happening in the parties’ lives, their needs and interests, fears, and concerns. Since the parties control the outcome of their settlement/agreement, mediation is their “day in court” to confidently tell their side of the story, which is meaningful to them.
AALM: What are your ambitions for your company?
AS: I aim to become successful, continue building my network, enhance my skill set, and expand my business. I look forward to becoming an arbitrator and adding arbitration services to my company soon. I’m excited about what the future holds for my mediation practice.
AALM: Tell us about yourself outside of work.
AS: You can find me traveling with my husband and Maine Coon cat, spending time with my children, watching Hallmark movies, studying, and learning new things, like playing guitar. I’m a private pilot but haven’t flown lately. However, I plan to start flying again soon.