Internship at Riverdale Mediation

All Ontario certifications require at least 100 hours of supervised mediation experience and at least five actual mediated agreements, either alone or as a co-mediator.

Our internship program is designed to provide mediation students with the opportunity to gain that experience and be ready to apply for certification with the OAFM, FDRIO or ADRIO.

Interns have the opportunity to participate in a structured program that includes court attendances, observation in the Family Law Information Centres, mediation observation, and, if they successfully advance to the next stages of the internship, co-mediation and lead mediation. Our interns work with a number of different mediators to gain a broad perspective on the practice of mediation.

All interns must have criminal record checks and carry liability insurance. We require interns to have completed specific courses unless they have equivalent training. It is critical that interns understand and respect that mediation is a confidential process and interns are bound by that confidentiality. Professionalism is critical for all internship candidates.

Internship Application

Note: we are not able to accept all internship applications. Taking training with Riverdale Mediation does not guarantee a successful internship application. Acceptance into the internship program does not guarantee that the intern will achieve 100 hours of experience and/or five mediated agreements. It is possible that an intern could complete an internship without having 5 mediated agreements. We reserve complete discretion with respect to the intern’s progress and reserve the right in appropriate cases to terminate an internship.

Internship Program Structure

Our internship program is structured sequentially. The intern begins with a period of research and observation, followed by a period of co-mediation, and then, if the intern is approved, a period of lead mediation. All steps of our internship program are fully supervised by accredited mediators. Interns are involved in all stages of a file, from initial contact with the clients and counsel, intake/screening interviews, pre-mediation preparation, mediations, follow up, drafting memoranda arising from the mediation, continued correspondence with parties and counsel, and file closing. Briefing and de-briefing takes place before and after each contact with the clients.

Note: we offer full (100 hours) or partial (50 hours) internships.

Duration of the Program

Our internship program is flexible and we will work, as best we can, with the intern’s own schedule. Those interns with more time will be assigned more cases, and those with less time can generally be accommodated as well. Scheduling mediations can be time-consuming and complex, particularly if there are counsel and multiple parties involved. Not all clients consent to the participation of an intern.

Internship Fee

Mediation interns pay a fixed fee, either in full or in installment payments. Please contact us for more information:

Program Pre-requisites:

  1. Acceptable criminal record check.
  2. Mediation professional liability insurance with at least $2 million coverage in the aggregate and $1 million per claim.
  3. At least 60 hours of approved Basic and Advanced Family Mediation training.
  4. At least 21 hours of training in Screening for Power Imbalances and Family Violence.
  5. At least 30 hours of Family Law training for candidates who are not practising lawyers.

At least 14 hours of Family Relations training for candidates who are not practising mental health professionals.

Program Benefits

We schedule quarterly meetings of all interns and the supervising mediators to discuss files, procedures, and experiences. Interns are provided experience with a full range cases, from parenting to property. Interns have access to some discounts for Riverdale Mediation courses. We provide on-going training for interns as well. Where applicable, interns may qualify for free admission to various court-based educational programs and events. We invite our interns to contribute the Riverdale Mediation newsletter and blog.

Case Access

Our interns have access to cases that are mediated through mediate393 inc., including onsite mediations in the Toronto Superior Court of Justice at 393 University. Interns also work on longer and more complex cases that originate at Toronto’s Provincial Court of Justice (family) sites (311 Jarvis St. and 47 Sheppard Ave.), at the Superior Court of Justice, as well as subsidized cases that are not in court at all. These “off-site” subsidized mediations take place either in the court locations or on the 20th floor at 393 University Ave., or in some cases, in the offices of the roster mediators handling the file.

Working with Mediators

Interns in our program work with a wide range of mediators, both roster mediators with mediate393 inc. and private mediators and mediator-arbitrators with Riverdale Mediation Ltd. Interns gain experience from observing the varied styles of lawyer mediators, mental health mediators, and from working on a wide range of issues, from parenting plans to complex property division and marriage contract cases.

Course Discounts & Other Benefits

Our interns are entitled to attend all Riverdale Mediation Ltd. courses either at a discounted rate, or for free. We also create a program series for our interns, featuring guest speakers and topics of interest to new mediators. Interns benefit as well from free admission to the education programs delivered at the Provincial Courts (the Open Bar Series at 311 Jarvis and the 47 Sheppard Court Workshop Series.), email information updates, and opportunities to contribute to the Riverdale Mediation Ltd. website, newsletter and blog.


I wanted to thank both of you for your support and guidance throughout my internship with Riverdale/mediate393. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the roster mediators, including both of you (Hilary Linton & Elizabeth Hyde), for the past 9 months. The experience and knowledge I have gained from this internship had prepared me to venture out into mediation field. I am extremely enthusiastic about family mediation and look forward to the next stage of my career. Thank you again.

— Breanne Becker, 2015 intern