A group of students work together during the 2017 mock mediation tournament held at Brenau.
A group of students work together during the 2017 mock mediation tournament held at Brenau.

Conflict Resolution & Legal Studies

Oct 13, 2020
Sydney Hencil


When Rebecca Watts first came to Brenau University, she was a music major.  Along with her passion for music, she also had a strong affinity for the study of law and wanted to take that passion a little further.

“I didn’t want to be an attorney,” Watts said.  After doing some research, she came across Conflict Resolution & Legal Studies.  

“When I realized that there were other alternatives to a career in legal studies I jumped at the chance,” Watts said.  She didn’t drop her music major, but opted to graduate as a double major in music and conflict resolution.

Conflict resolution careers are expanding rapidly, especially on a macro-level.  Conflict resolution involves looking at both sides of arguments and developing logical solutions for conflicts that arise in a variety of community, legal and workplace settings.

By earning a bachelor’s degree in Conflict Resolution & Legal Studies, students are prepared for work in many fields or go onto graduate studies and obtain professional licensure.  Some careers with a foundation in conflict resolution include: 

  • Mediator
  • Lawyer
  • Diplomat
  • International peacemaker
  • Conciliators
  • Arbitrator

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the average pay in 2019 for Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators is about $63,930 per year.  This is after a bachelor’s degree entry level education.

Since earning her degree, Watts has worked in several positions in the legal field including the Department of Justice and two domestic law firms in the local area.  In addition to being a paralegal, Watts joined the Army National Guard in 2013. 

“Because I already had an undergraduate degree, I was placed in a higher rank than many of the other soldiers and given more opportunities,” she said.  “A military career is definitely an option with this degree.”

Watts’ advice to people who are interested in Conflict Resolution & Legal Studies: “ If you have a passion for helping people resolve conflicts, make it your priority.  It is very possible to have a career in this, you may just have to get creative in how you apply your studies!”  Many legal firms will try to solve conflicts with a mediator before going to court and the job market for mediators is steadily increasing. 

To find out more about a degree in Conflict Resolution & Legal Studies, visit https://www.brenau.edu/fineartshumanities/humanities-department/programs/conflict-resolution-and-legal-studies/ or reach out to the Admissions Office.

 

Further reading:

https://www.brenau.edu/fineartshumanities/humanities-department/programs/conflict-resolution-and-legal-studies/

https://legalstudiesms.com/learning/careers-in-dispute-resolution-how-to-solve-conflicts-for-a-living/ 

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/arbitrators-mediators-and-conciliators.htm