This is a boutique law and mediation practice devoted solely to clients who wish to resolve conflict peaceably and holistically, either by planning ahead to reduce future conflict (e.g. wills, prenups) or by using mediation, negotiation, or collaborative law to reach agreement prior to filing of court papers in legal actions (e.g. mediated divorce, collaborative divorce, family settlement agreements). We help divorcing couples, elders, and families have respectful conversations, decide upon, and implement legal solutions that meet complex family needs and which parties objectively and subjectively feel are fair and sustainable.
Mediation services are also offered to communities of faith, utilizing an approach deeply informed by principles of reconciliation and conflict transformation as modeled and taught in the New Testament.
Just Mediation, LLC, is a limited liability corporation whose mission is to help individuals resolve conflict through means that are honorable, just, fair, and which enable people to feel good about what they have done and the way they are living their lives. It is also the professional practice for conflict consulting of Alexandria Skinner, J.D., an attorney who has been licensed in the State of South Carolina (and federal courts) since 1984. While legal services are provided only in South Carolina (at the business location of 3924 Forest Drive, Suite #1, Columbia, South Carolina, USA), mediation and conflict consulting services are also offered nationally and internationally on a private consulting basis. Skinner has extensive training in multiple forms of mediation (including mediation for extended families and multiparty, complex mediation), is a certified Healthy Congregations Trainer, has lived in China and traveled in Asia, and speaks conversational Mandarin (on a basic level).
What, you may ask, is a conflict consultancy? Conflict consulting is distinguished from mediation in that it aims to improve response to conflict, and improve outcome, at any level of conflict. Conflict consulting is, therefore, much broader than mediation. It includes training and prevention, such as training of families and staff in conflict resolution skills and development of systems within organizations to assist in healthy resolution of conflict. It also includes direct intervention in conflict through mediation. And, it may include individual coaching in responses to conflict in cases where one party is willing to mediate or seek a peaceful resolution to conflict and the other is not.
Ms. Skinner began her career as an attorney by Clerking for the Honorable Randall T. Bell on the S.C. Court of Appeals in 1984, followed by work as a Staff Attorney for the S.C. Court of Appeals, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the S.C. Attorney General, Associate General Counsel for the S.C. State Budget and Control Board, and Hearing Advisor for the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. In addition to being Certified by the S.C. Supreme Court as a Family Court Mediator, Skinner is an active member of the Family and Elder Sections of the Association for Conflict Resolution and is a member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators. She has participated in specific trainings for elder mediation, mediation of IEP meetings and special education issues, mediation for church congregations and in Christian conflict transformation, in community mediation, and is certified as a Healthy Congregations facilitator.
Skinner is also trained and certified by the International Association of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) as a collaborative divorce attorney and mediator. Collaborative divorce is a new model of divorce in which each party has an attorney to represent them, but the parties agree to resolve their conflict out of court. Part of this process involves using neutral professionals to assist the parties in achieving positive results. Skinner has also incorporated use of neutral professionals, as appropriate, to support parties in mediation as well.
Ms. Skinner has a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Winthrop University. She additionally has studied philosophy with an emphasis in ethics as an M.A student at the University of South Carolina, completing 21 semester hours in that program and working as a graduate research assistant at the University of South Carolina Center for Bioethics. In all of this, Skinner’s goal has been to work as a peacemaker by helping people achieve resolution of conflict. Her first job, working at the S.C. Court of Appeals, gave her a bird’s eye view from a judicial perspective into hundreds of high conflict and unique civil cases. Following this, she worked at the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, in both the civil and criminal divisions, then as Associate General Counsel at the S.C. State Budget and Control Board, and as a (neutral) Hearing Advisor at the S.C. Department of Labor and Licensing. In her career, Skinner has worked on many, diverse civil and criminal cases, including representation of the state in more than 100 appellate cases.
Whether as mediator, advocate, negotiator, or conflict coach, she has applied principles of positive conflict resolution throughout her career and has successfully helped many clients find creative and positive solutions to address varied conflicts and legal challenges. In 2009, Ms. Skinner devoted her practice to peacemaking through non-adversarial methods of conflict resolution.
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