Volunteer or Intern with the Dispute Resolution Program

Opportunities for Volunteer Mediators

Volunteers play an important role in the goal of OC Human Relations to reach those in the community who otherwise might not be able to benefit from the services we offer. Thanks to its many great volunteers, OC Human Relations is able to provide quality mediation services at no cost to the disputants. At the same time, volunteering in the Dispute Resolution Program is a rewarding and gratifying experience that provides volunteers with valuable skills that benefit them in both their personal and professional life.

Volunteer activities take place during regular weekday work hours (8AM to 5 PM). Within those parameters, the volunteer has flexibility to schedule their volunteer time around their own needs and other commitments. Some volunteers choose to volunteer on a consistent regular schedule while other volunteers participate more sporadically as their schedule allows. All volunteer contributions are greatly appreciated. Volunteers from all walks of life are welcome and there is a special need for individuals who have bilingual abilities to help us serve the needs of our diverse community.

Completion of a Basic Mediation Training is a prerequisite for becoming a volunteer mediator in Dispute Resolution Program activities which include community outreach and mediation services and/or participation in our Court-based mediation programs. Individual who have already been trained in mediation will need to provide verification of completion along with a course description/syllabus so we can confirm that the training meets Dispute Resolution Program Act (DRPA) requirements. For those who are not already trained, DRPA-certified mediation training is offered through OC Human Relations several times per year. While the cost for the training is $525, volunteers are eligible to receive a $250 refund once they have completed 120 hours of volunteer service in our mediation program. More information and a registration link may be found under the training tab of this website. A livescan check with the Department of Justice must also be completed before an individual can serve as a volunteer in the program.

For more information on mediation volunteer opportunities, please contact Kathy Shimizu at [email protected] or 714-480-6581.

Website For Volunteer Mediators:

OC Human Relations has created a website specifically for our volunteer mediators:

OCHR Mediators' Website

Opportunities for Dispute Resolution Interns

OC Human Relations Dispute Resolution Interns are provided with an opportunity to develop meditation and negotiation skills through practical experience in the field of dispute resolution. This is a unique opportunity to work with diverse groups and individuals to promote cooperative and amicable resolution of conflicts. Interns will also have the opportunity to assist with program development and implementation activities which could include public speaking, if desired. Interns will be working in a human relations environment and are expected to deal tactfully and respectfully with sensitive issues involving divergent viewpoints and cultures.

General Duties:

  • Perform Mediation Casework in court-based and/or community disputes (typical case types include: landlord/tenant, neighbor/neighbor, consumer/merchant, employer/employee, etc.)
  • Assist staff with mediation trainings, educational presentations, and program outreach
  • Assist staff with grant-related documentation and case file preparation as requested
  • Complete mediation learning activities as required
  • Learn about OCHR other services and assist with special projects as requested


A. The intern must be enrolled in a school program or have recently graduated. The student may or may not choose to perform the internship under a formal relationship with the school. If this is so, the student will also provide contact information for their supervising instructor.

B. Interns are required to complete a Basic Mediation Training prior to starting their internship. If the intern has not already received mediation training elsewhere, they can register for the OC Human Relations Basic Mediation Training. The cost for this training is $525. An intern is eligible for a refund of $250 of the training fee upon completion of 120 hours of volunteer service and submission of documentation of completion within 6 months of starting the internship.


  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work with diverse individuals in a diplomatic and non-biased manner
  • An interest and/or skills in mediation
  • Bilingual individuals are highly desirable

Intern Commitment:

A. 120 Hours of volunteer work to be scheduled at the intern’s convenience, usually 6-10 hours per week in 3 or 4-hour shifts, mornings or afternoons, Mon. – Fri., between 8 AM and 5 PM.

B. Completion of specific activities designed to enhance the intern’s knowledge and experience in dispute resolution work. The internship is designed so that the intern may complete all required activities during their scheduled time on-site at OC Human Relations’ office in Santa Ana and the North Justice Center in Fullerton.  Interns must be able to provide their own transportation to the work sites.


Awarded upon submission of documentation of completion of all internship requirements.

Application Deadline:

Applications are accepted on an on-going basis year-round It is preferred that the application be submitted several weeks in advance of the anticipated start date so that the start date will not be delayed.

How to Apply:

Contact Kathy Shimizu at (714) 480-6581 or [email protected] for application forms or for more information.