Robert L. Douglas is a labor mediator and arbitrator in New York City. He is a member of the Bars of New York and Washington, D.C. Subsequent to his apprenticeship, he became the assistant dean of Hofstra Law School.
This article identifies the nature of the agreement between a mentor and an apprentice, discusses who should bear the responsibility for training new arbitrators, and examines some of the strengths and weaknesses of the apprenticeship approach to achieve acceptability as an arbitrator. These ideas are based on the author's three-year experience as an apprentice to Arbitrator Eric |. Schmertz, dean of Hofstra Law School.
The author criticizes certain interpretations of the Code of Professional Responsibility for Arbitrators of Labor-Management Disputes as giving a false impression to advocates about the propriety of apprentices assisting mentors in the draft- Ing of opinions without the prior consent of the parties. The focus then shifts to analyzing the shortterm benefits that apprenticeships provide for the apprentice and mentor as well as the long-term benefits for the labor-management community.