Mediation and advocacy are categorized as human services that assist people with conflict resolution and prevention as well as remediation of problems through an interdisciplinary knowledge base. Mediation in the sense of the word means the intervention in order to bring resolve between coerced parties. A mediator is a person who is used by the negotiators or the parties of conflict. In this case, the mediator comes in as a neutral party to facilitate resolution.
The core purpose of mediation is to negotiate a mutually agreeable outcome, clarify misunderstanding, and explore concerns at the same time creating avenues for solutions. Advocacy on the other hand seeks to support people or parties to voice their interests or views. Advocacy is normally coupled with litigation processes. There are different types of advocacies.
Mediation and advocacy tend to work hand in hand although the first precedes the latter. Mediation is a totally voluntary form of conflict resolution in which neither party is bound by any condition. Its ground is based on mutual agreement. Mediation is preferred for the reasons of cost saving, control in terms of more role play in the negotiation process, customized agreements due to heavy involvement in the process, and mostly confidentiality. Advocacy comes in the second phase where engagement of a lawyer is needed. Advocates are a form of authority to commit the parties to an agreement.
The advocate or counsel plays the pivotal role after the mediator has come in between and provided possible solutions. The counsel's role here should not concern on resolution for mediation works on principal of compromise. If a decision is reached, the counsel's responsibility is to make the best possible presentation to that principal. Most mediation is first done on individual consultations in separate meeting before confining at joint meeting. The lawyer role comes at the second phase of joint meeting where opportunity is provided to the lawyer and client to speak to the other party. It is the role of these two to assist the parties into achieving the best possible resolution to their dispute without bias.