ABOUT

Sarah English Wallace, J.D.

about sarah wallace

I am a Los Angeles-based professional family mediator and the owner of Modern Mediation.  I have advanced training and certification in divorce mediation from Northwestern University and the Academy of Professional Family Mediators.  I also serve as a business and family law mediator in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Before I started practicing mediation, I worked in appellate law and clerked at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for Judge Jacqueline Nguyen.  I received my J.D. from UCLA School of Law, where I studied alternatives to traditional dispute resolution and was personally trained by Forrest (Woody) Mosten, a trailblazer in mediation and collaborative family law.

In my old life, I was a competitive ballroom dancer and I had a coaching practice in Los Angeles leading partners to work together toward their common interests and shared goals.  I drew from my undergraduate studies in psychology and expressive therapy at Case Western Reserve University, as well as my own experience.  I retired from competitive dance almost 10 years ago, yet the way I work with clients remains centered on being a productive agent of positive change.

I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but I have lived in Los Angeles since 2007.  I have stayed because L.A. feels like home.  I am fortunate that L.A. has opened many doors for me, both personally and professionally, and has allowed me to have an independent career that reflects my sense of values.  I am married and live on the Westside with my family.

Style

My mediation style is engaging, purposeful, socially informed and emotionally aware.  I find it easy to make connections with others, which helps me to communicate and to be heard.  I believe in speaking about the law in human terms and offering a multidisciplinary process that gives my clients access to the most constructive and beneficial tools from law, psychology, economics, and other disciplines.  A diverse tool-kit, in my experience, is critical for reducing complexity and achieving the best possible results in the shortest amount of time.

I play an active role in mediations by assisting with effective communication, providing information and feedback, and managing power dynamics.  I strive to appreciate and validate the perspectives of all sides, doing everything I can to help my clients move forward.  As a mediator, I am trained to create a safe and nonjudgmental atmosphere in which needs and choices can be explored thoughtfully.  But I do not require a harmonious, low-conflict environment in order to mediate successfully, and I pay very close attention to what is needed from me in the room.

I generally work with two people on the issues they bring to mediate, but I do view and assess those specific challenges through the lens of many aspects of their lives - personal, social, professional and familial.  It has been my experience that resolutions are more durable if the mediation process acknowledges the complex social system (children, in-laws, friends, etc.) beyond the two people that can influence or be influenced by the outcome.

  • Certified Practitioner (2019), Academy of Professional Family Mediators
  • Family and Business Mediator (2017-2019), Los Angeles Superior Court
  • Collaborative Counselor Training (2017), Southern California Counseling Center
  • Family Law with Mediators and Therapists (2017), Northern California Mediation Ctr
  • Special Needs Children in Divorce Mediation (2016), NCMC
  • Divorce Mediation Certification Training (2016), Northwestern University
  • J.D. (2013) UCLA School of Law
  • B.A. (2003) in Psychology, Case Western Reserve University
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MODERN MEDIATION

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