Zoom Breakout Rooms for Mediations


COVID-19 forced changes on the legal profession, especially on tasks that required intense face-to-face interactions, such as negotiations and mediations. I developed a live course to prepare attorneys for conducting those sessions remotely using the Zoom platform.


Although the Zoom platform is especially user-friendly for video conferencing, using its advanced features can present challenges to people who are inexperienced in its use and lack confidence in their use of technology. It's important to present a clear concise overview and then follow up with individual coaching to ensure success.

One other challenge is that some people doubt Zoom's security. It is important to emphasize in training and preparation how security and confidentiality can be maintained for all parties.

An additional challenge was delivering training about Zoom in Zoom--because the Zoom program itself cannot be shared.


I created a live course delivered via Zoom that featured a short illustrated PowerPoint using screen captures from Zoom. This allowed me to show the preparation and functioning of the Breakout Rooms feature. Then, if there was time and interest, the session would include a live practice with Breakout Rooms for the session participants.

The session would be followed up with individual coaching scheduled on a just-in-time basis before the negotiation or mediation session (and could include other internal or external participants).

To supplement the course, I created illustrated guides that reinforced the material covered in the course so that users could work independently with an increased sense of self-efficacy.


I have help prepare 6 attorneys in addition to paralegals for online mediations. In addition, colleagues have discovered many other uses for Breakout Rooms, included Trivia nights pitting offices or states against each other.

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