EEOC mediation is designed to resolve charges early in the process, generally before any investigation takes place. If your charge of discrimination appears to be provable and have value, it is likely that you can obtain an attorney who will take it on a contingency basis. Unless the claim of discrimination is obvious, most employers will offer only a small amount to settle a case at the stage of EEOC mediation. Although an attorney is not required at such mediation, you should understand that any settlement by the company will be based on what might be called "nuisance" value, i.e. to get the case out of the way and to minimize legal expenses of defending the charge through the litigation stage in federal court. Although the mediator must maintain neutrality and may not offer direct assistance, most EEOC mediators understand that an unrepresented charging party should be fully informed as the process of mediation unfolds and concludes.