Collaborative Law/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on February 25, 2016


Although I serve in my professional life as a mediator, I am always looking for ways to grow in other fields as well. I recently took a training course in Collaborative Law, which involves two attorneys working as a team to try to bring the parties in a divorce to a peaceful accord. The attorneys have an incentive to work together by virtue of a written agreement which bars either party from taking a potential dispute to Court. I prepared an article describing my reaction to the training process for a new undertaking, and I have modified it for the purpose of this blog. It follows below in outline form:

Benefits of Collaborative Practice Training

My trainer for Collaborative Practice was Attorney Christine Crilley of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Chris is a wonderful teacher and a passionate and giving human being. I would like to share several benefits I see from taking Collaborative training.I will start with the most obvious reason.

  1. Being trained to be a Collaborative practitioner gives one greater latitude in the professional services they can offer their clients.
  2. Clients often do some internet research before they see us. Some will ask what we think about the Collaborative process. After training in the Collaborative process, we obtain a broader base of knowledge from which to better advise them.
  3. For many of us, mediation training took place years ago. Taking a new course which incorporates mediation principles and insights will remind us of what we once learned and will update us in new mediation developments. The course may serve to remind us why we decided to become mediators. That per se is a great reason to take this training.
  4. Many of us go to conferences. We do not have the time to engage some of the new people we see, nor to learn much from one another. We talk more and more in sound bytes. In my course, we had ten students. After 2 days, we all realized how much we had learned from each other and from the differing ways we currently practice.all.
  5. Every trainer has their unique talent and humanity from which we can learn. Sometimes we hear one casual statement that will remain embedded in our minds for the duration of our professional, and personal, lives.

Collaborative law is not mediation but it utilizes similar skills and processes. It works with two attorneys present rather than one. Not everybody couple is meant for mediation or willing to try it. In such cases, it is well worth the effort to learn more, from the professionals, about Collaborative Divorce.  Like mediation, it strives to reach Win-Win. It is therefore part of the ADR (alternate dispute resolution) family. Going the ADR route is a decision you will not regret.