What Is Collaborative Law?

The public tends to associate attorneys with conflict creation, not working together towards practical problem solving. The legal industry is slowly changing however. Although some lawyers are kicking and screaming in resistance, others see opportunities for  improved client outcomes and their own professional satisfaction levels.

Businesses and commercial clients need to solve their legal problems or complete important transactions without frustrating delays, expense, and legal posturing.  Today, some people are not able to afford traditional legal services for issues such as divorce or other domestic relations matters.  Across the country more and more attorneys are moving away from the “lawyer as gladiator” model towards focused negotiations and effective settlement advocacy.

Not all lawyers are effective when it comes to obtaining a favorable end-result outside the constricting walls of a courtroom.   It is a different skill set – one oftentimes ignored by law schools.

At Next Phase Legal, our lawyers have worked this way for years –  helping entrepreneurs work together on new ventures, drafting partner and shareholder agreements, helping business owners find investors, and working with transitioning families facing divorce and other challenges.

As attorneys, we’ve witnessed the dissatisfaction experienced by many clients – whether divorcing parents or a small business owner – with slow and expensive litigation.  Our judges and court personnel work hard and face many obstacles, but the ability of the courts to provide closure and tranquility to involved parties is limited.

Thus, whenever collaboration is an option, it is generally a good thing.  Oftentimes, collaboration just happens when lawyers are focused on their clients; but sometimes collaboration becomes more formal.

Emergence of the Formal Collaborative Law Process  & Collaborative Law Overview

This frustration spurred the beginnings of the Collaborative Law process, now used around the globe to respectfully resolve various types of legal conflict.  although it began in 1990, collaborative law is still considered a new approach in the slow-moving legal world.  Under the collaborative model of dispute resolution, lawyers are retained to work cooperatively in an effort of reaching a resolution that is acceptable for both sides – without any court intervention or even the threat of court intervention.   The collaborative law process also encourages the use of neutral,non-lawyer professionals, whether financial experts or mental health professionals serving as neutral coaches and facilitators as part of the collaborative team.

The collaborative law process is most often associated with the divorce process.   Attorney Stephen McDonough is an experienced collaborative divorce attorney. Collaborative law continues to grow in popularity for other civil matters, providing a private and less-adversarial approach for resolving matters such as business and employment disputes.  Certain types of organizations, including non-profits and religious organizations have found collaborative law a useful option to quietly and efficiently reach solutions to different types of legal maters, including employment matters for example.

Although the collaborative process is usually less expensive than litigation, it tends to cost more than mediation where just one professional works with the parties.  There are many other differences, so it makes sense to compare a collaborative approach to mediation and litigation.

Please visit our page about collaborative divorce.

Norfolk County Collaborative law attorney, collaborative divorce lawyer in Norfolk, MA, serving Walpole, Westwood, Millis, Medway, Dedham, Sharon, Canton, Franklin, and Norwood, MA.