Five Reasons Why An Attorney Would Want To Practice Collaborative Law
A lot has been written about why a divorcing couple may want to consider using the collaborative law process rather than litigation. But why attorneys want to practice collaborative law? What benefits can they expect to receive? Here are five good reasons:
- Ability to offer clients more options – Divorcing couples are looking for attorneys who practice collaborative law because they want to work with attorneys who are committed to keeping them out of court. Clients have heard the nightmares of their friends and family members who get sucked into the litigation vortex and they know they do not want that for their own divorce. If an attorney treats every divorce case as if court intervention is the first option, they are going to lose many potential clients.
- Better relationships with clients – Collaborative lawyers have better relationships with their clients both during and after the collaborative divorce process. Divorcing couples are already hurt and angry. The collaborative law process helps to manage those emotions, rather than inflame them. This results in an attorney-client relationship that is calmer during the process and more likely to lead to referrals afterwards.
- Costs are kept down and the attorney is freed up to work with more clients – Contested divorce cases are expensive because the lawyers spend so much time waiting around in court, drafting motions, conducting depositions and negotiating from extreme positions. Collaborative divorces are more streamlined because both clients and their attorneys are committed to reaching an agreement. So, while an attorney may not earn as much in a single collaborative case as in a single litigation case, they are able to handle more collaborative cases at once.
- Clients are offered more privacy – A collaborative divorce appeals to high profile and high net worth clients who require discretion. Collaborative attorneys are not exposing clients to the risk of an open courtroom and the possibility that their motion or trial decision will be published for anyone to read.
- A chance to improve lawyering skills. – Traditional matrimonial attorneys are already good at settling cases. Collaborative law techniques improve and refine those negotiation and settlement skills. Collaborative lawyers are involved in good faith negotiations. This means they can be focused on listening and responding to the interests of their clients rather than the game playing of an adversary. By improving their skills, collaborative lawyer have more control over their caseload and the results that are achieved.
The New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, together with the law firm of Moses & Singer, LLP offers a free CLE entitled “Why Would An Attorney Want To Practice Collaborative Law?” If you are interested in attending this program or having us present it at your law firm, please contact us.