Written by Collaborative Attorney, Fernanda Pedroso
For collaboratively trained professionals, a nagging concern is the probability that they will ever get a collaborative case—let alone several of them. Ironically, that concern assumes that collaborative cases are out there waiting to fall on a professional’s lap. The reality is that most collaborative cases need to be made, not scooped up (at least not yet). The day will come where the public will know about the collaborative process enough so, that they will seek out trained professionals to obtain information on the process. Until then, how many collaborative cases you get will be based on how many of them you make.
It is not enough to simply get trained. That is only the first step. Of course, once trained, you need to educate your clients on the process so that they may consider handling their case collaboratively. However, it is not enough for one individual to agree; the process requires both participants agreeing to handle their case within the collaborative process. This is where things get trickier. While educating and convincing your client to choose the collaborative process, is easier said than done. It is even more difficult to engage the individual who is not your client but whose agreement is required to proceed within the collaborative process. For that reason, it is imperative that as a collaboratively trained attorney, you not only educate and convince your clients, but also other legal professionals near and around you.
Inviting your legal colleagues and peers into the collaborative community is an easy and logical way to help build your collaborative portfolio. Generally, the more collaboratively trained professionals there are actively educating their clients about this option, the more collaborative cases will come into existence. From a logistical standpoint, if you and other attorneys located near you are discussing this option with your respective clients, the odds of being retained on a case where both individuals have been exposed to the collaborative process increases and so too does their interest in engaging in this option. The simultaneous exposure on both sides helps attorneys overcome one of the biggest hurdles—how to convince the other party that this option is beneficial not just to your client but to both individuals about to embark in a family law case. The collaborative process involves a team of professionals, two of which are attorneys. If you bring that team mentality to the acquisition of cases, your number of collaborative cases will grow.