How Much Experience Is Needed?

How Much Experience Is Needed?

Written by My Collaborative Team Marketing Director, Eric Sachs

One of the most unique parts about My Collaborative Team is our ability, as a group, to openly discuss topics related to the Collaborative Process that bring varying opinions from peacemakers around North America. During last Friday’s virtual happy hour gathering, our conversation lead us on a path to discussing what experience may be needed or could be beneficial for practitioners looking to grow their Collaborative Practice.

Many current Collaborative Professionals made the shift from litigation to alternative dispute resolution, like the Collaborative Process, because of the horrors they had witnessed taking place in the litigation model. Several Collaborative Lawyers felt their firsthand experience of battling in court was invaluable, and to some degree a rite of passage, into molding them into the peacemakers they are today. Other professionals involved in this discussion questioned if that experience is truly needed by Collaborative Professionals to make them the best peacemaker they can be.

Those who pushed back on the idea that Professionals should have that courtroom experience felt as if they were able to learn from what they had been taught in law school without the need for that personal experience. The conversation is a fascinating one that will continue to generate varying opinions, but if we all are working towards making the Collaborative Process the go to process for how families solve their disputes won't these courtroom experiences start to dwindle as younger and new Collaborative Professionals become trained? Will having Professionals with no courtroom experience be a benefit or detriment to the future of the Collaborative Process? It is often said that to not repeat history we must continue to learn about our past, but is just learning about the past as valuable as experiencing it?

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