Collaborative Law

The Collaborative Law Movement started in Minneapolis in 1989 when Stuart Webb, a Minneapolis family lawyer, sought a way to reform family law and transition it into a less adversarial and more goals and relationship oriented approach. Since 1989, collaborative law has expanded globally and now is practiced by thousands of lawyers worldwide. Several states in the United States also have groups or factions of attorneys who have dedicated their entire career to collaborative practice. Collaborative law focuses on cooperation between parties, making it easier for everyone to maintain an amicable relationship following the resolution of a dispute. To achieve this, both sides of the dispute must willingly bind themselves to ground rules and sign an agreement about how the process will be conducted. The attorneys involved only represent the client if the matter stays out of litigation. If the matter goes to the courts for any reason, both attorneys must withdraw, and the parties will need to obtain new counsel or represent themselves. The collaborative law process may involve experts and consultants who also must adhere to the ground rules and withdraw if the matter goes to litigation. These experts may include psychologists, accountants, appraisers, or other individuals who have significant knowledge or experience in aspects of the dispute. When negotiating, each party voluntarily exchanges documents, so that everyone has access to the information needed to generate creative ideas that fit the needs of both parties. The goal of collaborative law is to come up with a solution that is mutually beneficial to all parties involved, so both can walk away feeling happy or satisfied with the outcome. Although collaborative law is practiced most widely in the family law context, it has expanded beyond the family law realm and is now utilized in nearly every field of the law, including [hyperlinks to other students pages] criminal law, restorative justice, wills, trusts and estates, earth law, political law, and more! For more information, or to register for a training in collaborative law, you can visit the International Association of Collaborative Professionals website.

To find out why judges prefer collaborative law, a/2018/july-2018/neither-mediators-nor-negotiators–collaborative- lawyers-emphasi/
For an overview of collaborative law in the commercial law context, ial-business-collaborative-law.pdf
To access a sample collaborative law agreement, e-law-and-settlement-counsel-branchmainlanguagedefault.pdf
To access the global collaborative law council and information pertaining thereto,
For more information on collaborative law and to hear from a collaborative law practitioner,
To sign up for a collaborative practice training,

This page was researched and designed by Allison Noteware

Stuffed Elephant as Mascot

The Elephant is our mascot. Around the world, the elephant is a powerful symbol of strength, social bonds, wisdom, dignity, grace, wisdom, confidence, patience, commitment, peace, gentleness, discernment,  intelligence, compassion, collective consciousness, and the removal of obstacles.  This particular elephant is a creative depiction of the Blind Men & the Elephant story. 

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