A Model Dispute Resolution Firm

Recently, all-around mensch David Hoffman, the founder of the Boston Law Collaborative, circulated a note about his firm’s new website with the following description of the firm.

“Boston Law Collaborative is a multidisciplinary law firm devoted to conflict resolution and the practice of collaborative law.  Our goal is to save our clients time, money, and the emotional upheaval produced by litigation.  Do we also go to court?  Only when necessary.  Many years of experience have taught us that problem-solving and effective negotiation produce better results.  And with experienced professionals from the fields of law, mediation, finance and psychology, BLC offers clients a full range of services and support.

“BLC looks for alternatives to litigation – the legal system’s traditional, adversarial method of dispute resolution.  Our tools are collaborative law, mediation, arbitration, and case evaluation.  Our approach is to seek common ground and find better solutions.”

BLC is my ideal of a law and dispute resolution firm.  It offers a wide variety of dispute resolution processes so that clients can choose a process that best fits their needs.  Sort of like a private multi-door courthouse.  And having a range of professionals under one roof permits one-stop shopping.

Their website provides a lot of helpful resources for clients including sample forms and agreements, links to other resources, case studies, and inspirational quotes.  For professionals, they offer trainings, workshops, coaching, and facilitation.

Last year, I had a multi-part conversation with Heather Kulp about what to tell law students and new law graduates about careers in ADR.  I wish that there were a lot of firms like BLC around the country that might hire new graduates, but I don’t know of others – do you? Indeed, looking at BLC’s roster, it looks as if they affiliate only with experienced practitioners.

I think that lawyers who are 5-10 years out of law school could form their own firms adapting BLC’s model.  Wouldn’t it be great if there were firms like this all over the country?

If you think that the alumni and/or career development directors at your school might be intrigued by this idea, you might pass this post along to them.

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