Many divorce lawyers are change-makers, practicing law because we want to make the world a better place, one family at a time. We run our practices with out hearts and our minds - trying to be efficient and effective, to go beyond facts, figures, the law and options - to be humans while lawyering.
While most of us know families do not belong in court, we may not have figured out the business case for an out of court practice. We need to make a living, too. Caring for ourselves is vital to caring for our clients.
We struggled with the transition for many years and finally landed on a message to clients which has really helped us attract and keep clients who want to work things out - our "five star" clients.
Our firm has transitioned away from ALL court processes, but we still get enquiries from potential clients who are disappointed their former partner is not willing to mediate or collaborate. We want to help all kinds of families, and here is how we manage our message. If this makes sense for your practice, feel free to adapt and adopt and let us know how it goes!
Our message to these clients goes like this:
This is wow we can help:
We are an exclusively out-of-court law firm. After many years managing a court-based practice, we have determined that our talents are best focussed on helping clients reach agreements they have a hand in designing – through mediation and collaboration. We want to work with you in a process that puts your family’s health first.
Sadly, this means that we cannot help everyone who contacts our firm.
If your former partner does not wish to mediate or collaborate, here are some ways we can still help you:
We can work with you to gather the necessary parenting and financial information and help you prepare a proposal. If this results in agreement, then we can draft the necessary documents. If your former partner is not willing to engage in productive discussions, then we will assist you to find a lawyer who still works within the court process.
It is very difficult to work effectively if both spouses are not willing to commit to discussions. We are very firm in our commitment to engage only in productive, out-of-court negotiations to try and work things out for you, and your family.
If you want to engage our “no court” services, please know we are very happy to help.
Here is what happened recently
A potential client shared this message with her reluctant spouse. He visited our website and changed his mind, choosing mediation.
The first client told us: “My spouse seems to be on the same page now. I would like to proceed as I really believe in your values and process. I’m really hopeful we won’t need the courts.”
So instead of losing one client, we gained two.
Now, that's good for business.