WHY I DO THIS WORK

About a year into law school, I found myself struggling to find where I fit within the practice of law. As the daughter of a lawyer, I had inherited skills and instincts that suited me well to the traditional practice of law. At the same time, I was drawn to working with people in a way that felt connected and meaningful, and it wasn't immediately clear to me how to do that as a lawyer.

My interests naturally drew me to the area of family law, but as I experienced more of what it meant to litigate family law cases in court in a traditional way, I felt a disconnect. I wanted to work with clients in a more positive way than felt possible in litigation. I also had the strong sense, through the observation of many litigated cases, that family matters were not well suited to resolution in the formal and impersonal setting of a courtroom. There had to be a better way.

Through a great turn of fortune, I was introduced to an organization that trained me in an alternative way of working, one that shifted my focus from gearing up for battle in court to helping my clients reach resolution in a private setting. Applied to family law cases, it was both remarkably effective - generally faster and less painful than being in court - and it resonated deeply with my own values and instincts.

At its heart, this approach - which can be applied equally to mediation, Collaborative Law or more traditional negotiation settings - recognizes that the vast, vast majority of court-based cases are not resolved by a judge but by the parties' own agreement. In light of that, it trains lawyers and mediators to focus solely on working with their clients toward a resolution, rather than preparing to win at trial in the unlikely scenario that resolution is not reached.

Mediation and Collaborative Law are now the cornerstones of my practice. Practicing in this way allows me to put the traditional-attorney side of myself to use, in helping people understand the law, evaluate their legal options, and navigate the intricacies of a complex process; but more importantly, it offers me a way of working with people that feels connected and meaningful to me, around matters of great importance to my clients.

I am deeply grateful to be able to work in this way, and I welcome the opportunity to speak with you in more depth about how I might be of assistance in whatever issue or process you are considering.