Document Type



A critical analysis of collaborative law (CL) is only now beginning, and should be based on actual, not hypothetical information about the practice and its impact on clients as courts, the bar, and the public begin to digest the idea of CL. This Article intends to present a more comprehensive picture of collaborative practice than is currently available, to better inform the ongoing conversation about what role CL will play in the legal system. Toward that end, the following sketches some basic questions about CL, and provides some preliminary answers. Part I recounts the origin of CL and introduces the process, including a discussion of how the limitations imposed on both lawyers and clients by the collaborative law agreement are designed to affect the quality of negotiations. Part II considers the ethical concerns raised by CL, particularly by the demands made by the collaborative law agreement. The results of a survey of collaborative lawyers and their clients are discussed in Part III, including findings relevant to the claims of both CL's fans and critics, and additional questions raised with indications for further research. Part IV relates the experience of CL with a real couple and their lawyers in the context of divorce. Part V concludes with the reasons that persist for both lawyers' and clients' resistance to CL.