2020-2021 Section Report
Collaborative Law Section
Laura R. Schlenker, Chair
The Collaborative Law Section had an outstanding year thanks to the hard work and passion of its council and members. A big shout out to you all!
The pandemic created opportunity for innovation in online collaborative law process models, expanding the way we do collaborative law in Texas. Not even a global pandemic could stop Texas lawyers and professionals from attending the 21st Annual Collaborative Law Course in March 2021, presented wholly in virtual format, complete with two full days of CLE presentations and networking activities.
This year the Section increased member benefits by resuming publication of member newsletters, and producing its first ever webinar CLE program in April 2021, free to members. Our new website, CollaborativeLawSection.com, will debut this summer – watch for the big reveal. And last year’s highly anticipated program by The Likeable Lawyer team has been rescheduled to an interactive, virtual format in July 2021. It will spotlight techniques from improvisational acting and expansive negotiation to equip collaborative attorneys to “further enlarge the pie,” so that every stakeholder gets more of what they want.
What does the future hold? We plan to grow outward, taking the collaborative message to law schools, the judiciary, and local bar organizations by providing speakers and presentations. We are excited to start funding a memorial law student scholarship for the collaborative law course at South Texas School of Law Houston, in memory of our dear friend and Vice Chair, Ruth L. Rickard, who passed away in December 2020. The Section-sponsored groundbreaking study group, the “CL/ADR Innovations Workgroup,” is off and running. Its mission is to design enhancements to dispute resolution processes to make them more accessible, financially feasible, and attractive to a broader range of clients, both family and civil. We anticipate that this bar year will contain opportunities not only to hone your collaborative skills and build your practice, but also to spread the word about the collaborative process and its benefits.
So stay involved. Stay committed. Renew your membership, and bring a friend. Our next year as a Section is shaping up to be our best yet.