How to Become a Collaborative Law Attorney
How does one become a collaborative law attorney? It is a relatively easy process to become an excellent collaborative law attorney. The most basic requirement before an attorney may consult with or represent a party in a collaborative law process in Texas, is that he or she must be licensed by the State Bar of Texas. All attorneys in Texas are eligible to practice collaborative law.
What about specific training? The Texas Collaborative Family Law Act does not require a collaborative lawyer in the collaborative family law process to be specially trained. A civil lawyer would engage in the collaborative law process by contract as an alternative dispute resolution process, again with no formal training requirements. However, the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct require attorneys to be competent to handle the specific legal matter for which they are engaged. The collaborative process, both in family law and civil matters, is highly structured with specific expectations for both the attorney and the clients. It is highly recommended that in addition to self-study, an excellent collaborative attorney will attend and complete a peer-recognized and attorney taught training course, such as those offered by Collaborative Divorce Texas or the Global Collaborative Law Council. These courses are generally two full days, and help the collaborative law attorney to develop the education and distinct skills necessary to navigate the collaborative law process. The trainings also provide the collaborative law attorney with tools and forms that are necessary for the process.
Collaborative law attorneys are not required to join any specific collaborative groups or organizations. However, there are many benefits to joining a group of peer professionals, whether that is a collaborative law practice group or network, an organization such as Collaborative Divorce Texas or Global Collaborative Law Council, or a collaborative bar organization in your local bar association, or the Collaborative Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. We encourage you to start your own journey toward becoming an excellent collaborative law attorney by joining this Section today.