I was very impressed with a Boston area law firm’s website I ran across today. The Boston Law Collaborative , PLLC really resonated with me, because what they do in Boston is very similar to what we are doing here at Seattle Divorce Services. I ran across the website as I was getting ready to call David Hoffman, the founding lawyer there who also teaches Mediation at Harvard Law School.
Like me, they believe that court should be the last option rather than the first. As they put it, problem solving and effective negotiation produce better results.
I particularly liked their use of the quote: “If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”- Abraham Maslow. I often use that quote myself when talking to people about dispute resolution. Too often, lawyers in litigation-heavy practice areas like divorce are like the workman who only has a hammer – the only dispute resolution tool they have is litigation. When litigation is your only tool, then every case that walks into your office looks like one that should be litigated.
However, when you have a variety of tools – Litigation, Mediation, Collaboration, Arbitration, Pro Se Assistance, etc. – then you can help people choose the services and approaches they prefer and which are best suited to their circumstances. BLC refers to this as the “multi-door principle”, i.e. there are a number of different doors clients can walk through, depending on what they are looking for.