The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals has established Minimum Standards for Collaborative Practitioners, most recently revised in October 2014. When you consider hiring a divorce attorney, and you are exploring the option of Collaborative Divorce, ask your potential attorney whether he or she meets each of the following Minimum Standards:
1. General Requirements:
1.1 The Collaborative practitioner is a member in good standing of: IACP; and a local Collaborative Practice group.
1.2 The Collaborative practitioner accepts the IACP Mission Statement.
1.3 The Collaborative practitioner diligently strives to practice in a manner consistent with the IACP Ethical Standards for Collaborative practitioners.
1.4 The trainings referred to in 2.2, 3.3 and 4.3 must be trainings that meet the IACP Minimum Standards for trainings delivered by trainers who meet the IACP Minimum Standards for Collaborative Trainers.
2. IACP Minimum Standards for Collaborative Lawyer Practitioners:
2.1 Membership in good standing in the administrative body regulating and governing lawyers in the lawyer’s own jurisdiction.
2.2 Completion of an Introductory Collaborative Practice Training or an Introductory Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice Training that meets the requirements of IACP Minimum Standards for Introductory Collaborative Practice Trainings and Introductory Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice Trainings. For practitioners who commenced Collaborative Practice prior to January 1, 2015, completion of training that met the requirements of the IACP Minimum Standards for a Collaborative Basic Training then in effect.
2.3 At least one thirty hour training in client centered, facilitative conflict resolution, of the kind typically taught in mediation training (interest-based, narrative or transformative mediation programs).
2.4 In addition to the above, an accumulation or aggregate of fifteen further hours of training in any of the following areas:
Interest-based negotiation training
Communication skills training
Collaborative training beyond minimum fourteen hours of Initial Collaborative training
Advanced mediation training
Basic professional coach training
Feel free to take this checklist with you to any initial consultation with a lawyer, and ask for specifics about how he or she meets each Standard.
Adam B. Cordover is a member of the Board of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (“IACP”) and co-chair of the IACP Standards and Ethics Committee. Adam has taught Introductory and Advanced Collaborative Trainings and workshops to other lawyers throughout the U.S., Canada, Israel, and France. Adam is currently accepting family law matters throughout the State of Florida.