On June 4, 2015, Attorney Emily Weber attended the 5th Annual Super Marketing Conference co-hosted by the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program (LOMAP) and the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Division. This year’s conference focused on social marketing strategies in recognition of the fact that the internet, specifically social media, has drastically changed the way in which attorneys educate the public about the services they offer. The conference featured both nationally-recognized legal marketing experts, as well as Massachusetts attorneys and other professionals.
Attorney Emily Weber has been selected to fill the Family Law Attorney seat with the Burlington, Massachusetts chapter of BNI (Business Network International). Only one member from each professional specialty is chosen to join each BNI chapter. BNI is the largest business networking organization in the world with over 170,000 members worldwide.
At the March 2015 Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council Annual Meeting, Attorney Emily Weber was elected to the organization’s Board of Directors, along with Linda Cohan, MSW, CSC, Attorney Jeffrey Fink, and Cathy Heenan, Ed.D. Emily looks forward to continuing her work with the organization in further developing the practice of Collaborative Law in Massachusetts. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Emily was named Chair of the Advanced Training Subcommittee for 2015-2016. Emily is joined on the subcommittee by Attorneys Patrice Brymner and Karen Levitt, and Dr. Allison Bell, Psy.D. Emily also continues as Co-Chair of the Tri-River Practice Group with Karen Levitt.
On May 1, 2015, MCLC’s Advanced Training Subcommittee hosted an Advanced Training Forum, “Money Talks: What Does it Say & What Does it Really Mean?” In addition to working with the rest of the subcommittee to organize the Forum, Emily also co-presented a workshop at the Forum.
Karen Levitt recently had an article published by the American Bar Association (ABA) in June 2015 regarding Access to Collaboration. As Chair of the IACP Access to Collaboration Task Force, and as a member of the MCLC Access to Collaboration Ad Hoc Committee, Karen has been very active this year in looking at how to bring Collaborative Law to clients of no, low, or modest means. See the ABA article at Karen’s Dispute Resolution Article.
The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (“IACP)”, www.collaborativepractice.com, earlier this year invited Collaborative practitioners from around the world to join IACP in a year long conversation about Collaborative Law and to help envision its future for clients and professionals alike. IACP called its initiative “The Year of Listening”, and Collaborative practitioners have been able to participate in a number of ways including facilitated calls with IACP board members. Karen Levitt as an IACP board member was a co-facilitator on several calls, including with Collaborative practitioners from Brazil and Canada. IACP’s “Year of Listening” has been a great way to share information, challenges, and ideas amongst Collaborative professionals around the world, many of whom will be attending IACP’s annual conference which is being held in Washington, D.C. this October.
The Washington, D.C. conference, which is from October 15 – 18, 2015, is a special one this year. The IACP is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Collaborative Practice, and Karen is honored to be part of the programming for the conference. Karen will be part of two workshops. Karen will be the facilitator of a workshop entitled “A Mosaic: Pro Bono and Low Bono Access to Collaboration around the World”, with presenters from the United States (Maryland and New York), Canada (Vancouver), and Israel. The workshop will provide participants with the ability to learn from different and international perspectives about program design (whether a formal or informal Access to Collaboration program), screening, and the benefits and challenges to be anticipated when creating an Access to Collaboration program. Karen with her Massachusetts colleague Dr. Gina Arons, Psy.D, will be presenting a workshop entitled “When the Clients and the Team Collide: Whose Case is it Anyway?”. Karen and Gina have worked together on many Collaborative Law Cases, and will be sharing their experiences and teaching participants about best practices.
On May 8, 2015, Karen presented with Susan Miller, CPA, of Aurora Financial Services, Wellesley, MA, and Dr. Sanford M. Portnoy, Ph.D., at the very first Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council Support Staff Workshop. The workshop attendees were paralegals, legal assistants, receptionists and other legal support staff who are often the first contact a client has with a law office and the Collaborative Law process.
Karen and her colleagues presentation was entitled “Working with Collaborative Professionals,” and focused on teaching support staff the “rhythm” of a Collaborative case, including pre-briefs, debriefs, and how support staff can work best with the Collaborative professionals in a case particularly around scheduling and meeting preparation. The role of the coach was also discussed including how emotionality in divorce is handled differently in the Collaborative Law process compared to other legal processes. Both of Karen’s legal assistants, Jackie and Paula, attended. The workshop was a great success!
On April 16, 2015, Karen Levitt and Emily Weber from the Levitt Law Group, and Jeanmarie Papelian (formerly of the McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton Professional Association), organized and co-facilitated a joint meeting of the Collaborative Law Alliance of New Hampshire and two Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council practice groups, the Northern Massachusetts Practice Group and the Tri-River Practice Group. Entitled “Ethics Café” and held at the McLane law firm’s Woburn, MA office, Collaborative practitioners from both jurisdictions considered four ethical questions and had a lively discussion about them all!