Friday, November 21, 2008

Attorney Referral Networks at Work

This week I had the pleasure of assisting the Collaborative Family Law Institute ( organize a "Lunch 'N Learn" for Miami-area lawyers who do not have a family law practice. The goal was to educate these attorneys about the collaborative approach, so that they might refer clients or other acquaintances to CFLI members.

Attendance was generated by CFLI members who reached out to fellow attorneys via personal invitations. We supplemented this with email and direct mail campaigns. BNY Mellon Bank was generous in hosting the event, and 1 Florida Bar CLE credit was offered.

The result was an informative gathering with about 20 attorneys in attendance. This intimate setting, in a board room overlooking beautiful Biscayne Bay, provided a great opportunity to introduce the participants to an emerging trend in alternative dispute resolution. The busy lawyers in attendance set aside normal scheduling demands to truly focus their attention on the material being presented.

The two-hour session provided an in-depth introduction to the collaborative family law process, led by CFLI founder and Miami family law attorney Rosemarie Roth. This family-friendly alternative to a contested divorce focuses on "preserving rather than destroying" the family relationships, as explained by Coral Gables family law attorney Bob Merlin.

CFLI board member and family law attorney Judy Hodor outlined how Florida courts now focus on "parenting plans" that emphasize the best needs of the children, rather than the old concept of custody.

Psychologist and CFLI board member Lana M. Stern Ph.D. emphasized how the divorcing couple is taught new communications skills to help them create a mutually beneficial framework for family decision making.

Overall, this "Lunch 'N Learn" technique is a very effective way to reach out to prospects on a personalized basis. It's a great investment in building a longer term source for high quality referrals.

No comments: