From Perry Mason and Law & Order to Judge Judy, many American consumers believe that legal conflict is resolved by trial--exciting, antagonistic, adversarial fights between lawyers. Yet common experience and research demonstrate that most legal conflict is not resolved between gladiators in the courtroom.' Many consumers come to the legal process with this Hollywood portrayal as their only knowledge of the process. Those engaged in the legal process know that there are alternatives to the courtroom for resolving dispute. Finding alternatives to litigation is especially important for legal aid programs, as the increased time and expense of litigation reduces the number of indigent clients that can be served. How do we provide indigent clients with quality legal representation and an alternative to waging their legal conflicts in the courtroom? How do we change the mindset that legal conflict must be fought in the adversarial posture of the courtroom?
Lawrence P. McLellan,
Expanding the Use of Collaborative Law: Consideration of Its Use in a Legal Aid Program for Resolving Family Law Disputes,
2008 J. Disp. Resol.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/jdr/vol2008/iss2/4