Enhance your legal practice with Mediation

Aug, 2021   ·   4 min read

Many law firms are adding mediation services to their firm's offerings. This trend is gaining momentum and has resulted in a win-win for both the attorneys and their clients. So lets take a look at what's behind this trend and how your firm can realize its benefits.

For many clients this alternative way of resolving disputes or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is preferred once they understand the process. They feel it is more equitable, less contentious, and much less expensive than following the traditional law suit process.

Attorneys prefer this path as it is less stressful than the "party against party" law suit process. It is a faster process which allows an attorney to increase their case load. It can be more profitable and less price sensitive if the attorney is efficient. It allows them to differentiate the firm from the competition. And given that the parties are more satisfied with the outcome, there is an increase in referrals with the added benefit of getting referrals from both sides of the dispute.

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So how does an attorney get into the mediation business? In addition to the obvious first step which is training and certification as a mediator (where required) there are a number of addition steps that should be defined. This includes:

  • Defining the mediation intake process to cover information needed from both dispute parties
  • Create new templates such as a standard mediation agreement so that you are prepared for your first mediation case
  • Updating your case management process or practice management software to include mediation cases. This needs to include how to handle the dispute parties as you will no linger have opposing parties. Also how to handle a new set of additional parties and their changed roles they in a mediation case.
  • Perform market research to determine an appropriate fee structure(s) for mediation services offered
  • Updating your marketing and sales activities and content. This can include proactively offering this service when a potential client inquires about your services.
  • Determine if you should join any mediation associations or join the ADR section of your bar to expand your reach.
  • Define how you will be supporting the billing requirements of a mediation. For mediation many time the bill will need to be split across the dispute parties.
  • Determine if you current applications can support your new processes, or will they need to be updated, or will any need to replaced.

So whether your firm does family, business, real estate or many other areas of law it would be highly beneficial to investigate if you should add mediation services to your firm. Once you make the decision to proceed make sure your practice management application can support mediation cases without significant workarounds. If you are unsure of what different practice management features are needed talk to us at Caseroads.

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