Collaboration is a process where two or more people or organizations work together to attain common goals through intellectual undertaking in a creative nature by sharing knowledge for learning and building consensus. Collaboration of attorneys and law firms may range from co-counseling on an engagement to a merger with another firm.
Attorneys collaborate with other attorneys for a variety of reasons. Collaboration may be to share finances and resources. Some lawsuits are expensive and time consuming to prosecute and thus a law firm may feel the need to work with other law firms to adequately handle the matter. Attorneys may also collaborate together to add expertise and experience on a matter.
Some factors to consider when one is contemplating collaborating with another attorney or firm:
- specialization of attorneys,
- professional ethical constraints,
- conflicts of interest
- sharing finances, resources and facilities
Often times, attorneys starting off in practice may wish to collaborate to help boost their practice’s ability to gain clientele, bring in revenue, and provide competent service. Attorneys may collaborate formally with of-counsel or co-counsel relationships, or they may collaborate in learning and educating others through seminars, continuing legal education and authoring joint publications.
There are many good reasons for attorneys/firms to collaborate. These reasons apply both to new lawyers and experienced lawyers and firms. The possible ranges of collaboration are very wide, from a joint presentation at an educational seminar to merging with another firm. What type of collaboration works best for your firm depends on your circumstances. However, chances are, some sort of collaboration will be beneficial to your practice.