Firm Overview

Boston Law Collaborative is a multidisciplinary law firm devoted to conflict resolution and the practice of collaborative law. Our goal is to save our clients time, money, and the emotional upheaval produced by litigation. Do we also go to court? Only when necessary. Many years of experience have taught us that problem-solving and effective negotiation produce better results. And with experienced professionals from the fields of law, mediation, psychology, and finance, BLC offers clients a full range of services and support.

BLC has won recognition from a number of organizations. The book "Best Lawyers in America" and U.S. News & World Report have chosen BLC since 2005 to be on their list of Tier One law firms. In 2009 the American Bar Association gave BLC its annual "Lawyer as Problem Solver Award" and in 2010 the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution gave BLC its annual "Law Firm Award for Excellence in ADR."

"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."- Abraham Maslow.

BLC looks for alternatives to litigation – the legal system's traditional, adversarial method of dispute resolution. Our tools are collaborative law, mediation, arbitration, and case evaluation. Our approach is to seek common ground and find better solutions.

BLC was founded in August 2003 by David Hoffman, who was a partner at Hill & Barlow, where he served as a mediator, arbitrator, and attorney (handling family, employment, business, real estate, construction, and tort cases) for seventeen years.  Rachel Goldman joined the firm as a member in 2010.  Together with attorneys Vicki Shemin and Rachel Goldman, BLC has more than 100 years of family law experience.  BLC's Executive Director and ADR Program Manager, attorney Israela Brill-Cass, has more than fourteen years of experience in mediation and arbitration cases.  All of BLC's lawyers are members of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council, and all of the BLC team members are trained mediators.

A multi-faceted law and dispute resolution firm.

In 1976, Harvard Law professor Frank Sander developed the concept of the multi-door courthouse – a place where people could opt for trial or a variety of dispute resolution processes (such as mediation and arbitration). Today BLC is applying the multi-door principle to the delivery of client services.

Helping people reach agreement is our goal. But, we are not strangers to the courtroom. If the case is not appropriate for collaborative law or mediation (learn more about suitable and unsuitable cases), a court appearance may be needed. Our clients get the information, guidance, and services they need – whether those services involve law, counseling, financial matters, or workplace advice.

BLC is unusual in several respects:

  • Multidisciplinary practice. BLC rents space to three very talented professionals (psychologist Dr. Richard Wolman, financial professional Chris Alberti, and mediator Don Greenstein) with whom we work closely together to solve clients' problems. BLC's affiliates have their own separate practices, but we join forces when our clients need the services of more than one profession. We are one of the few firms in the U.S. to bring together under one roof such a team - all devoted to finding less expensive and more durable solutions to conflict.
  • Collaborative Law. BLC looks for every opportunity to resolve conflict without going to court. Collaborative Law is an important development in the practice of law - permitting clients and lawyers to use problem-solving strategies instead of threats and ultimatums.  BLC member David Hoffman was one of the co-founders of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council, and BLC member Rachel Goldman is on the Board and one of the lead trainers for MCLC.
  • Dispute Resolution. BLC provides mediation and arbitration services, as well as a variety of other services in which we serve as impartial dispute resolvers - such as case evaluation, parenting coordination, and guardian ad litem services. We also provide training and consulting about dispute resolution.  BLC was selected by the American Bar Association to provide its first divorce mediation training in 2009, and advanced mediation trainings in 2011 and 2012.  Several members of the BLC team provide mediation training for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. 

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