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The legal industry is changing but to what, for whom, where, why and how? Join us each month to learn about the next best practices in legal practice and how it applies to your firm or organisation. Learn from the people who are “walking the talk.” Hear what they are doing and what has driven them to do things differently for their clients, their people, their organisations and themselves and, how they measure and learn from success and failure. We’re going to get candid, super practical and yes, we’re going to get legally innovative too!

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Apr 17, 2022

In this podcast, a session in our ReinventED Legal Business: The Case Studies series, Terri Mottershead, Executive DirectorCentre for Legal Innovation (Australia, New Zealand and Asia-Pacific) chatted with Marguerite Picard, Director and Accredited Family Law Specialist at MELCA and Smart Separation.

MELCA is an interdisciplinary collaborative centre, which Marguerite established with a financial planner and a psychologist. They provide collaborative practice and mediation services for separating couples, focusing on genuine and deep resolution of conflict to support healthy separations. 

Marguerite's departure from traditional legal practice came from her belief that there was a better way to practice and, that she wanted to tip divorce on its head. Her aim then and now has been to change the perception and reality of what it is to be a lawyer, and to change the system by encouraging an alternative to emerge. 

The journey has been a passion project as well as a business. It has not been an overnight success. It's taken the business from Melbourne to Brisbane and Sydney and Gippsland, and online too! But, it has never wavered from a belief in interdisciplinary practice and staying true to a vision for change.

Key features of the new legal business model and practice include:

  • fixed and value pricing; 
  • contracting of professionals; 
  • equal remuneration for professionals whether they are lawyers, social scientists or financials; 
  • a described 5 step process; 
  • a case managed system; 
  • a client-facing business; a collaborative community; and 
  • a training arm.

If you would prefer to watch rather than listen to this episode, you’ll find the video in our CLI-Collaborate (CLIC) free Resource Hub here.