May 9, 2013

Attorney as “Guide” – Sherpas up the Divorce Mountain

Categories: Collaborative LawDivorce

Tibet Mount EverestAn attorney representing a client going through collaborative divorce is much more than a legal adviser.  The attorney is often a confidant, emotional support system, sounding board, voice of reason, teacher, and financial adviser. Indeed, a collaborative divorce attorney is a “guide.”

The Sherpa people in Nepal inhabit the area surrounding Mount Everest. They have become natural guides up the mountain due to their native knowledge, experience in the region, and superior genetic disposition to function in high altitudes. Like lawyers in divorce – they have gone through this before and they are skilled in the tools necessary for success. Most individuals only experience divorce once. A good collaborative attorney has experienced divorce many times – as a guide. They have honed their skills and can “sherpa” or guide clients through this process in an efficient and successful manner.

I often ask my clients to think back about their wedding. How much of the wedding was legal? It is often a spiritual, emotional, familial, and sometimes a financial endeavor. The legal piece, however, is more minimal. Perhaps you signed some papers a day or two later and mailed them into the state? A divorce is not all that different. Attorneys should advocate and guide their clients to make decisions in their own best interest. However, the attorney role, much like the wedding itself, is multi-faceted and often not solely focused on legal advocacy. A divorce may feel like a long uphill road, like climbing a mountain. A client needs to find an attorney who they trust in all the roles that attorney will play. A good collaborative attorney should be with you on that journey – guiding you up that path to resolution and peace.

Kimberly Miller
Attorney, KM Family Law, LLC

Kimberly Miller, JD, MA, LAMFT is known for her ability to resolve challenging family issues without resorting to aggressive legal strategies that are damaging to vital family relationships. After years of litigating business and family disputes at a prominent national firm, she recognized the devastating psychological and financial impact that litigation can have on individuals, couples, and other loved ones. She decided to establish her own practice to promote alternative forms of dispute resolution, such as collaborative law and mediation, to reach consensus. Learn more at

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