Wilmington-based Collaborative Family Law firm, Michael & Russell, is thrilled to announce that the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for its international efforts in Collaborative Practice. The co-owners of Michael & Russell, PLLC, attorneys Ashley Michael and Ashley-Nicole Russell, are active members of IACP with Russell being an appointed member of the International Campaign for Membership Committee. The two are excited to be recognized globally for their contributions to the international Collaborative movement as well as making Collaborative Practice and its benefits an option for families in southeastern North Carolina.
“Collaborative Practice is helping families around the world and right here in North Carolina,” shared Michael, managing attorney at Michael & Russell and a Board-Certified Legal Specialist in Family Law. “To even be considered in this category is a testament for how this legal process can be transformative and change people's lives for the better as they navigate a new normal.”
Michael & Russell is New Hanover County’s first law firm to solely focus on Collaborative Practice. This alternative dispute resolution model is transforming the way families resolve conflict by offering an alternative to litigation. Collaborative Practice is a unique and voluntary process which provides families the opportunity to reduce the negative impacts of separation.
“This nomination is a wonderful recognition of the immense work undertaken by family professionals worldwide to move away from adversarial based dispute resolution to an accessible, more respectful and peaceful means of resolving conflict. In working together in this way, we model peaceful approaches for our children to carry into the world in the future,” shared IACP Board Member Selina Jane-Trigg of Christchurch, New Zealand.
Collaborative makes this possible by working proactively and cooperatively with teams of specially trained Collaborative legal, financial, and mental health professionals who educate, support, and guide couples to make their own lasting and respectful resolutions, without resorting to litigation or the intervention of judges, magistrates, or court personnel.
“A Collaborative Divorce doesn't end when a legal document is signed,” explains Michael. “Attorneys model the paradigm shift of interest-based negotiation and communication with their clients throughout the process so that the spouses or parents learn a new way to speak to one another. This goes on to benefit them in all aspects of their lives and spreads ripples of kindness and dignity into our world instead of hate and destruction.”
In an effort to further spread awareness for Collaborative throughout North Carolina and beyond, Michael and Russell are both founding board members of the North Carolina Collaborative Attorney Network (NC-CAN) and Michael is a founding board member and President of Coastal Collaborative Colleagues.
“It is my hope that this incredible nomination will help more divorcing couples learn about Collaborative options available here in Wilmington and throughout North Carolina, especially as January is the busiest time of the year for divorce,” shared Michael. “Collaborative professionals work together for the parties in a cooperative manner which is not adversarial. It’s a beacon of hope for the legal community, the backlog in our judicial system, and for the restoration of humanity instead of broken families.”
Michael & Russell is proud to be the first Collaborative-focused law firm in the Wilmington area and we are committed to educating our clients on their out-of-court legal options for dispute resolution. When families, spouses, and/or individuals are able to make their own informed decisions on legal matters, they can feel empowered during the process. Michael & Russell is honored to serve you and your family with compassion and empathy. Through our New Hanover County office, we are able to provide out-of-court alternative dispute resolution and family law services to all of southeastern North Carolina.
Please reach out to our Wilmington-based legal team at 910-255-5722 to learn more about working with us for your conflict resolution, adoption, or family law needs. Click here to read about what you can expect during your initial consultation with our legal team.