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Political Science Alum Named President of IACP

International Academy of Collaborative Professionals names lawyer Sherri Goren Slovin as president of the alternative resolution organization.

Date: 2/17/2010
By: Kim Burdett
Phone: (513) 556-8577
As a political science major (BA, ’76, JD, ’79) at the University of Cincinnati, Sherri Goren Slovin remembers her favorite course as an undergraduate: Mass Political Movements with Professor Emeritus Abraham Miller.

Little did she know that someday she would play a role in a movement as well.

McMicken alumna Sherri Goren Slovin has focused her career on alternative resolutions in law, a path that has led her to becoming president of IACP.
McMicken alumna Sherri Goren Slovin has focused her career on alternative resolutions in law, a path that has led her to becoming president of IACP.

Slovin, a Cincinnati-based family lawyer, was recently named president of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), a 4,000-member organization of lawyers, mental health professionals and finance experts that focuses on collaborative practice, an alternative way to resolve conflict in divorce and other civil cases.

“Collaborative work changes the nature of conflict resolution,” Slovin says. “It focuses on people and healthy outcomes in a settlement.”

Collaborative practice is a recent phenomenon in alternative resolutions that started to gain popularity in the 1990s. By including mental health and finance professionals in family law cases—in Slovin’s case, divorce settlements—it allows people to work together to gain the most healthy outcome. The professionals involved are contractually precluded from litigating, thus committed strictly to settlement.

“When I was going to court, I found that when I walked out of the courthouse and I thought I had won, it was often that I wasn’t winning. There’s very little winning in family law,” Slovin says. “People have to deal with each other. Pitting them against each other in adversarial processes isn’t the best way of dealing with conflict.”

Plus, she says, collaborative work allows families to make important decisions themselves instead of giving that control to a judge.

“The goal of the collaborative team is to have a family transition in the healthiest possible way,” she adds.

As president of IACP, Slovin will be the face of the organization, speaking at conferences, chairing the board of directors, and educating the public about collaborative practice.

Much like the movements she learned in Professor Miller’s class, Slovin hopes collaborative work will change the way law is viewed and practiced.

“I think people want more from their lawyers than just walking into a court,” she says. “And I think we’re on the cutting edge of what lawyers are going to be in this century, which requires a more multifaceted way to resolve problems.”

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