Since the collaborative process is about transparency, if you are asking this question today the honest answer is probably not for this year’s class of applicants (although you can certainly try). While not impossible, the application process was designed to be challenging so that the achievement would have significance and be worth the effort it required. Credentialing is not a rubber stamp process, nor is it simply an “application” to fill out and submit with a guarantee of acceptance. As a member of the initial credentialing committee through CDT, I assure you that the three years that it took to develop this process was to make it a meaningful accomplishment. To do that the process had to be thorough, comprehensive, and rigorous so that when achieved, you and the potential clients knew that it meant something.
So, if you have not yet started the credentialing process you are probably behind the curve for this year (but not for next). Regardless of which level you are wanting to apply for, you need anywhere from 8 to 20 to 50 executed Participation Agreements—no easy feat to achieve. So, my friends, start gathering those PA’s NOW—from past cases and for all new cases over this upcoming year. Start a spread sheet of all the information that is needed and as you gather your PA’s (historical, current, and future) complete all the necessary information as you go (team members, date of inception, date of conclusion, cause numbers, etc.) and store the documents together! Come next September you will be glad you did.
One of the major requirements for both credentialing levels is training. Use this time now to create another spread sheet that documents the collaborative training you have had to date and MAKE A PLAN for this upcoming year as to how you will fill in the blanks. When did you do your basic training—do not wait until next September to figure that out. How many spring conferences (SBOT Collaborative Law Course) have you attended AND WHEN? Do you “need” to attend this year’s Advanced Training (well—you need to regardless of whether you are applying for credentialing this year or in the future—it is always fabulous!). How many additional hours of collaborative related training do you need for the application and how are you going to get it over the next year? When you have a plan, the process is not as overwhelming and you will feel way more in control and far more likely to succeed.
The credentialing process is not for the faint of heart. It is a lot of work because it was designed to be important. To be able to add “credentialed” or “master credentialed” to your resume, your signature line, or your business card means something. Texas was the first and is one of the only collaborative communities in the world to create this process to separate those who walk the walk from those who just talk the talk. This accomplishment is something to be proud of so make sure you give it the time and attention it deserves—and do not wait until the eleventh hour—start NOW for September 2022.