This article is written by S. Camille Milner, a Denton-based collaborative lawyer and the current Vice-President of the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas’ board.
At the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas and State Bar of Texas Collaborative Course in Austin earlier this month, the keynote speaker was Barbara McAfee, who is a vocal presence coach and songwriter, and the author of “Full Voice: The Art and Practice of Vocal Presence.”
Barbara went through a divorce about ten years ago in Minnesota. She was represented by Judy Johnson and her husband was represented by the creator of Collaborative Law, Stu Webb. She shared her experience, both the good and the bad, of going through the divorce process, including incorporating some of her own songs to add another depth to her presentation. Barbara praised all those collaborative professionals who were present and doing this “good work” of helping clients navigate through this tough time with compassion and healing rather than warring.
She said without the collaborative process, her and her ex-husband’s experience would have been much worse, and that in part, thanks to the collaborative process, they have been able to continue sharing their friends and community. At the end of the presentation, she invited the group to come up to the front and gather in a circle for singing one of her own songs. Even though the attendees are all great friends, some were out of their comfort zone in coming together for this activity (partly because some of them are tone deaf!), but all were inspired to continue their work thanks to the supportive words and story shared by Barbara McAfee.