If you have specialized in family law, you are clearly aware that this is one of the most difficult legal work profiles. Family law is a broad term used for litigation involving family issues like divorce and childcare.
Some of these might be spousal and child support issues; custody of minor children, or division of assets post-divorce. Some other issues can be adoption, paternity, termination of parental rights and protection from domestic abuse.
As a family law attorney, you likely possess the skills required for the job already. If you are considering applying for work, you should learn more about the role and what it entails. The details on that are up next.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Family Law Attorney
As a family lawyer, you will work with clients to help resolve family disputes in the court of law. You might be needed to draft legal documents, such as prenuptial agreements, divorce papers, and civil partnership dissolution papers.
Advising clients on prudent financial settlements post-divorce is also part of this role. A good family law attorney advises the client on working out an arrangement that is acceptable to both parties.
You will need to work on child custody and support issues as well. Besides legal guidance and assistance, you will need to help clients through some extremely stressful times.
Day-to-day Duties of a Family Law Attorney
On a daily basis, you will need to attend meetings with clients and do research. This might involve looking for precedents in ongoing and previous cases. You will be filing applications and motions in family court.
Besides that, you will attend court hearings and need to negotiate with the other party to reach a settlement. If you are someone who likes to help people, this job can be tremendously rewarding.
However, acrimony and bitterness are natural when families are pitched on either side of the legal battlefield. And it can be a sticky wicket on more than one occasion for the family law attorney.
You will need the skills of an efficient litigator and a negotiator. Excellent counselling skills are needed to be able to communicate effectively with your clients.
Knowledge of accounting and finances is a must to understand your cases and to present them in court. Many family law attorneys opt for specialization, such as in divorce law, domestic abuse laws, child support, child custody, among others.
The median annual salary of a family lawyer in 2018 was $79,719, as per the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How to Apply?
You can check out the American Bar Association (ABA) website for job postings for family law attorneys. Or, you can search for job postings on online job search portals. However, not all of these are trustworthy.
If you are wary of sharing your personal contact information online, there are other options. LinkedIn, for one, is a credible platform to apply for a job as a family lawyer. You will need to build a stellar profile and acquire an extensive network for greater visibility.
Or else, you can do research on legal firms; check out their credibility via websites like Glassdoor. Applying via the company website is a great idea. Make sure to apply with a well-crafted resume and cover letter. Applying from the company page can help you to follow up on your application later on.
The U.S. government offers free/low-cost legal services to people who cannot afford to pay. You can work in the capacity of a state-appointed legal aid attorney.
Family disputes and marital issues are on the rise, and with that the demand for family law attorneys is increasing as well. Within this area of law, you have the opportunity to make a positive long-term impact on thousands of families.