What does a family lawyer do?
Family lawyers concentrate on family law and a variety of issues such as adoptions, child custody, divorce, and child support. They represent individuals in proceedings and provide assistance to clients on legal issues outside the courts. They obtain the necessary legal documents and explain legal procedures to their clients. They often act as liaisons for certain proceedings. Family lawyers often conduct a variety of required research for their cases.
What kind of training does a family lawyer need?
Family lawyers must have at least a bachelor degree and a law degree from an accredited law school. All law schools require candidates to receive a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to be accepted. Law school provides intensive classroom instruction and offers a variety of opportunities for students to gain practical experience. Most law schools require students to complete internships before graduation. Many aspiring family lawyers complete internships or clerkships at family law practices to gain practical experience and establish valuable contacts. All states require family lawyers to pass the state bar examination to become licensed to practice law. Some states require family lawyers to become certified in family law. Family laws must complete regular continuing education to maintain their licenses and certifications, keep their skills up to date, and stay abreast with advancements and changes in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a family lawyer?
Employment of all lawyers, including family lawyers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 13% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increase in family issues will drive job growth for family lawyers.
Job prospects are expected to be good with keen competition. Family lawyers with excellent academic records and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.
How much do family lawyers make?
As of January 2010, the average annual salary for family lawyers is $53,000; average annual family lawyer salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a family lawyer is an excellent choice for people with a strong interest in family law and representing a variety of clients on many different family-related issues. Family lawyers must have a solid understanding of the concepts, rules, and regulations related to family law. Patience, detail orientation, analytical thinking, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Family lawyers must have excellent communication to interact with a variety of individuals and other professionals. They must be able to provide the necessary advice and support to individuals that may be emotional. Family lawyers must be able to work under stress and pressure and make effective decisions.