Though becoming a family lawyer is one of the most rewarding career choices for law students, most students often fail to understand what does it take to become a family lawyer. Working as a lawyer doing a family law practice can turn into a challenging task. You have to deal with clients facing difficult life experiences such as divorce, child custody, child support, family disputes and many more. Before we guide you on how to become a family lawyer? Let’s understand few more things about them.
Who is a family law attorney?
A family lawyer is a legal professional who provides advice, guidance and support for all legal matters concerning your family. These matters may include separations, property disputes, child support, adoption, settlements and agreements before starting or ending a relationship. He also provides you with alternative solutions that can help to settle disputes outside the courtrooms. As a family law attorney, you need to perform the below tasks for your clients:-
- Help and guidance to resolve legal issues.
- Maintaining proper correspondence with clients and other professionals.
- Assisting the clients to prepare the legal documents, contracts and agreements.
- Representing clients in the family court.
- Referring clients to counsellors, psychologists, and financial planners.
Steps to become a family lawyer
Once you decide to become a family lawyer first thing you need to find out is the steps to become one. It is common to wonder about how long does it take to become a family lawyer. Below are the steps that demonstrate the procedure to get a licence for doing a law practice in your state:-
- Earning the undergraduate degree – The first thing that you need to do to start a journey to become a family lawyer is to get an undergraduate degree. It is not mandatory to enrol in any specific undergraduate program but choose the subject relevant to your career goal. Students can also enrol in pre-law programs to prepare for the LSAT exam.
- Attending the law school – The next step is joining the law schools to earn your Juris Doctor Degree. To get admissions in any of the reputed law schools, you need to pass the Law School Admission Test. You need at least three years to earn this degree and make sure to attend the law school accredited by American Bar Association. During the first year, you will learn about general law fields like criminal law, civil law and others. During the second and third years of your course, you get a chance to undertake advanced level studies for family law.
- Getting a licence to practice law – After earning your Juris Doctor Degree, you need to get a licence to practice law by passing the Bar. Regardless of the field of law that you want to practice, earning a law licence is a mandatory thing for every law practitioner. You should contact the local board of bar examiners to take up this exam at the end of the third year of law school. You have to undergo series of tests for two or three days.
- Earning continuing education credits – While doing the family law practice, you need to earn continuing legal education credits. You can get such credits by attending conferences, seminars, and courses. According to labour statistics, lawyers must earn minimum CLE credits approved by state legal regulatory agencies.
Consider getting extra educational qualifications for a bright career.
Getting a law school degree and law licence to practice the law is something that every law professional do. If you want to make your CV more attractive, considering the extra qualifications such as a master degree in law is a great idea. You can also choose to do an internship with reputed family law firms to get exposure to this field of law practice.