Family law is a branch of the legal profession that deals with legal issues involving relationships and family matters. Some of these matters include divorce, adoption, child custody and marital property. Some people mix up this branch of law with estate law but they are not quite the same. Matters like inheritance, probate and sharing the assets of a deceased person fall under the estate category so you need an estate lawyer for these matters.
Becoming a Family Lawyer
If you want to become a family lawyer, you should qualify as a barrister and solicitor first. This means you should study in the university and get the law degree. After you get this degree, you attend law school and pass the relevant examination. Once you do this, you are called to the bar. At this point, you are a barrister and solicitor. You can work in any reputable chamber as a solicitor and you can also work as an advocate. However, you are not yet a specialist in family law. To specialize in this branch of the legal profession, you have two options.
Specializing in Family Law
If you want to become a specialist in this field, you should take a Master’s degree in this branch of law. In most cases, you can finish the program between twelve and eighteen months. Once you have a post-graduate qualification, you are on your way to becoming a competent specialist in this field. Another way to specialize in this area is to get a job in a reputable firm that handles family law cases. This is a wonderful option because because it will give you the opportunity to learn many things. You might work under a senior colleague initially and learn from this expert. You might even start out as a solicitor preparing cases and doing research for other advocates in the firm. You will definitely learn a lot from this and the knowledge will help you when you start going to court to handle cases of your own.
Qualities a Family Lawyer Should Have
If you want to succeed in this branch of the legal profession, you need the right qualities. These qualities include patience, empathy, a listening ear and an eye for detail. Remember that you are dealing with human beings and the different challenges they face within the family unit. For this reason, you should always approach all the cases you handle from a humane perspective.
The Interest of the Client
If you want to succeed as a family lawyer, you must put the interest of the client first. For instance, if you are handling a divorce case and one of the parties is not keen on legal separation, you should advise the couple to resolve their differences and settle out of court. Again, you should always consider the interest of the children in divorce and child custody cases.
Being a family lawyer is a wonderful experience. First, you get the qualification then you get the experience and you use these to help people. This is a rewarding and fulfilling way to earn your living.