About 39 percent of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce. At the heart of these dissolutions are family lawyers, the professionals who work out divorce agreements and represent clients in family courts.
If you have a passion for helping other people and would love to work in the legal industry, you can become a good family lawyer.
But what are the educational and certification requirements for joining this profession?
Continue reading for a complete guide on how to become a family lawyer.
What Does a Family Lawyer Do?
Before fleshing out the qualification requirements, let’s go over the typical duties of a family lawyer.
You already know these professionals help clients navigate the divorce process, but that’s a quick summary of the job. Before a divorce is finalized, these lawyers will hold meeting with clients, investigate issues like domestic violence, gather witness statements, negotiate settlement agreements with the other party, file applications in the family court, and attend hearings.
When family lawyers aren’t helping couples split, they are bringing them together by creating pre-nuptial agreements. These professionals also help couples looking to adopt kids and they can also serve as mediators in marital disputes.
So, how do you become a family lawyer?
Join Law School and Pursue the Family Law Area of Concentration
The first step to becoming a family lawyer is to join a law school that’s accredited by the American Bar Association. To do this, you must pass the Law School Admission Test.
Once in law school, you’ll have the opportunity to choose a concentration in the second year of study.
As an aspiring family lawyer, you must major in family law. Some of the classes taught in this area of concentration include the formation and dissolution of marriage, women’s rights, dispute resolution, domestic violence law, and juvenile justice.
Upon graduation from law school, you’re ready for the next step.
Get a Licensed to Practice as a Family Lawyer in Your State
All states require lawyers to hold an active legal license in order to practice. As such, you must take and pass your state’s licensing or Bar Examination.
As part of the licensing requirements, your state’s Bar might examine your background (including criminal background, history of substance abuse, and academic misconduct) to establish whether you have the character to be a lawyer.
After meeting all the licensing requirements, you’ll be admitted to the bar. You’re now a family lawyer. You made it!
Find a Job
The last step in your quest to become a family lawyer is to find a job and put your expertise to practice.
You have a couple of options: Most starting family lawyers find employment in small law firms that specialize in family law. Others are hired by mid-size and large firms that have a family law practice, like this law firm.
You can also land a job in non-profit organizations that offer legal services to needy families and children.
Another alternative is to start your own small law firm. As long as you have the capital and the expertise to run a business, you can do it!
That’s How to Become a Family Lawyer
Family law is a rewarding area of law. You’ll earn a competitive salary doing what you love most; helping families.
With this guide on how to become a family lawyer, the path to your dreams is now well-lit. Your job is to take the first step.
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