Family Law Attorney as a career line has been proven grateful to prominent attorneys like Earl Lilly, William N. Beslow, and Sandra Davis. Without a doubt, in family law, the scope of facing some real-time and promising cases of your career is high. Now that admissions in many universities have opened up for LLB and LLM, we brought you a brief guide on how to establish a career as a family law attorney.
So, let’s begin with a brief introduction to Family Law and those who handle it!
What is Family Law?
As the term’ family law’ suggests, any law that deals with issues happening within a group of people (or any two people) related to each other by blood, marriage, and/or ancestral ties come under family law. Lawyers who handle cases filed under family law ruling are called Family Law Attorneys.
In the event that you are preparing to obtain a specialization in Family Law, you hold a great scope of success. Not only this, but Family Law also allows the lawyers to further obtain specialization to become divorce attorneys, paternity, adoption, marital property, and so on.
How to become a Family Law Attorney?
To begin with, pursuing a career as a family lawyer can give you a completely new perspective of law. The reason is, family law deals with issues within family members. Henceforth, you, as a family law attorney, are not only required to be logical but also emotional to understand the perspective of the family involved in such a scenario. So, here’s a stepwise procedure to become Family Law Attorney in any country:
STEP 1: Complete High School and Graduation from a recognized university
Please note that in order to get admission in law school, you will require to complete high school as well as under graduation from a recognized board and university, respectively. More often than not, candidates often put pressure on the fact that they require to pursue high school and graduate from a high-end university to get into a high-end law school. However, it is untrue. In countries like India, the United States, and the United Kingdom, government-level law entrance examinations are undertaken. All candidates who pass the examination get into law school based on their rank.
In order to remain eligible to sit in the law entrance examination, the candidate must have obtained 50% marks minimum in both high school and graduation.
STEP 2: Apply for Law Entrance Exam – LSAT
This step majorly depends on which country you are residing in. For example, if you are in the USA, you will be required to apply for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). Application lines remain open for submission from late September to the first week of November. According to the statistics, in the United States, over 7,000 candidates sit for LSAT each year. Among these, only 80 seats remain open. Among these 80, only 70 seats are offered to the candidates who have the highest merit in the exam. On the other hand, the remaining 10 seats remain reserved for Foreign Nationals, OCI (Overseas Citizenship India), and PIO.
STEP 3: Obtain LOC for law school application
Once you have surpassed the LSAT, you can apply for admission to multiple law schools. At this stage, we advise you not to stress about financial aid. You have passed the LSAT, and it is a big achievement in itself. So, now it is time to sit down and submit applications to different law schools all over the country. A letter of recommendation remains helpful. You can ask your professors to provide you with LOC. A law processor advocating for you via a Letter of Recommendation can help you get further and picked.
STEP 4: Create a Resume
Law Schools do not miss a chance to sit and interview any candidate that shows potential. However, a resume remains a significant factor if you want to sit in an interview. Make sure you create a professional resume with the best font that shows your potential. Not only this, but you can also attach a Letter of recommendation as well as a cover letter to provide selectors with much information that will help you stand apart from others. Please ensure that your cover letter highlights your accomplishments. Be ready to answer the question, “why do you want to become a lawyer?”
STEP 5: Prepare your supplement essays
In the United States, admissions are majorly based on supplement essays submitted by candidates. We recommend you work on your essay right away after you pass the examination. Henceforth, you will have enough time to review it and polish it, if need be.
In the event that the law school you picked doesn’t ask for a supplement essay, then you can skip this step. However, most schools do ask for it. So, be prepared!
STEP 6: Apply for Financial Aid or Education Loan
Becoming a family law attorney is a long process with a lot of hustle. Thus, you do not want to stress yourself with all the admission fees, semester fees, hostel fees, and other expenditures. Therefore, we advise students to begin applying for financial aid as soon as they pass the LSAT, and law school prefers to put them on their list. Fill out paperwork for FAFSA in the USA. It allows you to apply for different types of education loans, scholarships, and grants, which will relieve you from financial stress.
STEP 7: Legal Practice Training
This is one of the most obligatory steps when you choose a pathway to become a family law attorney. Legal Training allows you to learn about the ethics of the courtroom and provide a real-time court experience. For legal Training, you can join firms or learn under independent lawyers.
Please note that after obtaining legal Training, a candidate remains eligible for admission and a license to practice law.
STEP 8: Apply for a job in Family Law
Once you have completed three years of law school, you have the choice to further apply for LLM, which is only a 1-year duration course in the USA. Whereas, in other countries like India, it will be two years. However, LLM is not crucial if you want to begin your career right away. To do so, you can put in an application for a job in the family law line. There are different positions that include:
- Family law professor.
- Family law advisor
- Divorce lawyer
- Paternity lawyer
- And Family advocate
Once you have completed your job contract in a family law firm, you become eligible to apply for an LLM (one-year course) in family law.
What are the eligibility requirements for a Family Law Attorney?
To acquire admission in law school and further specialize in Family Law, the candidate requires to fit upon all the following mentioned eligibility criteria:
- Under Graduation or Bachelor’s Degree in Law
- The license is provided by State Bar Association for practicing law.
- Choose “Family Law” as a subject in the last year of LLB and LLM.
Please note that in order to become an independent family law attorney or start your own family law firm, you will require hardcore experience and Training in this field, a minimum of 5 to 7 years.
How much does a family law attorney earn per year?
To begin with, the average salary of a family law attorney in India can vary anywhere between 6 lakh per annum to 14 lakhs per annum. For the most part, this amount can go higher or lower based on a firm’s size and image in the market, as well as the lawyer’s experience. Some family lawyers also see clientele outside firms to make extra money.
In comparison, family law attorneys in Australia earn up to 88,000 AU$ per year which of course includes tips and overtime payments. Attorneys with more than 9 years of experience earn up to 99, 000 AU$ per year. Most famous attorneys in the USA earn over 127500 USD per year, thanks to their experience and much more contribution towards their career.
What are the pros(benefits) and cons of a position in family law?
Having to build a career as a lawyer can be challenging. However, after you become a lawyer, professional life doesn’t get any easier. The reason is, a career offers high-end revenue, but it comes with many pros and cons on the way. So, for those who are looking to accomplish a career in family law or a specific field like paternity or divorce attorney, the following are some pros and cons to be noted:
- You can build a wide range of clientele. Family Law is a type of law that deals with issues within the family. And what family doesn’t face these issues? Henceforth, the scope of work/cases in family law barely goes down.
- Pro Bono work is easy to get. As you know, for every lawyer, it is crucial to take over some cases on a pro bono basis each year for tax deduction purposes and so on. If you pick family law, you can take over pro bono work based on the thought of helping a poor family, mother, or child who is suffering. It makes the experience worth it.
- Do you know? Family Law Attorneys personally grow while practicing such kinds of law. The reason is that while taking over family cases, they learn about the good and bad sides of marriages, children, parents, and whatnot. Henceforth, it helps them make a better person.
- Last but not least, family law and cases that come across the courts every day are challenging. Thus, you can never get drilled of your job. Instead, the more cases you handle, the more you grow in the context of experience as well as winning.
- As a family law attorney, you do not only deal with monetary factors but also with real human feelings. Henceforth, sometimes it can be challenging to face the opposite party because you feel pain for both parties.
- When a family goes through hard times like divorce and the loss of children’s custody, a rush of emotions is common. It is possible for clientele to turn a blindside to your efforts and blame you for their loss.
- More often, family law-related cases take time to resolve. Amid this time, it is possible that some of your clientele will run out of money to fund the case. As a result, you have to take over the case on a post-pro Bono basis which leads to revenue loss.
- It can be challenging to avoid your clientele’s personal mistakes, which a lawyer’s duties demand. Whether your clientele is right or wrong, you have to stand by them.
So, are you ready to institute your career as a family law attorney? Time restrictions to fill out applications for LSAT are almost at the edge, do it now! Bookmark us to know how to prepare for a job interview if you have already passed the LSAT with a good score. Till then, good luck!