How To Become A Family Law Attorney

Remember back in the day when you raised your little hand in class and said you wanted to be a lawyer? Has that dream come true? Honestly, most of our dreams are just that – dreams! But if you’ve stuck with the dream, kudos to you! Thus, you’ll need to specialize and choose your field of law. Meanwhile, you might have questions regarding the process of becoming a family law attorney.  

The knowledgeable and good-natured professionals at Jensen Family Law in Mesa AZ are committed to helping others join the legal profession and scale new heights. To that end, they’ve outlined the process of becoming a family law attorney to set you on the right track. Here’s a breakdown of the process, including some valuable tips to get you started.

Bachelor’s Degree

You’ll first need to obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. While pursuing your undergraduate studies, consider taking English, public speaking, and debate courses. You could also focus on completing coursework such as constitutional law, civil procedure, and contracts. Such courses help to lay the groundwork for the study of law and provide valuable skills you can use in your future career.

All the same, you don’t require a particular degree program to join law school. Instead, you should focus on completing a degree program that interests you and challenges you academically. This may be anything from political science to history. Heck, you could even pursue a technical field (engineering comes to mind) and still enroll in law school later.

Also, some institutions offer pre-law programs you can pursue. While such programs aren’t required, they may offer coursework and extracurricular activities that help prepare you for law school.

Law School

Before admission into law school, you’ll have to pass an admissions test. You can take the test just before completing your undergraduate program. And after obtaining your bachelor’s and passing the test, you’re clear to attend an accredited law school and earn your Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.

During your three years in law school, you will take constitutional law, contracts, property law, torts, and civil procedure courses. You will also have the opportunity to participate in clinics and internships that provide hands-on experience. While at it, you can take classes geared towards preparing you for a career in family law.

State Bar Examination

After graduating from law school and earning your J.D., you’ll have to take and pass your state’s bar examination. The bar exam tests your knowledge of the law and whether you possess the skills necessary to practice law ethically. To help prepare for the exam, consider enrolling in a bar review course offered by a commercial provider or law school.

Exam rules may vary from state to state, but the bar exam usually lasts two or three days and consists of multiple-choice and essay questions. The essay portion of the exam tests your ability to analyze legal problems and communicate your analysis effectively in writing.

Practicing Family Law

Passing the bar exam means you’ll be admitted to the state bar and can proceed to practice law. But that’s just the beginning. You must also complete continuing legal education (CLE) requirements to maintain your license to practice. And if you’re interested in becoming a certified family law specialist, additional coursework and experience are necessary.

The ideal way to gain experience in family law is to work at a law firm specializing in this area or to join a county or state attorney’s office. You can also clerk for a family law judge. And as you gain experience, you will develop the skills necessary to handle various legal issues entailing family law cases.

What You Need to Remember

The legal profession isn’t for everyone. It’s a demanding career requiring many years of schooling and a commitment to lifelong learning. But if you have a passion for helping others and solving complex problems, then a career in family law may be the right choice. You also need to be an exceptional communicator and possess a host of other skills, including:

  • Critical thinking – An attorney in the making should see both sides of an issue, understand different perspectives, and develop creative solutions.
  • Problem-solving – Your ability to identify problems and develop practical and legal solutions will be handy.
  • Analytical – A legal professional should have the know-how to break down complex problems and identify the key issues.
  • Stress and time management – Family law attorneys should think on their feet in stressful situations while handling competing demands.

To earn your stripes in the legal field, you have to put in the effort. It won’t be easy. But if you’re up for the challenge, then a career in family law may be the right career path for you. Ready to make your dream a reality? Well, then, go for it.