How to Become a Lawyer

How to Be a Family Lawyer

A family attorney deals with all sorts of cases related to domestic relations, children, divorce, child custody and support, paternity, adoption and more.

Family lawyers have to specialize in family law, a complex branch of the legal system that comprises all issues related to family and domestic matters. A family attorney represent clients throughout legal formalities that involve an adoption, for example, or represents clients in the court of law in cases of unsettled child custody.

1. Develop good learning habits from an early age. Attorneys have to study hard for many years and they constantly have to stay on top of all the developments in the field, as family law is sometimes subject to change. A family attorney must function as a good communicator and negotiator, so take public speaking courses, join debate clubs and learn about negotiation techniques at every opportunity.

2. Get a college or university degree after graduating with four years of study. Most American Bar Association-approved law schools require a Bachelor’s degree and LSAT test scores.

3. Prepare for the LSAT test and take it a few months prior to the application deadline. If you get a low score, you might consider taking it again. Competition for getting into law schools is high, and the LSAT score remains one of the most important factors in the admission process.

4. Assess your chances realistically and choose a few law schools to which to apply. Put together a resume that includes all your special talents, work experience, extracurricular activities, hobbies, and so on. Send everything within the deadline and wait for the decision of the admissions committee. Practice patience, as it might take a couple of months before you get an answer.

5. A full-time law school program typically lasts three years. If you opt for a part-time program you will have to study for more than three years, depending on the school. Learn how to write good, persuasive essays, as most of your exams will be essay questions.

6. In the second and third years of law school you can usually choose your curriculum. Opt for those courses that will help you specialize as a family attorney.

7. Take on a summer internship with a law firm that deals with family law cases. Develop a strong relationship with a family attorney.

8. Graduate law school, pass the bar exam in your state, and start practicing law.

9. You might find it difficult to get a job as a fresh-out-of-school lawyer. Contact the law firm with which you did the internship and try to get a job as a family attorney. If they cannot offer you a full-time position, accept what they have and work your way up.