Search Your Query Here

5 Reasons to Specialise in Family Law Once You Graduate

Studying law can be long and difficult, but at the end of the day having a satisfying career that pays quite well are great motivators. Once you have your Juris Doctor degree though (the minimum requirement to practice as an Australian lawyer) the really tough decision needs to be made - determining which area of law you would like to enter.

Family law is a broad field which would allow you to work on a wide variety of cases relating to family such as divorce, adoption, child welfare, domestic violence and custody arrangements. The stakes in this work are often high - there is a lot of emotion and relationships can be made or broken very easily - and you may represent spouses, family members or guardians of a child.

Reasons to Specialise in Family Law Once You Graduate
Photo by Giammarco Boscaro on Unsplash

A family lawyer may be expected to advise their client on legal proceedings, build a case and act as their representative in court, assist families in coming to mutual agreements and enact settlements. Lawyers in this field require exceptional communication skills and the ability to connect to and show empathy for their clients. If you are considering a career in family law, here are five excellent reasons why it may be the field for you.

1. Family Law Can Help Resolve Issues on Separation and Divorce

The divorce rate in Australia is 2.2 divorces per 1,000 people meaning a huge proportion of the population will go through a breakdown of their family unit at some point in their life. When the separation or divorce arrangements between a family cannot be met, a family lawyer may step in.

Often as part of the separation or divorce process, children and finances are the centre of the disagreements. While seemingly a depressing process to be a part of, being able to provide the mechanisms for agreements to be made and to ensure orders can be enforced for a family can be a step towards positive change and actually be a rewarding experience, particularly if there is a positive outcome for the child. Remember, there is a reason a couple is separating, and more often than not once apart all parties are generally in a happier place.

2. Family Law can protect victims of abuse

Domestic abuse is a sad reality for many Australians including adults and children alike. Family lawyers can help provide protection for victims of abuse including restraining orders or occupation orders which would require an abuser to leave the victims home. Family law can allow you to be the voice for those who may not have one.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse your local and state governments will have services available to you. Alternatively the National Domestic Family and Sexual Violence Counselling Service is available to all Australians.

Reasons to Specialise in Family Law Once You Graduate
As a family lawyer, divorce will be a common case to take on. Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

3. Family Law Gives You a Deeper Understanding and Appreciation of Family

Dealing with family breakdowns on a daily basis is likely to provide you with a little perspective. You will likely gain a deeper appreciation for your family and even potentially develop some strategies on how to manage situations before they reach a level you deal with everyday where a family lawyer is required.

While a lot of the reasons outlined above talk about how you can help other people by saving a marriage, preventing a family unit from imploding or assisting those who are suffering domestic abuse, being in family law can also give you the opportunity to better yourself and thus better the relationships in your life.

4. Family Law Can Provide Transferable Skills

While family law is a vastly broad field in itself, if you find yourself tiring of the daily grind of the legal realm you will likely have built up a hefty amount of transferable skills which can open doors in fields - even those outside of law.

Some career paths may include investigator, career counselor, correctional officer, legal advisor, mediator, writer, educator or even management across a broad range of organisations. All these roles require the skills you would develop working as a lawyer.

5. Family Law Can Provide Career Satisfaction

There are many different ways one can find career satisfaction but some of the most common recurring themes are by making good money, gaining recognition from your local community, peers and family and by doing something beneficial and good for the community as a whole. With family law, you can hit every mark on this list.

Family law offers a unique experience in the legal field. Law and emotion are tightly intertwined and the result is a rollercoaster of highs and lows with a rewarding buzz at the end knowing you are making a difference in the lives of many different families. The six reasons we have outlined above are only some of the incredible reasons you may consider entering family law, so when the time comes to choose your specialisation, be sure to keep family law firmly in the mix.