Family AttorneyJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
Family attorneys assist clients with legal matters involving families and family relationships. Divorce, child custody, alimony, paternity, child emancipation, domestic violence, and adoption are just a few of the issues these lawyers handle. Family attorneys help guide their clients through some of the most stressful events in life. In addition to skills in litigation and negotiation, lawyers in this specialty need to possess some counseling skills to help navigate emotionally charged situations. Family-related issues can often be intense, and working as a family attorney can be stressful.
A family attorney should also have some basic knowledge of accounting and financial matters. They frequently have to deal with dividing assets during a divorce, alimony payments, or child support issues, and present financial plans and proposals in court.
Sample job description #1
Handle cases from inception through trial
Engage in Preliminary Legal Strategy Sessions with clients to fully understand the facts and the goals in order to perform legal analysis and legal strategy planning
Engage with Legal Team to share legal strategy on each case so the legal team can be in alignment with the client’s interest in reaching their goal, the team’s interest in moving clients forward, and the Firm’s interest in creating raving fans
Communicate with clients and advise clients on key junctures so they fully understand their options and can make a fully informed decision
Oversee and analyze discovery and legal pleadings drafted by the Legal Team and provide feedback and guidance to create stronger work product and streamlined processes
Confer with other attorneys on a case with advocacy and professionalism
Prepare for and present to the Court
Prepare memorandums to the file and correspondence throughout the case to appropriately apprise team members and the client of the status of the last 2 steps taken and the next 3 steps planned so everyone understands the plans
Excellent writing skills
Great Organizational Skills
Good teamworking skills
Proven 5+ years of experience as a matrimonial family law Associate
Excellent communication skills
Good understanding of legal strategies and position of clients
Strong creativity and desire to innovate with new strategies to better serve clients and to streamline our firm
Ability to multitask and adhere to deadlines in a fast-paced environment
Great organizational skills and ability to lead and delegate
Resilient problem-solving skills
Strong attention to detail including grammar and spelling
A solid base of customer-service
Good knowledge of legal research techniques and databases
Excellent knowledge of basic office programs, Law Management Computer Software, and online applications
Sample job description #2
We are looking to hire an experienced family attorney who is fiercely passionate about representing clients facing some of the most challenging times in their lives. Candidates should be adept at preparing necessary legal documents in connection with prenuptial agreements, initiating and finalizing divorces, alimony, child support/child custody, and real estate. Experience in handling legal issues such as child abuse, child custody, and domestic violence is also a must.
Engage in strategy review sessions with our clients to understand the facts and goals to prepare a case plan for each client
Communicate with clients and discuss options, strategies and solutions at key junctures of their case so they understand their options and make informed decisions
Prepare Family Law documents/pleadings; such as, petitions, responses, judicial forms, summons, declarations and affidavits (client, third party, attorney), divorce decrees, temporary and final orders, parenting plans, child support orders, child support worksheets, motions, replies, mediation and/or trial briefs/letters, trial preparation, etc.
Prepare clients for hearings and trials
Attend hearings, and trials
Provide top-quality customer service
Comfortable with handling a high volume of cases
Highly developed organizational ability
At least two years of experience as a family law attorney
Licensed to practice in the state of Maryland (Federal, DC and/or Virginia is a plus)
Comfortable learning to use case management software
Ethical, accountable, professional, and compassionate
Sample job description #3
The ideal candidate is self-directed, emotionally intelligent, organized, results-oriented, adaptable, confident, and values honesty, responsiveness, and efficiency.
Ability to work with a team
Ability to work with a predominantly female client base
Ability and experience with complex property matters
Ability and experience with high conflict custody matters
Ability and experience with domestic violence and other abuse matters
Ability to manage and direct a team to maximize efficiency and customer service
Team player as well as a self-directed individual
Positive attitude, adaptable, and open-minded
Strong sense of responsibility and ownership
Desire to succeed and help others
Efficient and effective
Experience negotiating and litigating with narcissistic personality types
Must be organized, detail-oriented, critical thinker, and have excellent verbal and written communication skills
Must be proficient with Microsoft Word and MS Office 365, including Outlook, Word, and Excel
Experience with Clio is preferred but not required
Meet and communicate with clients
Devise and communicate strategies
Draft, finalize and customize pleadings, discovery, and other legal documents
Supervise and delegate work to paralegals and other team members
Prepare for and attend court hearings, mediations, and depositions
Communicate with opposing counsel, court personnel, and others in a professional and respectful manner while advocating for clients
Deliver excellent customer service
Other lawyerly things
Comprehensive knowledge of family law (Board certification a plus)
Minimum of 3 years experience in family law, especially divorce, high conflict personalities, and complex property
Valid Driver’s license and reliable transportation
Pass background check and drug test
Pass interview and other skill testing
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a family attorney is $88,000 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Sample interview questions
What are the most important factors involved in a will?
How do you prioritize cases?
How do you ensure clients are kept up-to-date with their courses?
How do you ensure that mediation between family members remains calm?
What do you think about the principle of legal aid?
If you had to come up with a law, what would it be?
What interests you about family law?
What makes your experience in law unique?
What would you do if you were given more initiatives than you could handle?
Why have you applied to work here?
What is a current issue that is affecting law firms?
Are there any gaps in the firm’s social offering that you could fill?
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