Family law

In the legal field, specifically in a smaller community or in general practice, family law is a big area of practice and family law paralegals are in high demand. Divorces and custody cases are the bread and butter of most general practice law firms since divorces are always happening, but they do take a great amount of time and energy to complete. Therefore, attorneys are constantly looking for the right person to assist them in these cases.
Family law encompasses a large variety of matters: child custody, divorce, tax and finance laws, adoption, social service, and child support.
Family law paralegals help streamline this work for the attorney. The paralegal will assist the attorney in interviews with parties involved in a domestic dispute, helping the attorney obtain all of the information necessary for trial preparation, drafting legal documents, preparing written reports for each case, and usually handle all correspondence with the clients.
Family law cases can be messy and are almost always emotionally charged. A client going through a terrible end to a relationship, adding a custody dispute on top of this already stressful situation needs a lot of hand-holding in addition to legal guidance. However, most attorneys do not have the time to handle all of these needs for each client in a family law case nor the skills or desire to do so. On top of that, legal fees can accumulate rapidly if a client is continually contacting the law office speaking to the attorney directly. While an attorney’s fees may be $200 per hour, fees charged for a paralegal’s services can be somewhere around $75 per hour. Arguably, the client would want to save the money but still receive the help he or she needs.
Are you cut out to be a family law paralegal? This area of the law requires a specific set of skills, the first of those being organizational skills and the ability to be empathetic with clients in highly stressful situations. Having a background in data entry and computer skills helps, as well, in dealing with property division in divorces. A skill that cannot be taught is also a must: patience. This field is one that is emotional in nature, with clients who are facing a crisis situation. Burn out is a major factor amongst family law paralegals, and the way to avoid this burn out is to know what you are walking into before accepting the position. Be sure that family law is the right fit for you. If it is, the options for employment are endless and always in demand.
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