Separation or other family law cases such as those involving children, can be daunting for all concerned. Family law experts are there to help clients to navigate the legal process, assisting them at all stages, from planning in advance to avoid future difficulties, to signposting to practical support with childcare.
The practice of family law draws on a huge range of a legal professionals’ expertise, but also requires a particularly sensitive approach. So outside of being legally proficient, what other traits does a family lawyer need to be successful?
Sensitivity and empathy
One of the most fundamental skills of a family lawyer is being able to demonstrate empathy. Whilst all legal cases require sensitivity, family law cases tend to cut ‘close to the bone’ as family members’ emotions are laid bare.
Family lawyers deal with a multitude of sensitive cases from divorce to child custody, to neglect and domestic abuse. For a client, this may be one of the most distressing periods of their life and as their representative, it is your duty to approach each stage with a level of care and consideration and to avoid adding more stress to the situation than necessary.
Unfortunately, family law cases rarely happen in a vacuum. Even if the dispute is between a couple, it will likely impact all those connected to the involved parties, including children, close family members and friends. So, providing guidance relevant to all of those effected will be invaluable.
Much of a family lawyer’s time will be spent liaising with clients or with other legal professionals. This requires a strong grasp of legal terminology and the capability to make persuasive arguments and effectively advocate for their clients. It also requires an ability to explain complex legal issues in a clear, jargon-free manner, to clients who do not have a legal background. This may require you to explain a situation in several different ways to ensure that it has been fully understood.
Family law cases are complex, difficult and emotionally draining for the families involved and therefore demand a willingness to comprehensively answer the numerous questions that your clients may have. Being a patient listener will go a long way to putting your clients at ease during a stressful time.
Because family law cases are often complicated and can go on for a long time, it is crucial that you show resilience in the face of what may sometimes be a frustrating outcome or setback. This may require picking yourself up after an event didn’t go quite as planned, understanding why it happened and resuming with just as must energy and resolve as before, all without getting emotionally involved. If there are setbacks, your clients will likely be experiencing the same frustrations, so it is critical that you remain positive.
Whilst being encouraging about a case is very important, it is just as key that you remain honest with your clients. While you will always be looking to achieve the very best outcome possible, no case is devoid of weakness or the risk of failure. It is vital that you demonstrate transparency by being open about the routes to success but also potential pitfalls. This may require you to give clients advice that they do not want to hear, but it is far more beneficial in the long run to be clear from the get-go so that they know what to expect.
Organisation and time management
When it comes to legal paperwork, organisation is paramount, but this is also the case with client meetings and communication. In a period where reliability could be absent in other areas of their life, showing yourself to be reliable will provide your clients with invaluable stability and reassurance. Having impeccable time-management, giving prompt replies to queries and showing professionalism will all work to put clients at ease,
Our goal at RHL Solicitors is to help make your life easier when it comes to legal support, while providing you with an exceptionally high standard of care.
We don’t just try to reach a settlement for you; we help to resolve legal disputes and achieve the very best outcome by tailoring our advice to your own individual needs.
If you seek advice and service of specialist legal experts with decades of experience, contact our Family Law team who will be more than happy to discuss your matter further.
RHL Solicitors will have no delays or waiting times in advising you on your situation and will be quick to get you the support and care you deserve.