6 Things Divorce Lawyers Will Never Tell You (Part 5)
The only way a lawyer can gain experience with divorce cases is to join a firm that specializes in divorce and family law and helping with the cases or to take continuing legal education courses.
Attorneys Don’t Learn Divorce Law In Law School
Law schools typically do not offer courses on divorce law. So when people graduate from law school, they know nothing, or close to it, about this type of case. The only way a lawyer can gain experience with divorce cases is to join a firm that specializes in divorce and family law and helping with the cases or to take continuing legal education courses.
When you consult with a doctor or surgeon about a medical condition, you can assume that he or she has experience, training, and skills in treating your particular condition. But you cannot assume that lawyers have experience in divorce law just because they have law degrees. It doesn’t matter how good the law school is or how high it is ranked in national polls—divorce law is not part of the required curriculum.
Nor does law school teach the skills needed to be a divorce lawyer, such as sympathetic listening, needs-based negotiation, or helping families in crisis. Law school does not teach people how to run efficient businesses, either.
If you choose an attorney who does not specialize in divorce and family law, you are limiting your options to those that are in the lawyer’s skill set. By selecting an attorney who is experienced in this area, you are more likely to have a wide range of options for your divorce, such as uncontested, mediated and collaborative divorce. You are also more likely to have a favorable outcome in your case.
When you are searching for a divorce attorney, either through people you know or online, consider only those attorneys who specialize in divorce and family law. Then, in your first call to potential attorneys, ask if they handle mediated and collaborative divorces. Ask how much experience they have in various types of divorce cases, especially cases like yours.