I often come across pretty inexperienced family lawyers – in Court proceedings, mediations etc. I don’t mean to criticise an inexperienced family lawyer because everyone has to start somewhere. But if it was me, or my loved one, I would prefer that the family lawyer working for me is very experienced and that I am not a client that the family lawyer gets to practise on!
The reason experience is important is threefold:
- family lawyers need to know about the Court process and its workings – not just the black letter of the law and how it applies to your case. You need advice about what to expect and when – so that you can remain calm and focussed on the end result.
- family lawyers need to be able to predict a range of results in your case – so that you know the various scenarios (worst case and best case and the ones in between). A family lawyer who has seen lots of cases is more likely to have come across a case similar to yours – this is important. Anyone can read a textbook.
- an experienced family lawyer will have knowledge of the other party’s lawyer, Judges and Magistrates. They can tailor the case and the strategic approach accordingly.
Ask your family lawyer how many years they have been practising in family law, and whether that is all they do.