The term ‘family law’ encompasses many things. Think of it as a very large legal umbrella, with a number of different areas of practice sitting beneath it.

In practice, family law covers anything from divorce and the resulting financial matters and the arrangements for the children, to public law child proceedings involving the Local Authority.  Not all family solicitors practice each and every element, and not all family law firms cover every specialism. As you progress through your studies and subsequent training, the likelihood is that you’ll find an affinity with a particular area of family law, and pursue that as your chosen area of practice. 

But leaving all of that aside for now, how do know whether life as a family lawyer is the right thing for you? What can expect from it as a career path? Let’s take a look.

The stakes are high

Family law, whether during negotiations through solicitors or court proceedings, can have far-reaching consequences. The clients you’ll be dealing with are invariably seeking your advice because they’re in crisis, and need your expert advice and guidance.

Whether it’s because they’re worried about their children (including losing contact with them, altogether), frightened about how they’ll survive financially following a divorce or separation, or dealing with an abusive spouse or partner, accepting that the stakes are high is one of the first lessons you’ll need to learn.

It’s all in the detail

Contrary to what you might have seen in films and on the television, family law isn’t all high-drama and conflict. Whilst of course there’s definitely some of that, a career in family law requires an overall meticulous attention to detail.

Legal research, timelines, statements articulated with excellence – these are the things that will often make or break the matters you’re working on, and ultimately, they’re the things your clients will thank you for in the long run.


As the law evolves, so do the networks and professional circles you’ll operate in. Family law will require you to work with any number of different professionals. Social workers, financial advisors, actuaries, barristers – the list is endless.

The great thing about this of course, is that you’re learning all of the time. New skills, new information, and new connections, all of this will help you to provide a better service to each and every client that you represent.

Variety is the spice of legal life

If there’s one thing you need to remember as you contemplate your future career as a solicitor, it’s that family law isn’t the easy option. Your clients, and their issues, will be incredibly varied. No one day will be the same, and you’ll need to be prepared for that. 

Excellent communication skills will need to come to the fore, as will excellent time management, patience and empathy.

As the old saying goes, you’re likely to need a thick skin, and with many clients, you’ll need to work hard in order to earn their trust. Trauma, conflict, heightened emotions, joy and despair – be prepared to experience a whole array of feelings, and to be able to deal with them.

A whole world of job satisfaction

Rest assured that being a family solicitor is as exciting and fun as it is challenging. During our discussions for this blog, the overwhelming feeling was one of pride and satisfaction. The best thing about this job is having the security of knowing that every piece of work we do is valued and is part of a bigger picture – helping clients to seek justice, fairness, and a future that works for them.

If you’d like to know more about the work we do here at Harrogate Family Law, feel free to take a look at our blog, and follow us across our social media channels – including LinkedIn.

If you’re looking for your next career move or opportunity feel free to get in touch for a chat.

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