According to experts, if more lawyers are not convinced to choose family law, family matters that seem straight forward could stretch for several months or even years. Family laws relate to anything from divorce cases to child custody cases.
Les Kirchner, a leading family lawyer stated that there is a huge supply of family law cases but the supply of lawyers fall short. Stating himself as an example, he mentioned that if lawyers keep taking on innumerable cases, they won’t be able to give them their best. He believes that most young lawyers are staying away from family law because it is hard on them emotionally. The complex nature of family law forces lawyers in the field to be lawyers and psychologists at the same time.
Family lawyers are expected to listen to the problems of their clients, which is an essential part of client management. Most cases involve issues like divorce and situations where their life is being turned upside down and the end up confiding in their lawyer. This emotional involvement affects a lot of lawyers, which makes them steer clear of these cases.
According to Allan Fineblit, the CEO of the Law Society of Manotoba, not all lawyers are abandoning family law, it just that a lot of them are realizing that traditional family dispute resolution is not always effective. The focus is now moving to collaborative law, unlike traditional family law this practice solves cases in a mediated manner. This new solution is more cost effective, faster and also pleases both parties. He stated that the courts are considering some new models that will improve and speed up its services in regard to family aid.
Hilary Linton, a teacher at the University of Western Ontario in London and York University in Toronto, and also a Toronto based lawyer stated that this year saw a rise in the number of students interested in family law as opposed to the falling numbers over the past few decades. She thinks that family laws are the most experimental and a lot of new models are being played with like mediation, arbitration and collaborative law to name a few.
Change in the market
Because of the vast amounts of information available on the internet and tools like do-it-yourself kits, clients are much more informed and sophisticated regarding their rights. To cater to these clients, there are whole new types of professionals who are now trained to handle family law matters. According to Linton, the new batches of lawyers understand the unlimited needs of the clients and are ready to provide such services.
Young lawyers are keener on negotiation, mediation and non-adversarial means of solving disputes. The way these lawyers handle their finances are also different, which helps it better suit client expectations. They are ready to take on more risks and generally have a more flexible approach overall. With the changes in family laws becoming more frequent, client expectations are also changing and the new generations of lawyers need to be willing to handle the field differently.
Benita Hisey works for Shulman Law Firm in Toronto. It is giving Toronto Divorce Lawyers and Family Lawyers a knowledge and experience to express themselves.