How to Build a Successful Career as a Divorce Lawyer

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Nov 16, 2018

Nov 16, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

With more than 800,000 divorces a year, there is sufficient opportunity for you to build a successful career as a divorce lawyer.

Of course, having opportunities isn't enough. You must make smart choices about who you represent and how you manage your clients.

Keep reading for some key tips on building the kind of legal career you want.

Focus on a Niche

Like married couples, divorces come in all kinds of flavors.

Some people simply drift apart and the divorce just formalizes an existing situation. In other cases, one person wants out of the marriage while the other didn't even know it was coming. 

Some clients come from modest financial circumstance. Other couples lock horns over sizeable fortunes.

Finding success means zeroing in a specific kind of divorce and branding yourself as the lawyer for those divorces. Specializing better equips you to represent clients in that niche. You know what's coming in most cases and how to navigate those complications.

Help Your Clients Avoid Mistakes

Divorce draws out profound, often negative emotions in clients.

Those emotional extremes can lead your clients into extremely bad decisions, such as:

  • hiding money
  • venting frustrations on social media
  • lying to you
  • treating their kids as leverage

These decisions create more emotional wreckage. They also undermine the case.

Good divorce lawyers advise their clients against emotionally-driven decisions. Check out this site for more about things to warn your clients against. 

Steering your clients clear of these kinds of mistakes means fewer problems over the long haul. Fewer problems mean happier clients. Happy clients mean more referrals.

Bring on Junior Lawyers

Divorces mean a lot of routine work that doesn't necessarily require your direct attention.

Bringing on junior divorce lawyers means you can delegate routine paperwork and research. They get valuable experience. In the meantime, you can focus on the more complex elements of the cases.

You do a better job because simpler tasks don't soak up your mental energy. The better a job you do, the more likely your work will generate results your clients like.

Provide a Little Non-Legal Guidance

Your primary job is building and presenting the strongest possible case for your client. That said, your client is also a human being under tremendous stress.

Gently offer your clients information about maintaining work/life balance during the divorce, such as:

  • asking for flexible scheduling
  • taking leave at the appropriate moment
  • reaching out to their support system

Helping your clients preserve their mental health makes things go a lot smoother.

Parting Thoughts on Building a Successful Divorce Lawyer Career

You can build a successful divorce lawyer career. It just takes some planning and the right mix of skills.

You must decide what kind of clients you'll represent and make them the focus of your branding efforts. When your work volume justifies it, bring on junior lawyers to handle routine tasks.

Remember that your clients are humans under stress. Advise them on avoiding case-damaging mistakes. Offer them information about maintaining work/life balance and their mental health.

Not sure divorce law is the right fit for you? Check out our post on becoming a patent lawyer.