Divorce Lawyer: Education & Job Requirements

Explore the education and job requirements for divorce lawyers. Get current information on degree and licensure requirements, responsibilities, median salary, and potential job growth. Find out if a career as a divorce lawyer is the profession for you. Schools offering Juris Doctor degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career information at a Glance

A divorce lawyer is a legal advisor who represents clients by researching, gathering, and providing evidence on behalf of the client. Additionally, a divorce lawyer is a legal advocate, guiding and instructing the client through the legal process while acting in the best interests of the client. Check out the quick-glance table below to find out about the education and skills necessary to become a divorce lawyer.

Degree Required Juris Doctor (J.D.)
Educational Field of Study Law
Licensure Requirements Successful completion of bar exam & induction to state's bar
Key Skills Analytical, interpersonal, problem-solving, & public speaking
Median Annual Salary (2019) $80,249**
Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (for all lawyers)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **Payscale.com

What Does a Divorce Lawyer Do?

A lawyer or attorney provides legal representation for his or her client. Lawyers spend their days meeting with clients, colleagues, judges, and others actively involved in their cases. A divorce lawyer typically specializes in family law practices. Family law involves adoption, child support, and divorce-related proceedings. Lawyers spend most of their time in court, in meetings, and traveling to various locations to carry out duties. The attorney must act in the best interest of the client, protecting and serving the individual as a legal advisor and advocate.

Where Can Divorce Lawyers Work?

A divorce or family practice lawyer can work in a variety of settings. They might work for large legal firms; small law practices; or with local, state, and governmental entities. Many lawyers are also self-employed.

Do Wages as a Lawyer Vary?

Wages as an attorney can vary according to the employer, geographical location, and experience. According to Payscale.com in 2019, divorce lawyers earned a median salary of $80,249 per year. As a comparison, the BLS noted the median salary for lawyers in general was $120,910, annually, in 2018. Those wages were said to range from approximately $60,000 to over $200,000 annually. Among the top paying industries for lawyers that year were federal government jobs at $145,160 annually and legal services, at $122,150 a year, said the BLS.

Is Licensure Required to Practice as a Lawyer?

Each state requires potential attorneys to successfully pass the bar exam and be admitted in the state's bar. Once the bar's admitting board deems an attorney qualified, the lawyer can legally represent others in that state. Additionally, most states require potential bar members to graduate from an American Bar Association (ABA) accredited school. To practice in multiple states, an attorney must complete the licensure and bar requirements of each state.

Are There Specialized Lawyers Other Than Divorce Lawyers?

A lawyer can be specialized, or work, in a specific field of law, hence the different titles for attorneys. Examples of different titles include corporate, criminal, defense, tax, environmental, intellectual property, and securities lawyers. Furthermore, there are government titles such as prosecuting and public defense attorneys. Some other commonly used terms for attorneys or lawyers are counsels and associates. The term associate is most commonly referring to a new lawyer, or a lawyer new to the position or corporation.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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