Family Lawyer: Education and Job Requirements

Find out how to become a family lawyer. Read on to learn more about the educational requirements of this role and what you will be expected to do as a family lawyer. Schools offering Juris Doctor degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information At A Glance

Family lawyers specialize in legal representation of issues pertaining to the family. Take a look at the table below to discover more about being a family lawyer.

Education Required Professional (Juris Doctor)
Education Field of Study Law
Licensure Bar examination
Skills Required Analytical, interpersonal, problem solving, speaking, writing
Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (for all lawyers)*
Median Salary (2017) $119,250 (for all lawyers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

How Can I Become A Family Lawyer?

Those wanting to work as lawyers, including family lawyers, need to complete a four-year bachelor's degree followed by a Juris Doctor at law school, which typically takes three years. Those wishing to apply to law school may consider taking undergraduate courses in areas such as English, government, history and economics; however, this is not essential. Most American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited law schools require applicants to pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). To further your experience, consider taking voluntary or paid work that provides family law legal services, or work as a law clerk in a firm that has a concentration in family law.

What Courses Should I Take?

During law school, those wishing to move into family law upon qualifying should take classes in the field. Core courses often include studying topics such as marital property, children and the law, adoption law and mediation. To widen your knowledge in this specialized area, look for additional courses such as juvenile justice and elder law. You may also consider taking a tax course as this is a common area of family law.

What Kind Of Work Will I Do?

Family lawyers often work with people from a wide range of personal backgrounds and income levels. You may often work with parents and children, but will also encounter cases involving grandparents and extended family. Typical work in family law includes divorce and custody agreements, adoption, child support and visitation rights. You should also expect to work with cases involving domestic violence and abused children. Family law is often considered as an area of law which has a big impact on the lives of those you are working with.

Where Will I Work?

Family lawyers often work in small family-law firms or mid-sized firms that have a family law branch as part of their services. It is not uncommon for family lawyers to work in non-profit organizations due to the nature of the role. You may represent low income families on a range of family law matters in this working environment. Working as a lawyer for the state is also possible as most attorney offices have a specialized child and domestic support unit.

How Much Will I Earn?

The BLS reported the median salary for all lawyers in 2017 as $119,250. Those who own their own law practice are reported to typically earn less than those who work in law firms or as lawyers in other business organizations. Lawyers working for the state government earned a lower median salary in 2017, at $85,260, than lawyers in other establishments.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Post University

    Post University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Post University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »