What makes a good family lawyer?

1 July 2021
Typically, family law is made up of three main areas of work: matrimonial, finance and child law. Some lawyers may choose to specialise in a particular area whilst others prefer to maintain a mixed client base. A family lawyer can act on matters such as divorce and separation, financial claims and settlements, prenuptial agreements, domestic violence claims and child law proceedings. Aside from studying and achieving the necessary educational qualifications and gaining practical experience, there are a number of soft skills required to be a successful family lawyer.
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If you’re contemplating a career in family law or you need to hire a family lawyer, then it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the important qualities of a family lawyer. To help you with this, we have highlighted some of the key traits. 

Here at John Fowlers Solicitors, our family lawyers take great pride in delivering specialist family law support and advice. Get in touch with us for more information. 

Excellent Organisation and Time Management

The fast-paced, demanding nature of a career in law means that it’s essential to be organised and manage your time well. Good time management can increase your productivity and help reduce stress levels. When dealing with clients and guiding them through a case, it’s imperative that family lawyers are punctual. Missing an appointment or showing up late is extremely poor practice and has the potential to impact your client, and their case, negatively. In a similar way to other specialist solicitors, family lawyers are also often responsible for a high amount of case files and legal documentation. Maintaining order and ensuring that you are highly organised is extremely important. A comprehensive filing system, setting clear goals and utilising planning tools can help with this. 


Family lawyers deal with a wide range of sensitive issues and legal cases. Generally, clients are already facing a great amount of uncertainty and emotion. It’s your responsibility to ensure that you act with care, consideration and compassion. It’s vital to approach all situations in a level-headed, non-judgemental manner. This can help clients minimise their stress levels and encourage them to trust you.

Good Communication Skills

Mastering the art of communication is essential for a successful career in law. Being able to communicate well allows legal professionals to make persuasive arguments and effectively advocate for their clients. It’s important that family law practitioners have an excellent grasp of the English language and legal terminology. Family lawyers should be experienced in speaking confidently and in a clear, concise manner. Writing communication skills are also a key requirement for this role. Spelling and grammatical errors can undermine your work and your professional ability. However, writing in a professional, articulate manner will allow you to showcase your knowledge and help you achieve a successful outcome for your clients. 

Professionalism, Patience and Objectivity

Emotional outbursts and uncomfortable disputes can be common occurrences in family law. For this reason, a family lawyer must possess excellent conflict resolution skills, patience and be able to keep level-headed. In the midst of a negotiation, it’s important to remain composure and keep a calm demeanour even if a situation feels heated. A family lawyer must also be able to achieve the perfect balance between empathy and detaching themselves from an emotional situation. This is because a solicitor must act with compassion yet they must put personal feelings and emotions to one side in order to achieve a positive outcome for their client. The remaining objective can help you come up with creative solutions to issues that may arise. 

Strong Work Ethic

A solicitor will often be faced with a heavy workload with tight deadlines. It’s important to be passionate about the work you do and be willing to put in the hours to support your client. Setting yourself personal deadlines that occur before the official deadline can help you complete tasks and allow you some extra time to deal with any unexpected issues. 

At John Fowlers Solicitors in Colchester, we are proud to be the first choice of hundreds of families, couples and individuals throughout Essex looking to settle family law disputes and cases every year. 

Contact us for a phone consultation with one of our experienced Family Lawyers in Colchester, Essex, and find out how we can help your case for the best outcome.