As a family lawyer, you deal with a lot of issues surrounding children and their safety. As a child visitation attorney, you’ve specialized even more. You’ve learned to detect the safest, legal, and fairest situations, and you’ve learned to take all the factors into consideration when building a case and presenting it for a decision. But how did you get there?
If you’re considering becoming a child visitation attorney, there’s a few things you can do to set yourself on the right path toward a successful future.
Start With an Education
First, to become an attorney of any type, you will need a college education and a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from an accredited university. Most people complete these studies in about 7 years total, although some can complete their degrees in less time, and some people take a bit longer. On average, an undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree, takes about 4 years to complete, and a JD takes another three.
What to Study in Undergrad
You don’t need a pre-law undergraduate degree in order to become an attorney – or even to get accepted to law school. People from all types of undergraduate studies, including psychology, literature, business, and social work can go to law school. As long as you have studied hard and are able to show the law schools you apply to how your undergraduate education applies to the area of law you want to specialize in, you should have a good chance to get accepted.
If you’re considering a career as a child visitation attorney, you might pursue a bachelor’s in child psychology, family studies, or even history.
Do you need a Master’s?
That’s up to you and how much time you want to spend in school. No, you don’t need a Master’s degree after your undergraduate degree. You can apply to law school without one – and it may not even necessarily help you get into law school. But, if you want to undertake advanced studies in a specific field before you become a child visitation attorney, you can certainly pursue graduate education.
Study for the LSAT
One of the biggest factors that contributes to being accepted to law school is your performance on the standardized legal graduate test – the LSAT. Don’t take it lightly. Check into the law schools that interest you and find out what their acceptance standards are, including the average LSAT score of their recent students. This should give you a good idea of what you need to achieve.
Complete your Juris Doctorate
Once you’ve gotten into law school – don’t let your passion let up! You will have opportunities to take courses that expose you directly to the laws that a child visitation attorney needs to know. And you will also have opportunities to study areas of law that interest you, but you’re not going to directly pursue. The better you apply yourself to your studies in your JD program, the more likely you will be to enjoy success in your career.
Get Your License to Practice Law
In the states where you plan to practice as a licensed attorney, there will be specific requirements for you to present and market yourself as a full attorney. Generally, the licensing exams – commonly referred to as “the Bar” or “the Bar Exam” – are regularly scheduled and you will have ample time to study and prepare for the exam. You don’t need to work with a local attorney to prepare to become licensed in any particular state, but it can certainly help.
Child Visitation Attorney Experience
All the while, as you’re becoming educated, you will probably have many opportunities to directly work with legal clients. Perhaps you can get an internship or part-time employment in a law firm, social work office, or with a volunteer organization.
It’s not necessary to have this experience to get into law school after undergraduate school. And it’s not necessary to have this experience to pass the Bar after law school. And it’s not necessary to have this experience after passing the bar in order to start your career. But any step along the way, it is valuable to have experience you can apply to the next stage of your career.
To prepare for a career as a child visitation attorney, seek out experience working with children, their parents, and the legal system. You won’t regret it.