Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What Do You Do... as an Attorney?

Friends, family and others have asked me, "What kind of attorney are you?" Good, I hope. Ha, ha!

I am also a family law attorney. At our law firm - not a big law firm mind you, but we do have 5 attorneys, so that makes us the second largest in our judicial circuit - the senior partner I work for practices solely in the area of Domestic Relations (i.e., family law). We do divorce, custody, alimony, child support, modifications of the same, adoptions, legitimation, termination of parental rights, etc.

I rarely go to court - that's what my boss does. Don't get me wrong, I've loved litigation the few times I've done it - cross-examining witnesses, arguing my case - it's a real rush... especially if you WIN! But, the stress leading up to it just isn't worth it to me. I prefer to present uncontested matters - cases where the parties have either settled or the other side never participated in the law suit.

I love going to mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. No court. With mediation, you have a neutral party helping the sides to reach a mutually agreeable solution through negotiation. The opposing parties, and their attorneys if they are represented, are in separate rooms and the mediator goes back and forth between the parties. The mediator's role is to present each side with the offer of the other party. The mediator also points out flaws in your case and can (whether the mediator intends to or not) provide some insight into the other party's case and their litigation strategy. Mediation can take hours. A mediation I attended recently lasted some 8 hours, but we settled the case - well, we settled all but one issue, and that's fine... we'll just present that issue to the court for adjudication.

I also handle a lot of the financial issues in our cases. I prepare financial affidavits, I help determine child support, and I analyze financial records of our clients and the opposing parties. I enjoy number crunching.

One of my favorite roles is adoption attorney. I've handled a few adoption cases and the ones I have had have been very rewarding. I love seeing my clients out and about with children I helped bring to their family.

So, that's what I do - three days a week, 8 hours each day. That said, I'm ALWAYS a mommy - that is my true career goal realized! Being a part-time attorney just helps get the bills paid on time!


trying4two99 said...

We had a wonderful adoption attorney when it came time for my husband to adopt Squiggles (not his real name). Anyhow, with out people like you... I would still be trying to squeeze money out of my ex.. (its a lot like squeezing money out of an ant hill).... :)

Anonymous said...

How cool! You do know that you will now be bombarded with legal questions. Right? LOL

BTW, I didn't know our daughters were close in age. Hip Rider is 26 months. :)

Anonymous said...

Ok so you will definitely be doing our adoption(s). The boys are from a previous marriage/adandonment & we're planning to start our adoption process (for them-aka stepparent adoption) & adopting a child in the Spring! :)