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How do I Become a Divorce Lawyer?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2016
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To become a divorce lawyer, you will need to complete the educational and testing requirements to become a licensed attorney in the jurisdiction where you wish to practice. Depending on the laws and practices in your area, you should also receive hands-on training by working in a family law or divorce practice. It is often advisable to complete additional course work, including continuing education courses, in divorce and family law. As you become more experienced and knowledgeable, you will be able to take on more responsibility and develop a specialized practice in divorce law.

The educational requirements to become a divorce lawyer or any kind of lawyer vary by jurisdiction. In the United States, most states require that an aspiring lawyer complete a bachelor's degree and then a law degree at the graduate level. Law school degrees in the United States frequently take about three years to complete when the student goes to school full-time. During law school, a student may have the option to work as an intern in a law office. If the student believes that he might want to become a divorce lawyer, he may decide to pursue an internship at a law firm that specializes in family or divorce law. Once he completes his degree, he can take the bar exam and apply for licensure as an attorney.

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In the United States, a licensed attorney can practice in any area of law that interests her. Many new attorneys seek to work in law practices that specialize in their areas of interest so that they can actually gain knowledge on the job. Like a law student choosing an internship in a family law or divorce practice, the new attorney who wants to become a divorce lawyer may want to focus her job-hunting efforts on family law practices.

Educational opportunities exist to help those who want to become a divorce lawyer gain more knowledge about divorce and family law, social policy, and the family dynamics that affect the divorce process. A divorce lawyer may want to complete additional graduate work either by taking specialized law courses or perhaps by receiving training in another field such as psychology or finance and focusing her studies on divorce-related issues. Professional associations often have meetings that provide additional training in the area of divorce law and divorce litigation. In addition, even experienced divorce lawyers will sometimes take continuing education classes in order to improve their skills and knowledge and develop a better understanding of the practice of divorce law.

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