How to become a family lawyer in New York City?
April 30, 2011 6:46 PM Subscribe
I want to work in family law in New York City and I don't really know where to start.
posted by Salamandrous to work & money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Last year I passed the NY bar (yay! and thanks also to some guidance from Askme on choosing a prep course), and now I'm pretty close to bar admission and it's time for me to start practicing my chosen profession.
I've spent the last couple of years working in a completely unrelated field (well, except for the part where I was also studying Jewish law, which is only practically unrelated). I actually finished law school in 2007. In Quebec.
Family law was and continues to be of great interest to me, but the content of what I know is mainly Quebec and Canadian, and I have basically no practical experience of practicing law - certainly not equivalent to what an American law student might have - since Quebec is super restrictive about what non-lawyers can do. I also don't personally know many lawyers, and neither me nor my friends seem to know any family law lawyers.
The good news is that I have my job until the end of August, and it's a fairly flexible schedule that leaves room for me to job hunt and even volunteer. Also I do have American citizenship so immigration isn't an issue.
(The other good news is that having gone to law school in Quebec, my debt is negligible. And I lucked out on my rent stabilized apartment in Brooklyn! So I don't need to be earning a lot. Even a little more than what I'm earning now would be fantastic).
If it helps: In my dream world, I would find a smallish practice that would take me on and teach me a lot and let me accumulate experience. In the long run - maybe someday have a practice of my own, or with a small firm, and also do some legal scholarship on the side. I think I'm more interested in private practice than working for a nonprofit, but I'm also prepared to start going and learning and see where life takes me.
Here are the couple of questions that I know how to ask, but I'm sure there are others I don't even know to ask. I would love to benefit from any and all of the wisdom of others that it is possible for you to share with me. I feel like I don't even know how or where to start.
1. Content: blogs/journals I should be reading? A good up to date primer on NY state family law (please!!)
2. Networking: where's a good place for someone who knows no one to start? Formal and informal associations for family law? for women? for Canadians?
3. Experience: How can I get some?