Don't need kids to be a good family law attorney

August 8, 2018

I recall a number of years ago that one of my colleagues, a woman attorney who was a few years younger than me, was told that she couldn't be a good family law attorney if she didn't have children of her own.  I recall that that criticism made her feel insecure.

 

Let me say clearly right now that that criticism was total bullshit.  A good lawyer is a good lawyer.  It's as simple as that.

 

As the saying goes, real recognize real, and so I believe that most lawyers know a good lawyer when they see one, and in the application here, the question of whether another family law attorney has children of their own doesn't come into the assessment of whether they're a good attorney or not.

 

Now, speaking for myself, I'm the father of two young children.  I believe that being a parent helps me to empathize and relate to parents who are clients in custody cases.  But that ability to connect has nothing to do with my pure abilities as a lawyer.  Other than the experience that I've gained over the years, one case at a time, I'm essentially the same lawyer now that I was when I became one.

 

And to be a good lawyer, you have to know the law, you have to be familiar with the facts of your case, you have to have the experience of how to apply the facts of your case to the law at hand, and you always have to know your audience.  There are other intangibles in addition, but these are the basic elements.

 

To illustrate my point in a different way, one would never say that a good criminal defense attorney had to have been a criminal in order to be a good criminal defense attorney.  That's silly of course.  Similarly, a good family law attorney doesn't have to have children of their own in order to be a good family law attorney.  And that's that.

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F. TIGHE BURNS, ESQ.

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230 S Broad St, Suite 1400
Philadelphia, PA 19102