Job roles in law firms – advising on divorce, separation and other family matters

This article is part of our Job roles in law series which explores some of the legal sector’s practice areas and the associated job roles which may offer a starting point for someone looking to start a career in law.

What’s involved?

The family department in a law firm works on a wide range of matters. Clients may be seeking advice on divorce, separation, have problems relating to domestic violence or be seeking access to their children. The work involves meeting clients to take detailed information on their situation, advising them on their options and helping them to achieve the best outcome.  It can be rewarding in that you provide solutions to people when they are in a difficult period in their lives. The work is very varied and examples of a good outcome include achieving the financial settlement that a client is entitled to on divorce through to obtaining restraining orders in the court against a violent ex-partner.

What jobs are there for non-qualified staff?

This is an ideal area of work to get into without any prior legal qualifications. Although initial client interviews are usually led by qualified staff, a lot of the follow-up work  and collation of information can be drafted by assistants under supervision. See how Ellie Jones got into this area of law.

What job titles will be advertised by recruitment agencies?

Family law paralegal, family law administrator. Applying for legal secretarial jobs is also a good route into this area of law.

What CILEx units will support my application for these job roles?

We recommend that you enrol on courses leading to the CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice (Family Practice). As well as an introductory unit you will study Family Law and the Practice of Family Law. Have a look at the tables of contents to see what is involved. You will also study two professional skills units.

If you already have a law degree, achieve your CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma by studying Level 6 Family Practice, Level 6 Client Care Skills and one other CILEx Level 6 practice unit of your choice, which we recommend should relate to a law unit studied as part of your degree. If you have not studied family law as part of your law degree, we also recommend that you study this unit at either Level 3 or Level 6 too.

What have other students achieved?

Kristina Steele was a legal secretary and PA before starting her CILEx training. She is almost qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive and runs her own caseload.

Helping couples become the legal parents of a surrogate child is my favourite area of family law

Kristina Steele discovered her passion for law while working as a legal Personal Assistant. The family law trainee Legal Executive and Graduate Member of CILEx (GCILEx) is now working towards qualifying as a Chartered Legal Executive.

March 7th, 2019|
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