What’s Changed in Family Law in the Last 10 Years?


What’s Changed in Family Law in the Last 10 Years?

In the last two years alone, there have been some of the biggestdevelopments in the field of family law with relation to technology, client expectations, and the court system. Success in the field depends on one's capacity to understand and implement these changes.

Family law is a sector that is always changing; in the last two years alone, there have been some major shifts in client expectations, technology, and the court system. Success in the field depends on one's capacity to understand and implement these changes.

So What’s Changed in Family Law in the Last 10 Years?

One of the biggest shifts I've observed in family law over the past eleven years is the value placed on providing clients with a comprehensive and encouraging experience. The days of the intimidating, distant lawyer who just offers legal services are long gone. These days, a client will lean towards a family law practise that offers support in other aspects of their life that may be touched by their family law issue, in addition to providing more than just legal representation. If a family law firm does things right, the client journey from beginning to end will not only result in a legally sound decision, but it will also position the client for long-term success in general once their lawsuit has been resolved.

My company is committed to making sure that the clients who entrust us with their delicate family matters receive the best help possible from our office. To achieve this, we set aside time to offer our clients free and informative resources in the form of e-books, bi-weekly Facebook Live interviews featuring our attorneys and other professionals in the field, monthly seminars, and other materials. This involves assigning employees to positions whose only responsibility is to provide customers with extra assistance outside of the courtroom.

Our Director of Client Partnerships, for instance, assists in putting clients in touch with professionals who may meet their unique needs and provide support and direction at a time of transition. These professionals include counsellors, CPAs, real estate agents, financial advisers, and many more. We also have a Client Relations Specialist who gets in touch with clients as soon as they hire us to act as a sounding board for any non-legal questions or concerns, to offer individualised and considerate resources to clients during their case, and to make sure that all clients feel confident and at ease leaving our firm behind.

Furthermore, the expectations for the frequency and kind of communications between solicitors and clients are always changing. The legal profession has seen significant changes in communication over the years. For example, online chats have made it possible for clients to contact attorneys within an hour of their inquiry, Adobe has made it possible to e-sign contracts without ever having to meet in person, and technological advancements have fundamentally changed the way that discovery is handled. E-recordings can be used to manage filings instead of snail mail, and exhibits can be prepared, labelled, and filed online, which significantly reduces waste and the amount of paper utilised for cases.

In-person conferences like client-attorney sessions, mediations, and hearings have moved to Zoom and other online platforms more recently in reaction to the epidemic and social estrangement. In addition to altering the technical requirements for attorneys, these advancements have accelerated communication across the board, encompassing the how, when, and where a legal team must react to satisfy client expectations.

Law companies should concentrate on and make the required investments in the procedures and resources to support these rapidly changing modes of communication, like support chats and texting platforms, in light of these technological advancements. Because of this, it's also more crucial than ever for lawyers to know when to draw appropriate boundaries between their personal and professional lives and to make sure their clients have fair expectations about their availability.

Ultimately, among of the major changes I've observed in family law over the years are the significance and prioritisation of providing a comprehensive and encouraging client experience, as well as the requirement to have procedures in place to meet changing communication styles and expectations.

How Will Family Law Change in Years to Come?

I envision a few legal trends and developments taking effect in the near future. In order to make legal procedures more universal rather than county-specific, I think there will be a drive for courts to adopt regulations that are more uniform across state and county lines. The tiny variances in rules from one county to the next can be challenging and time-consuming for practitioners. They must educate themselves on these differences, which can be little or major, to make sure they are well-prepared to represent their customers.

Due to variations in county sizes, locations, populations, and community values, there might never be complete unanimity, but I do think there will be more centralization and consistency—particularly in the use of technology in the court system. This is particularly true with procedures like remote hearings, trials, pleas, etc., and I can see that efforts are still being made to implement consistent regulations and a single, dependable remote hearings system.

Furthermore, I think there will be a beneficial trend in enhancing low-income and underrepresented families' access to the courts when they require family law help. The emergence of occupations like Limited Licence Legal Technicians (LLLTs) in Washington State is one instance of this. For families with limited funds, limited liability partnerships (LLLTs) are an excellent way to obtain reasonably priced family law advice that can offer more practical information and assistance while navigating the legal system. Two LLLTs have recently joined my firm's team, and I hope that other states will follow suit so that every family can get the family law assistance they require.

In the last two years alone, there have been some of the biggest developments in the field of family law with relation to technology, client expectations, and the court system. I've enjoyed working on this for the past eleven years. Overcoming these changes and adapting to them is essential to success in the business. As a founding partner of Pacific Cascade Family Law, I'm excited to watch how the field develops going forward.

In law school, Lewis Irwin Landerholm discovered he had a passion for family law and started working as a part-time clerk for an attorney. Driven by a desire to leave his imprint on the world, Lewis established his practise straight out of law school and is still looking for fresh, innovative approaches to help his clients experience meaningful transformation. With eight years of experience in upper management, he possesses business management skills that are essential to his company's ongoing success.

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