What’s the future for family lawyers?

The only certainty for family lawyers is that they face a very uncertain future. With the government seemingly engineering a larger role for family mediators in the family justice system, and with family mediators already engineering larger roles for themselves while the government  formulates its policy, what does this all mean for those who aren’t mediators?

Lawyers mustn’t lose sight of their essential role in most mediations, They help their clients choose the right mediator, and can  prepare them for the process by helping them identify their goals and needs. And they provide the essential service of providing a legal assessment against which the mediation proposals can be measured. From this lawyer-mediator’s viewpoint, good mediation support lawyers are like hens teeth.

My prediction is that with family consultants and financial planners also undertaking more of the work which lawyers used to think of as their own, these changes are bound to lead to a huge reduction in the volume of work which is currently sustaining so many – even those who are involved in public law work. Numbers could decline by 70%. Make sure you’re one of those who has a future by embracing the changes, not turning your back on them.



  1. Tom McGinn

    Thanks for the post, Stephen. I agree that lawyers can contribute to the parties having a far more informed (and therefore more effective) dialogue.

    All lawyers should aim to embrace the change that is hitting the profession, whether it stems from mediation’s increasing importance, online legal services or ABSs.

    • Stephen G Anderson

      Thanks Tom. I’ve learned to keep my blogs short after a good friend said he didn’t bother to read them because they were too long! I’ve written elsewhere about IT on numerous occasions. May not have mentioned ABSs before but agree that these two completely separate issues are the other two opportunities afforded to the early adopters. Or they’re Armageddon if you’re on the other side of the fence.

  2. Tom McGinn

    hahah, yes, but, as you say, it can very much be a choice which side of the fence you are on!

    I’ve subscribed to the blog, so am looking forward to more interesting (and short) posts!

  3. Pingback: What’s the future for family lawyers? | Riverdale Mediation

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