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.