The Paralegal’s Role in a Family Law Practice
October 8, 2014•43 min
Family law and divorce can be a very difficult practice due to the amount of emotion and transition surrounding the client's life. The lawyers practicing in this area are directly responsible for the financial and emotional future of their clients. Because of the level of pressure involved, a successful family law firm depends on their paralegals to maintain organization of the firm and consistently complete projects and emails. But there is much more a paralegal can do to be a valuable part of a family law firm and increase the success of each case. What are some steps paralegals can take and how can the lawyers work best with their paralegals to benefit the firm?
In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews attorney Nick Rice and certified paralegal Andrea Schultz who discuss their success working together at Rice Law, a firm that specializes in family law. Rice comments on the level of success he is able to achieve in divorce cases due greatly in part to working with Schultz and other high-level achieving paralegals in his practice. He appreciates the skills she brings to each case including discovery, research, prep for hearings, and document review and analysis in addition to her attention to detail and organizational skills. With the legal knowledge she has, Schultz can provide the assistance to afford Rice increased time and energy to give to the case and clients. Schultz encourages paralegals working in family law to become certified and get advanced certification in family law, learn the legal basics and how to move through a case, stay educated about changes in state laws, and find a niche within the firm. Inevitably, lawyers and paralegals should work as a team from the beginning of the case to ease stress for the client.
Nick Rice, formally known as George Lawrence Rice, IV, is a third generation attorney at Rice Law (Rice, Amundsen and Caperton, PLLC). He received his Bachelor's of Science from the University of Tennessee and his J.D. from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. He has presented at many Continuing Legal Education lectures.
Andrea Schultz is a certified paralegal at Rice Law. She graduated first in her class from Southwest Tennessee Community College with an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies and was accepted into NALA's class of 2011-2012 LEAP Program. Andrea is a current member of Greater Memphis Paralegal Alliance (GMPA) and currently serves on NALA's Professional Development Committee.
Special thanks to our sponsors, NALA and ServeNow.