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September 16, 2022
Accepting Family Law Work as a New Attorney: Part 1

Accepting family law work as a new attorney can be a bit daunting. You likely know the law or have good research skills so that you can learn the specifics about what a client needs, but some of the practical realities of taking on a new client are not as easy to research. 

Learning the Ropes from Frances Gutierrez

Frances Gutierrez is an associate with Hartley Lamas Et Al. and has been practicing for nearly a decade. Today, he has extensive experience in family law, but he started knowing very little about working with new clients. He joined Hartley Lamas Et Al. in 2017 and became a member of the California Bar in 2012.

Below are some of his initial tips about working with the resources you have as a new attorney.

1. Pair up with experienced professionals who are willing to mentor you.

Gutierrez has great mentors at Hartley Lamas Et Al., including the firm’s managing partners. He also has a supervising attorney who regularly asks for guidance and advice.

New attorneys are not ethically permitted to work on cases in which they are not competent in the subject. As a result, finding helpful mentors and supervisors is not only a good idea, it might be required based on ethical constraints.

2. Do not be afraid to ask questions.

Talking with peers can be an excellent way for new lawyers to learn. Gutierrez uses the experience of his fellow attorneys in his firm to his advantage.

Castellano, another associate with the firm, has extensive experience with discovery matters. As a result, Gutierrez will often work with Castellano on more challenging discovery-related issues. They talk through discovery issues, and Castellano provides advice and guidance to address discovery concerns.

3. Take what you learn and run with it.

If you have a specific practice area you want to learn, be sure to use the resources around you for help. Do not let a lack of experience hold you back because many of your fellow attorneys will be willing to help you get your foot in the door of a new practice area.

If family law is an area you are passionate about, work toward that goal by researching and seeking guidance from other experienced family law attorneys. Follow us for more videos and information geared toward new attorneys.

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