Area Attorneys Teach Law Students About Setting up a Family Law Practice
February 14, 2013 - What do new lawyers need to do to get started in the legal profession? Cooley Law School students in Ann Arbor learned some answers to that question recently when they were visited by area attorneys armed with some very practical tips for success.
"Getting Started in Family Practice" and "Use of Experts/Other Professionals" were the first two events in a three-part series introducing students to information, tips, and advice on getting started in practice.
In the first session on Jan. 29, attorneys covered such ground as how to choose clients, how to set up fee agreements, and general problems that could surface. They also learned how to get known and how to get business, and how to go about getting a mentor. Attorneys demonstrated how to handle initial client interviews, including how to respond to different types of clients, what that first interview should include, and how to avoid "fanning the flames" of an already agitated client.
Presenters included Sherry Chin, family law specialist, member of the Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s Family Law Advisory Board, and past president of the Washtenaw County Bar Association (WCBA); Monika Sacks, partner at Nichols Sacks Slank Sendelbach & Buiteweg, vice president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and Super Lawyer; family law attorney Phillip Schaedler; attorney and social worker Siri Gottlieb; and Liz Solomon, an attorney with Nichols Sacks Slank Sendelbach & Buiteweg, and co-chair of the WCBA Family Law Section.
In the next session, on the use of experts in Family Law cases, students experienced a hypothetical case discussion on Feb. 12 that included financial and child specialists, a divorce coach, and an attorney. They learned about collaboration with other professionals and what they needed to learn to be an effective lawyer.
Presenters included Margo Nichols, a partner at Nichols Sacks Slank Sendelbach & Buiteweg, and president of the Michigan State Bar Foundation; financial specialist Gary Rogow, C.P.A.; child specialist Judi Green; attorney and social worker Siri Gottlieb; and Gary Marsh, certified social worker, director of the Ann Arbor Mediation Center, and a practitioner member of the Family Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution.
Moderators for the programs are Zena Zumeta, president of the Mediation Training & Consultation Institute, Zena Zumeta Mediation Services, and the Collaborative Workplace in Ann Arbor; and Eileen Slank, partner at Nichols Sacks Slank Sendelbach & Buiteweg, and Chair of the Michigan Family Mediation Council.
A third session in the series will be held Tuesday, March 19 and will focus on Settling a Case.
About Cooley Law School: Founded in 1972, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School is a private, nonprofit, independent law school accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. Cooley has provided its more than 16,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world. Cooley offers its Juris Doctor program, Joint Degree programs, and Master of Laws programs three times a year with enrollment in January, May and September. Cooley Law School has campuses across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, and its new campus in Tampa Bay, Florida.