Shelia and I are back from Colorado, from the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System’s Family Law Summit. We spent intensive days with approximately 30 attorneys chosen from around the United States because of our cutting edge work in family law.
And what a week it was. We were gathered together to design the way forward in the practice of family law in the American legal system. We honed and articulated not only best practices today but the best practices of tomorrow to aid our families as they transition in their lives.
We developed many wonderful, progressive, positive practices that you will read more about in the coming months. Many of them are paradigm shifting. As one example, as attorneys, we are trained to focus on the demands of the legal system. What does the law require in a given case? What are the prima facie elements? We are so inculcated to this approach that it has become the only approach there is.
But this approach is unlike any other approach in any other service delivery system because it ignores the needs of the community and the individual who comes to it. Substitute “Court” for “King” and you can see the problem. The people have come to serve the system (King) rather than the system (Court) is there to serve the people.
When you make that paradigmatic shift, many possibilities open up to you. When you think in that different way, the public’s way, you see the profession in a whole new light. This new light sheds light on what is happening in today’s legal practice and the public’s distaste for it.
When you apply that perspective to family law, you begin to perceive fantastic possibilities for service and assistance to families that simply were not there before. And since service is what calls us to this profession, that is extremely exciting!
Big changes are coming to the practice of family law. Watch these pages for implementation where, as we talk the talk, we will walk the walk.
Michael Manely serves all of our clients from our offices in Marietta, Atlanta, Lawrenceville, Canton, Gainesville and Savannah.