Picture this scenario: you work in a small firm, alongside a partner, one other lawyer and the receptionist. It’s Friday afternoon and you are the only one in the office.
The phone rings. It’s a regular client, a small business owner who has been coming to the firm for a long time for employment and property advice. You take the call, thinking that it will be more of the same, but the client starts to tell a different story. The marriage has broken down. He wants a divorce – there are no kids, but there’s the house and the car and the business to consider…
You don’t ‘do’ family law – on the other hand, you know the partner will not be pleased if you ruin this relationship.
And then you remember: Family Law Workflows.
It will step you through the processes this client needs you to address. Navigation schematics guide you through the steps for applying for a divorce and preparing a property settlement, starting with the client intake sheet that helps you ask the necessary and relevant questions while the client is on the phone. You make an appointment for the client to come in on Monday, and let him know what he will need to bring with him to make the most of your meeting.
You end the conversation and continue to step through the workflows, going through the checklists and decision trees, taking on board the tips and alerts. When you come back to the office next week, you’ll be ready to take instructions from your client. The partner drops by the office on her way home from court and asks what has happened in her absence. She thanks you for keeping the business with the firm: it’s a good end to the week.
Family Law Workflows is a new practice solution on Westlaw AU. Its navigation schematics and interactive resources step practitioners through their legal work, maximising time and cost efficient and minimising risk by making processes transparent and consistent. Solicitors in smaller firms who are perhaps not so familiar with family law, as well as junior lawyers and their supervisors, will find it of benefit to their practice and their business.
Family Law Workflows is based on the Commonwealth jurisdiction of family law practice. The first two topics, “Ending a Relationship” and “Property Distribution”, will be followed by others including “Children’s matters” and “Child Support” to ensure coverage of the practice area. Although this product is not tailored for practitioners in Western Australia, their needs will be addressed in a separate future offering.
When subscribed to in conjunction with other family law publications, you are able to move between the schematics, to the downloadable precedents in Family Law Precedents- NSW Law Society and on to the commentary and legislation in Dickey’s Family Law with Legislation if you need to do more research. Similarly, depending on your subscription profile, The Laws of Australia and FirstPoint are easily within reach.