Do you feel it? Excitement is being generated from a renewed commitment to create an environment in which our family law community will thrive. The early results are already impressive. A few weeks ago, judges and well-respected family law attorneys invested a day clearing their calendars and the Old Courthouse in downtown Phoenix to provide education and training in the now annual Family Law Trial College.
Following an encouraging turnout in Tucson, the first “Town Hall” in Maricopa County happened on Friday, December 6 at the South Court Tower in the Superior Court Complex in Phoenix. Our judges were interested in knowing your view of the challenges that result from systematic issues within the court system to improve the courts. This is unique and timely. We had an opportunity to share information and ideas to the newly formed Family Court Improvement Committee. Their first project is to implement meaningful changes in the court system.
Members of your Executive Council recently published a special newsletter in which each expressed why he or she volunteers their time and effort to serve on the Council. Each member offered to be a resource for individual family law attorneys to contact for guidance and advice.
Over the next eight months our Family Law Section will sponsor training specifically targeting newer practitioners in the form of “101 Basics of Family Law” including topics:
- Child support
- FKA Custody and parenting time
- Legal decision making
- Procedural and discovery issues
- Spousal maintenance.
An ever-growing number of lawyers and judges are getting engaged and working toward providing more education and training, promoting a higher level of professional conduct, and creating opportunities for meaningful partnership between the bench and bar. All of these efforts are designed to effectuate changes to make our jobs easier and to be in a better position to help our clients.
Now, more than ever, there is no good reason for anyone to endure the practice of family law alone. I urge you to make an authentic effort to get involved. Reach out to connect with other attorneys who practice family law, particularly more seasoned ones. Share your own experiences and expertise by participating in the upcoming Town Hall, offer to present at a CLE program, encourage other lawyers to join the family law section, and take advantage of the learning opportunities and programs in family law throughout the year.
A healthy community is a robust collection of strong relationships. When we develop a history of trust, a shared sense of mutual belonging, and engage in habits of mutual assistance, we will all thrive in the practice of family law. So don’t wait any longer; get engaged now. Mitchell Reichman