I was down at the subordinate courts yesterday handling a case for one of my partners when I discovered that the majority of the lawyers in the Family court are women. Apparently, women do enjoy doing family law. However, I am trying to rationale why women would choose such a non-lucrative field of the law which
1. Forces you to handle clients who are emotional messed up – I have only just handled one case so far and even that the client started crying during court session and I had no freaking idea what to do (So i did what any guy would do…. tapped on her shoulder and said its ‘ok’). Then she leaned over and cried on my shoulder.
2. On top of the money being not as good as the other areas, sometimes you dn’t get paid. Example: The wife hires you to handle divorce proceedings and she does whatever it takes to win custody of her children and any items in the house, which has sentimental significance to her (we billed a client over 35 hours excluding court hours in trying to win her a bunch of plates, which was gift to her on her marriage). After all this is over, she might not get enough money from her husband to pay us and the firm would get the money only over several months or even years.
3. Fixing the never ending problem, if you are a commercial lawyer, you can always work towards creating a better precedent on commercial transactions. The same applies for criminal law as well. However, family law is only cases where things have just gone really really wrong, the parents are fighting for their children or just fighting the end their marriage. This never ends and you know there is nothing we as lawyers can do about it. It is something we can’t fix and that trouble as a lawyer.
Yet, women lawyers still remain in this field. I think there is a reasonable explanation for this.
1. Given that Singapore has close to a 50% divorce rate, most women know their marriage is gonna end up in a divorce. Therefore, they believe in the concept of karma where if they help out other women going through a divorce maybe they themselves will not have to go through that horrible and dreadful experience.
2. Women fallacious delusion that they can fix everything. Like I said before, family lawyers come in when all has failed, there is no going back and all the lawyers can do is to finish these proceedings as quickly as possible.
Whatever their reasons to enter this area of the law, all I have to say is that a few years being a family law would just teach you how the little things that we take for granted after we get married can snowball into something which is gonna make us HATE this treasured institution of marriage.