The Most Important Progress From The Women’s Movement Can Be Seen In The Legal Profession

Sheriff Andy Taylor was rare indeed, and not just because he kept order in Mayberry without carrying a gun. What was even more unusual about the main character of The Andy Griffith Show was the fact that he was a single father raising his son.

In 1960, right around the time that show was set, only eight percent of all households in the United States were headed by a single father. Fifty years later, mainly because of the Women’s Movement that began in the Sixties and Seventies, that percentage has risen to 25 percent.

While Griffith’s character is a widower, the majority of single fathers are separated from the mothers of their children. Back in the Sixties that situation would have been almost unheard of, but nowadays it has become quite common.

The main reason for the huge increase in single fathers raising their children can be traced to a similar increase in another field, the number of females entering the law profession and serving as judges. In too many cases male arbiters invariably favored the female parent, almost to the point where few separated fathers believed they had any chance in a custody hearing.

Fortunately for single fathers, more women have become judges. Unlike the male magistrates who have traditionally viewed the mother as the most suitable caregiver and the father as the primary economic provider, their female counterparts see past these outdated stereotypes in order to make more objective decisions regarding custody.

American television reflects this superiority of female judges, as a look at the various court shows can demonstrate. Of the dozen or so programs that use the legal format, all but one (Greg Matthis) of those with male judges have failed.

Judge Joe Brown lasted just a few years before poor ratings shut him down, and more recently Judge Alex Ferrer suffered the same fate. Both men too often sided with female litigants, swayed by feminine tears or by their subconscious role as protectors of the so-called “weaker sex.”

Andrew Napolitano of Power of Attorney is another classic example of why males have been in disfavor by TV audiences. His court series debuted in 2001, but Napolitano was so unappealing that it lasted just two seasons.

Part of the reason for its failure was the judge’s blatant favoritism toward female litigants, who prevailed in nearly every case against a male opponent. The series was so forgettable that it has never even been given a page on Wikipedia.

Conversely, court shows headed by women have dominated the ratings war, led by Judith Schienlin of Judge Judy. Tonya Acker and Patricia Dimango have kept Hot Bench in second place, not much farther ahead of Faith Jenkins of Judge Faith and Lynn Toler of Divorce Court.

Marilyn Milian is now in her twentieth year on The People’s Court, far outlasting her three male predecessors. Its first judge Joseph Wapner started out strong in the early days of courtroom TV, but once women arbiters like Judge Judy got involved his ratings went down. The show replaced him with former New York mayor Ed Koch, who fared little better than Wapner.

The People’s Court persisted on having a male judge when Wapner stepped down, so Jerry Shienlin took control of the gavel. His ratings were even lower than his predecessors, prompting the producers to finally hire a female to preside.

The emergence of females in the legal field has served as a huge benefit for single fathers, which undoubtedly will benefit America’s children as well. Their success on TV court shows clearly has demonstrated that society prefers that hearings be decided by the gender less likely to be swayed by stereotypical, outdated roles.

Paralegal Courses Are an Option For Those Who Want to Be in the Legal Profession

Sometimes we have to do it the long way. There are those who got into the legal profession by being a paralegal first. They enrolled in one of the paralegal courses that are available at local universities and community colleges. It is also available online. When you decide to take up paralegal course online, check if the school is accredited, it is for your own protection. Although at the start of the decision to take up a paralegal course, they just wanted to become a paralegal. They want to test the waters if the legal field is really for them. What better way to test it than enrolling in a paralegal course. In this way, you are not pressured by friends and family and by yourself to become a lawyer. You can take it one step at a time. Besides by becoming a paralegal you will know firsthand if becoming a lawyer is what you really want.

Thus, people who are confused whether they want to become a lawyer or not should consider becoming a paralegal. There are also some instances when money and time are issues and to become a lawyer you need to have both. Actually, you need to have lots of them. This is the exact opposite of taking up paralegal because there are paralegal courses that will only take a year and you will even get a certificate after. Plus, the expenses of taking up a paralegal course are not that costly. You can look at it as one year of improving yourself and finding yourself and eventually becoming what you want to be. So never take any shortcuts especially when it comes to your career. Sometimes it may take longer but it is better to be sure than to spend all those years and then eventually decide that the legal profession is not for you.

The Legal Profession Has Jobs for Barristers and Solicitors

Looking for an interesting career with great pay and plenty of “perks”? How about a profession in which you gain respect as you do service for your clients such as represent them in court while negotiating settlements which may amount to millions and even argue the law or maybe even rewrite some laws yourself? All part of the legal profession and part of the prestige career of being a barrister or solicitor. This is the type of job that gives you respect and perhaps a bit of power as well. As a barrister, particularly in Wales and England, you are considered to be a specialist when it comes to advocacy as well as representation of individuals who need your services in a court of law. As an independent source pertaining to legal advice a barrister pleads a case for their client and that client’s solicitor. Generally the public may choose to either go to a solicitor or seek help from a barrister first. A barrister may also choose his or her own particular favorite when it comes to areas of the law they wish to practice such as commercial law, chancery (trusts and estates) law, criminal law, sports law, common law which pertains to families or housing or even personal injury, and entertainment law. Each subject has its own unique laws and ways to enforce them.

Barristers work is rewarding and honorable typically, a barrister has a wide range of activities and duties in which they participate on a daily basis. They may perform many of the following:

• Legal research regarding laws and legalities
• Takes instructions from their clients as well as their solicitors
• Knowing and interpreting the laws as they have been written
• Write opinions while also advising solicitors or others in the legal profession
• Advise clients regarding matters of the law and how their case may be handled
• Go to court and represent the clients
• Drafts legal documents
• May examine and or cross examine any witnesses regarding the suit or charges filed
• Negotiate the settlement
• They may also assist in the development and strategy of legal issues

Solicitors are supportive and knowledgeable

The job of solicitor includes much responsibility including advising their clients on the laws and how they pertain in their particular situation. Giving advice on the law and handling the case are only part of the job description of solicitor. Depending on their area of expertise the typical range of tasks includes:

• Acting as advisor to clients regarding laws, providing advice, explaining costs of services
• Writing up letters, documents, and contracts to fit the needs of clients
• Taking instructions from clients
• Analyze and research documents, study case laws to advise clients and insure accuracy
• Instruct barristers and specialists regarding when to appear in court on behalf of clients
• Prepare paperwork for court, delegate and supervise paralegals, solicitors in training, and legal secretaries where appropriate.
• Keep current on laws especially pertaining to clients
• Of course there are more tasks the solicitor is charged with but those are some of the basics.