THE MANY FACES OF
PROFESSIONALISM IN DIVORCE
Well, there's the new yuppie type woman divorce lawyer. And there's the old-timers, like myself, that's trying to get it through as easily and quietly as possible. And then there are the in-betweens from the big firms that have richer people.
—George Elder, a Maine divorce lawyer
Divorce lawyers vary in their understandings of professionalism in divorce practice. Some of these differences are shaped by the nature of their practices. Some derive from individual variations in character and values, while others are rooted in gender roles, age, and experience, and still others in the organization of their law firms. Specialists often understand their roles in divorce cases differently than do general practice lawyers. Unlike sole practitioners who do divorce work, lawyers employed by law firms face demands to be attentive to the interests of partners and to firm policies. Attorneys whose clients have few resources find themselves pressed to structure and limit their time in ways that lawyers with well-to-do clients do not. Women appear somewhat more likely than men to see special personal meaning in divorce practice.