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Advocating for Justice: My Journey into Family Law and Supporting Survivors of Gender-Based Violence

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Family Law

As a third-year law student about to take the bar exam in July, people often ask me why I decided to go into family law as opposed to any other practice area.

Choosing a legal specialization isn’t just about picking a career path; it’s about finding a way to make a real difference in people’s lives. For me, that journey led straight to family law, where I’m focused on advocating for survivors of gender-based violence.

My interest in this field didn’t come out of thin air. It’s rooted in personal experiences and a genuine desire to address systemic injustices. Growing up, I saw firsthand the impact of abuse and violence within families. It wasn’t just statistics or news stories; it was the struggles of friends, neighbors, and even family members.

The more I learned about the legal system, the more I realized how daunting it can be for survivors to seek justice. It’s not just about navigating complex legal procedures; it’s about facing stigma, fear, and sometimes even retribution from their abusers. The deck is often stacked against them, and that’s where I saw an opportunity to make a difference.

Family law isn’t glamorous. It’s gritty, emotionally charged, and often messy. But it’s also where real change happens. Whether it’s helping survivors obtain protective orders, secure custody of their children, or rebuild their lives after leaving an abusive relationship, every case is an opportunity to make a tangible impact.

One of the things that drew me to family law is its holistic approach to addressing the needs of survivors. It’s not just about winning cases in court; it’s about providing support, resources, and a sense of empowerment to those who have been silenced for too long. It’s about standing beside them every step of the way, whether that means holding their hand in court or connecting them with community organizations that can help them heal.

Don’t get me wrong; this work isn’t easy. It’s emotionally draining, and there are days when it feels like the odds are stacked against us. But it’s also incredibly rewarding. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of knowing that you’ve helped someone find safety, justice, and a sense of dignity in the face of unspeakable trauma.

In the end, my decision to specialize in family law and support survivors of gender-based violence isn’t about grandiose gestures or lofty ideals. It’s about rolling up my sleeves and doing the hard work that needs to be done. It’s about being there for those who need a voice, a champion, and a glimmer of hope in their darkest hours. And for me, there’s no greater privilege than that.

By: Morgan Whisenhunt