Advocacy Skills for Family Lawyers - Course Details


Course Details:  Advocacy Skills in Family Law Workshop

Friday 26 October 2018: 5pm to 7pm

Saturday 27 October 2018: 8.30am to 5.30pm

Family Court of Australia, 99 Goulburn Street, Sydney.



The Australian Advocacy Institute’s materials and workshops are designed to enable advocates to develop their skills in the pursuit of professional excellence.  Advocacy consists of a combination of skills and disciplines which are universal to all jurisdictions. An individual workshop which focus on a specialised jurisdiction such as family law is useful because it focuses on:


  • Evidence in Chief - The Family Court requires evidence in chief to be on affidavit. Most of those affidavits are drawn by solicitors. It is essential that anyone drafting such a document have a thorough grasp of leading evidence in chief. This skill is one of those taught at the workshop.
  • Cross Examination - In order to cross examine effectively it is necessary to know what final arguments will be made to the Court. Learning to cross examine helps to hone these skills and enables better preparation of briefs to Counsel and preparation generally.
  • Legal Argument - The skill of presenting a well prepared, structured, persuasive argument in the Family Court setting.
  • Ex parte Applications - The skill of presenting a successful urgent ex parte application which are common in this jurisdiction.

The Family Law Workshop

All workshops focus on advocacy skills and employ the Institute’s workshop method. Using this method participants are divided into small groups and are involved in a number of exercises which are reviewed by trained and experienced advocacy teachers.

Exercises for the workshop vary but are designed to raise specific issues for analysis and argument. Exercises performed may include the training of skills in:


  • Preparation of the factual materials
  • Analysis and the development of a case theory
  • Applications and legal argument
  • Examination in chief & Cross-examination
  • Opening & Closing Addresses and final submissions
  • Communication Skills


Materials are provided on ethics and etiquette and the various skills.


Group Allocation of Participants

Group allocation is based on levels of practice experience and advocacy experience. Participants are asked for professional background information and allocated to a group with similar background and experience.


AAI trained instructors are selected to work with a particular group and their teaching is directed to the specific level of that group.


AAI Family Law workshops are taught by trained instructors in the Institute’s skills method. Instructors are family law practitioners or members of the family court judiciary.


AAI workshops qualify for full CPD/CLE points.


Further information on this and other workshops conducted by the AAI, please email