Updated: Mar 21
Here at FamilyProperty, we make it our business to understand our subscribers and are committed to working with them to ensure that they can continue to change family law for the better. We are proud to shine a light on their diverse journeys.
This week, FamilyProperty’s Stefanie Costi sits down for a chat with Amanda Little, the Principal Solicitor at Amanda Little & Associates, Accredited Specialist in Family Law and a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.
Stefanie: Thank you for making time for us today, Amanda. First of all, tell me a little bit about why you have chosen to practise family law for the last fifteen years.
Amanda: Family law chose me – I didn’t choose it!
My “why” for practising family law is simple. It allows me to combine my passion for problem solving and advocacy with my natural inclination to protect others.
I particularly love to use my legal skills to assist those who have been victims of domestic violence to find security - both emotionally and financially - and their voice.
Stefanie: From your perspective, what can those involved in the family law space do better?
Amanda: From a practitioner’s perspective, we need to work on deescalating conflict between the parties and focus more heavily on resolution through alternative dispute resolution avenues as opposed to the “win”.
We must move away from manual intakes and utilise technology to streamline our processes and reduce client costs.
Stefanie: What is presently the most common challenge for family law clients?
Amanda: Many family law clients are struggling with the pressure that COVID-19 has put on them emotionally and financially.
Families are at breaking point and emotions are high while finances are low. It is an incredibly stressful time to be separating because of all the uncertainty associated with COVID-19.
Stefanie: Has COVID-19 presented your practice with any challenges? If so, what are they and how do you plan to overcome them?
Amanda: Absolutely. It has really made me assess my business, the firm and how we utilise technology to deliver our services. Continuing to provide the high-quality services that we are known for has meant that we have had to adapt to the change in our environment from a Court and business perspective. We have moved into the online space to be more accessible to clients.
We also commenced partnering with legal technology innovators (like FamilyProperty and Smokeball) and have utilised these products to continue to provide seamless representation to our clients.
Stefanie: You mentioned that you use FamilyProperty in your practice. What do you find the most useful about the program?
Amanda: FamilyProperty is a vital tool in my practice.
My lawyers love the interactive Balance Sheet and the ability to show clients in real time – whether it be in mediation, court, or other negotiations – how offers of settlement will affect them.
This is particularly useful in complicated property settlement matters where there are multiple offers on the table which sometimes can be overwhelming for clients to understand. FamilyProperty simplifies these offers in a way that clients can easily digest.
Stefanie: What other technology do you use in your practice?
Amanda: We were early adopters of legal technology. We have used Law Switch for chat bots, Law Switch and JotForm for online intakes, Adieu for financial disclosure and Smokeball for its instant messaging app. Smokeball made a big difference when the team moved towards remote working during the pandemic. It is easy to use, fully online and allows interactions remotely between staff and clients with ease.
Stefanie: We are almost midway through the first quarter of 2022. What are you most looking forward to in the next few months?
Amanda: I am looking forward to leaving the fog and uncertainty that was and has been COVID-19 behind. I feel that 2022 offers promise and hope. I am excited to be developing and growing a business and of course, practising in family law!
Amanda is also a guest speaker at the FamilyProperty and Smokeball Australia 2022 State of Family Law Conference in Sydney on 14 June 2022 at the Hilton, Sydney | 12pm – 3pm AEST.
Follow Amanda Little & Associates on Instagram.