I strive to enable clients to move wisely and with confidence through their family transitions – whether marriage, adoption, separation or divorce. My primary goal is to facilitate cooperative, creative and cost-effective problem solving that enables clients to step into the future with optimism.
To that end, I use only non-adversarial approaches to conflict resolution. Over the years, Collaborative Law (also known as Collaborative Practice) has become the core of my work, with mediation and divorce consulting as natural offshoots of my ongoing efforts to improve my skills as a facilitator, guide and peace maker. I believe these approaches are vastly preferable to litigation as routes to emotionally and financially healthy futures. In thirteen years of working with clients in these ways, my belief in the promise of non-adversarial problem solving has deepened, and it motivates me to do the work I do.
My collaborative family law practice followed other work in law and teaching. I began my career as a business litigator in a large San Francisco law firm. Next, I returned to academia as a graduate student in English at the University of Washington. Years of study, writing, and teaching followed.
I reentered the practice of law seeking to engage my skills as a lawyer and teacher in a way that would make positive differences for people during important, and often very difficult, life transitions. I chose family law because it is where, for many of us, the law hits closest to home, affecting our most intimate and cherished relationships with spouses and children.
I hope to help clients avoid negative experiences with family law, and better yet, emerge from their family transitions feeling strong, satisfied with the process and the outcome, and confident about their futures. I hope to help them forge new, healthier relationships with co-parents. I hope to help set the stage for them to raise children who can thrive in two households.
To refine my skills and gain new perspectives, I regularly participate in discussion groups, workshops and conferences. I am a member of King County Collaborative Law, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Collaborative Professionals of Washington, and the Academy of Professional Family Mediators. I currently serve as vice president of the board of directors of King County Collaborative Law.
I received my formal education at Yale University (B.A.), the University of Chicago (J.D.), and the University of Washington (M.A. and Ph.D. candidacy). My practical education is ongoing, for which I thank my colleagues and my clients.