After graduating from Columbia University School of Law in 1989, I began and began my practice of law in New York City that Fall. I focused first on developing my writing, research and litigation skills, and eventually gained experience in all facets of litigation, trial preparation and trial work (including arguing motions, selection of juries and witness examination at trial). Next, I focused on developing a specialization in the area of Family Law and eventually became a partner in the Family Law Department at Morrison, Cohen, Singer & Weinstein, LLP, one of the leading matrimonial law firms in New York City at that time. In 2002, I left MCSW to pursue other interests. I obtained a Masters Degree in Arts Administration from New York University in 2003, and began my study of mediation at the end of 2004. I have since worked almost exclusively in the field of family mediation in both New York and New Jersey. I am also trained in the practice of Collaborative Law, have completed advanced trainings in the fields of both mediation and Collaborative Law, and have served as a coach in various mediation trainings.
My first-hand knowledge of litigation compelled me to pursue alternative ways of helping families resolve issues that arise during divorce and other family transitions. Courts are simply not equipped to help families experiencing divorce move forward in a way that does not irreparably damage relationships. Because of my experience resolving family issues in a variety of settings, I am able to guide separating or divorcing couples through the daunting landscape that confronts them at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives. I believe that the understanding-based problem-solving approach that I utilize is best suited to helping couples meet this challenge. Based on my experience, my extensive education and training, I firmly believe that parties, and not a Judge, are in the best position to make decisions about their lives and their families. I work to help each party develop an understanding of their own, as well as their partner’s, needs, values and priorities. Together, we take this information and let it inform a problem-solving approach to addressing each issue that must be resolved in order for the couple or family to move forward.
Currently, I am pursuing a Graduate Certificate in the field of Restorative Practices at the International Institute of Restorative Practices (IIRP) and serve on a voluntary basis with the Youth Aid Panel (YAP) of the SOMA Center for Peace and Justice in Maplewood, New Jersey. My study of and work in Restorative Practices informs my mediation and collaborative work with clients, as well as allowing me to work closely with young people involved in the juvenile justice system.
I am an active member of the following professional organizations that allow me to stay current with the law, as well as to continually update my skills in Mediation, Collaborative Law, Restorative Practices and Conflict Management:
The Center for Understanding in Conflict (formerly the Center for Mediation and Law)
New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (NJAPM)
New York State Council for Divorce Mediation (NYSCDM)
The Family Law and ADR Sections of the New York State Bar
The Family Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar
The Collaborative Divorce Association of North Jersey (CDANY)
The International Association for Conflict Management (IACM)
Association for Conflict Resolution — Greater New York (ACR-GNY)