A family law attorney/mediator with an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and a background in real estate law, Julia Whitelaw is uniquely positioned to help clients sort through and resolve the unique emotional, legal and financial issues triggered by divorce and custody/parenting matters. Her practice is further informed by her personal experience raising three thriving children in a successful co-parenting relationship.
California State Bar Association, Marin County Bar Association, California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists (intern member), California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Marin County Chapter (intern member), International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Marin Collaborative Practice Group, Integrated Mediation Bay Area, Northern California Alternative Dispute Resolution Association, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.
She began her law career with Thelen, Reid and Priest in San Francisco as a real estate attorney handling complex leasing, purchase and sale and financial transactions. She is co-author of the California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) Retail Leasing Guide.
Transitioning to the field of family law in 2007, Julia served as an Associate Attorney at the San Francisco Law firm of Bley and Bley handling complex family law litigation cases, focusing on high asset, high conflict marital dissolution and custody matters. In 2010 Julia decided to change the direction of her practice to one where she felt she could make a real difference- helping individuals and couples looking for a way to avoid the bitterness, expense and public nature of litigation reach their own agreements about how to co-parent their children and manage their finances. Seeing a need for professionals who were educated in and had experience understanding conflict and working with clients on emotional health and well-being in addition to law, Julia entered The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California where she received her M.A. in Counseling Psychology in 2013.
Trained in mediation, collaborative practice and parenting coordination, she opened her own law and meditation office in 2011. Julia serves on the board of Integrated Mediation Bay Area and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Collaborative Practice Marin and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, as well as serving as an Interdisciplinary Settlement Panelist and Settlement Conference Panelist at the California Superior Court, Marin County.
Whether as a mediator, collaborative attorney or consulting attorney/coach, Julia's focus is to assist her clients to:
- Thoroughly understand their circumstances and options through gathering and assessing both legal and financial information (including input from experts where appropriate)
- Formulate informed goals
- Communicate clearly and understand differences and shared goals
- Transform focus from an ending to a new beginning, clearing the path for working together to reach respectful and sustainable agreements on co-parenting and financial plans
Julia received her juris doctor from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley in 1999. Prior to entering law school, Julia graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude from Middlebury College in 1989 and worked for six years as a public affairs/political consultant with one of San Francisco's premier consulting firms, Solem and Associates, where she managed statewide public relations campaigns, lobbying efforts and media relations on various political campaigns. Julia entered The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California where she received her M.A. in Counseling Psychology in 2013.