Join Everyday Law as we discuss a variety of issues with family law attorneys, Mary Clark and Val Steiner, of Clark and Steiner — including how they began their law practice together, why it is impossible to separate the emotional components from the legal issues in family law, and what has changed for women in the legal profession over decades of experience!
Mary Clark and Valerie Steiner have a firm specializing in family law, Clark & Steiner, Ltd., located in Lake Forest (tel. (847) 604-8300, www.clarksteiner.com). Clark and Steiner met when Steiner became Clark’s associate at a large family law firm in Lake County. Clark had worked in Lake County for most of her career, while Steiner moved to Lake County after practicing law in Michigan. Clark and Steiner worked so well together that, in 2012, they formed their own law firm.
While criminal law is said to involve bad people at their best, family law involves good people at their worst. Divorce and custody issues are very stressful and very often involve strong emotions. Family law attorneys must have a broad base of knowledge including but not limited to real estate, probate, taxes, valuation of property, etc. Clark and Steiner care about their clients and try to do the best that they can for them by listening closely to them and helping them to develop the tools that they need to go forward with their lives.
When initially meeting with clients, Clark and Steiner make clear to their clients the consequences of a divorce. Such consequences include the financial impact of a divorce as well as the impact of divorce on a family where there are children. Couples with children contemplating divorce need to understand that they will still have to communicate with their ex-spouse for many years after the divorce as their children grow up. Additionally, throughout the divorce process, there is a very real “fear factor” about what the future holds as the division of a household usually results in a reduction of lifestyle for one, if not both spouses.
In addition to their law firm, Clark and Steiner are involved with the Association of Women Attorneys in Lake County. Clark is one of the founding members of that group. In the 1970s and 1980s, when there were far fewer female attorneys, Clark saw a need for a group for female attorneys. The group has worked to help diversify the bench in Lake County.