Family Law

A Message from the Chair

It is an honor to serve as chair for the 2021 year. I am thankful for all the leaders who went before me and for the lessons that I have learned from them. I am thankful for the mentors that have encouraged me to pursue bar leadership. Finally, I am thankful for my colleagues and my husband who have supported me as I take this step.

The section is designed for practitioners to increase their individual expertise through thoughtful and topical programming, to build strong relationships with fellow attorneys, and to dialogue with members of the bench to elevate the practice of family law for all litigants within the court system. While we address more traditional areas within the domestic relations and dependency practice, we also strive to ensure equal access to justice, LGBTQ+ competency, and diversity and inclusion. Sections members come from a wide range of backgrounds and professional settings – large firms, small firms, solo practices, public service organizations, the judiciary and court staff, and local universities, among others. We affirm and support all different kinds of families and we affirm the value of each individual. No matter where you practice, we hope you find a home here.

The strength of our section lies in the relationships that we have with each other. It is personal relationships that allow us to build coalitions, to effectively process criticism, to develop greater understanding, and to seek advice. I hope that this year section members take the opportunity to look forward – to seek to become better advocates and counselors – while also reaching back for our fellow attorneys. If the time of COVID has taught us anything, it has shown us the value of authentically connecting with each other. Very often we may take opposing positions in court, but there is room for civility and professionalism in how we treat each other.

While it presently remains impossible for us to gather in person, I hope that you will gather with us virtually at our monthly meetings. These are generally scheduled on the first Monday of each month. The section includes a number of topical committees which address different areas of the practice, depending on your interests, and which any section member may join. More information is on the website, but I urge you to jump in and get involved! The section also has formal mentoring programs which allow any attorney new to the practice to connect with more senior practitioners for practical questions and candid advice.

Finally, I encourage section members to volunteer their time to serve those in our community. Many section members volunteer their knowledge to represent litigants who could not otherwise afford an attorney through organizations like VIP, or represent children in dependency proceedings through the Support Center for Child Advocates. When the Family Court is open to the public, members of our Section volunteer at the Help Center on the 11th Floor.

As we look forward into 2021, we have an opportunity to work cooperatively together to create a better practice. I thank you for this opportunity to lead and to learn from each of you, and I trust that, together, we can address the challenges ahead.

Eileen G. Murphy

Monthly Section Meetings

Below are the dates of the monthly Section and Executive Committee Meetings. The Section Meetings will be held at noon in either the Family Court Building (1501 Arch Street; 15th Floor) or the Philadelphia Bar Association (1101 Market Street; 11th Floor Conference Center). Please check the list serv notices to confirm the exact locations of the meetings and to RSVP. The Executive Committee meetings will all be held at noon in the Philadelphia Bar Association in the 11th Floor Committee Room South. Kindly note that the Executive Committee Meetings are open to all members of the Section.

Family Law Section Meetings

The meetings will be held via zoom until further notice.

  • January 11
  • February 11
  • March 1
  • April 5
  • May 3
  • June 7
  • July 12
  • August 2
  • September 13
  • October 4
  • November 11

Family Law Executive Committee Meetings

The meetings will be held via zoom until further notice.

  • January 21
  • February 18
  • March 18
  • April 15
  • May 20
  • June 17
  • July 15
  • August 19
  • September 9
  • October 21
  • November 18

Minutes & Caselaw Update

Resources & Forms

Here you will find links to printable documents relating to various areas of Family Law. These forms and instructions were prepared under the sponsorship of the Family Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Family Law Section Mentoring Committee

As part of the Family Law Section's continuing commitments to improve attorney professionalism and competence, the Section offers two types of mentoring programs: Peer-to-Peer and Law Student. The Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program provides attorneys who are less experienced in the area of Family Law with the ability to connect and consult with an experienced Family Law attorney for guidance and support. If you are interested in participating as a Mentor or Mentee in the Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program, please click here.

The Law Student Mentoring Program allows current students from regional law schools to connect with Family Law attorneys. The Mentors provide their Mentees with valuable knowledge and insight into the legal profession, while also providing practical advice on conquering the challenges of law school. Though the formal law student mentoring relationship is expected to be for one academic year, many Mentors and Mentees retain their connections for much longer. If you would like to participate as a Mentor or a Mentee in the Law Student Mentoring Program, please contact one of the Co-Chairs below.

Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the one of the Co-Chairs:

Lisa Shapson
Eileen G. Murphy
Judy McIntire Springer