Valerie Fenchel: Founder & Principal Attorney
Valerie Fenchel is the founder of Fenchel Family Law. Her legal services empower men and women to navigate marriage and divorce toward more vibrant futures. She advises clients, devises strategies, and works with therapists, actuaries, and forensic accountants to settle or litigate cases. As a witness to the damage caused by divorce over the course of her career as a family law attorney and educator, Valerie has gained extensive experience in helping families in crisis.
Valerie is actively involved in the legal community. She is the Lead Attorney of Shalom Bayit’s Pro Bono Legal Panel, Secretary of the Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco, and is completing a fellowship on the board of the Jewish Community High School of the Bay.
Valerie previously managed the care and education for children and is passionate about protecting the best interest of children. She excels at crafting parenting plans, negotiating settlements and litigating custody battles on behalf of parents that are able to put their child’s needs first. She has experience helping parents of newborns, toddlers, special needs children, and defiant teenagers. She understands that every child is different, and that each child’s parenting plan and care must be narrowly tailored to meet his/her needs, either by agreement or Court order.
Valerie is an experienced negotiator, and aims to support the goals and values of families and serve the best interests of parents and their children through settlements. She belongs to the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, which aims to resolve family problems.
She explains to her clients that once court intervention is sought, a perfect stranger on the bench is permitted to make orders over their intimate personal matters. For this reason, resolving cases through negotiation and cooperative counsel is usually recommended.
Valerie understands that litigation may be a client’s only choice especially when there is an imbalance of power dynamics or the other parent is unwilling to put the children’s best interest first. In these situations, Valerie does not hesitate to escalate the matter to Court, and is at home in the courtroom with her litigation training and aptitude. She honed her litigation skills through honors programs with both the Office of the Attorney General in San Francisco, California, and the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C., and has presented winning oral arguments before California’s First and Sixth Courts of Appeal. She continues to present winning arguments to the Family Courts, which have resulted in her clients being awarded the custodial rights and financial relief that they deserve.
Valerie only accepts clients that are able to treat their partner with respect and protect the best interests of their children. She treats her clients like family and provides the level of attention and care required to assure that they are always informed and empowered throughout the legal process. Valerie advises clients solely based on what she believes is in their best interest, even if that means advising her clients to not file for divorce, or requiring that her clients complete several sessions with a therapist before moving forward with a parenting plan.
Valerie graduated Phi Beta Kappa with High Honors from UC Santa Barbara and earned her J.D. from UC Davis School of Law where she served as President of the Negotiations Team. She previously practiced exclusively family law at premier law firms in the San Francisco Bay area, which focused on the representation of high net worth individuals and families. She lectures college students and addresses professional groups on pertinent family law issues. Valerie was nominated as a Rising Star for Super Lawyers.
Valerie jokes that family law is in her blood. Her mother, and Fenchel Family Law’s Of-Counsel, has a Mediation and Collaborative family law practice in Walnut Creek, and her father is a forensic accountant that has served as expert witness on behalf of family law litigants. When she is not working, you can find Valerie watching Shark Tank, jogging along the Bay, or planning her next beach vacation.
Lucy Rose Taylor: Associate Attorney
Lucy Rose Taylor has joined Fenchel Family Law’s as an associate attorney. Lucy’s life and work experience enables her to provide both empathic and focused lawyering to her clients. Her role is to make the stressful time a client is navigating as peaceful and easy as possible. Lucy loves listening to her clients stories and working with them to guide them down the path they choose, whether that be negotiation, litigation, or merely advice. She believes that by working together collaboratively with a lawyer, a client can truly find the new beginning they are seeking. She is dedicated to this mission.
Lucy is a graduate from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. During law school, Lucy served as the Executive Notes Editor of the Constitutional Law Quarterly and ran the Hastings Public Interest Law Foundation fundraising efforts (raising over $60,000 in one year!). She also served as a president of the school’s Prisoner’s Outreach organization where she facilitated a program for law students to provide direct advocacy for California’s prisoners. Lucy was proud to receive the Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services, the Extraordinary Contribution in Public Interest Award, and a Certificate in Child Advocacy.
While in law school, Lucy worked almost constantly. She worked for the Legal Aid Society of New York, where she advocated for women and transgender prisoners. She spent a year working for Legal Services for Children as a certified law student, where she finalized guardianships and immigration filings. She worked for Young Minds Advocacy, a non-profit focused on ensuring young people have access to mental health care. Lucy also worked for Bay Area Legal Aid, where she assisted young people transition from the delinquency and dependency systems to begin independent and fulfilling lives. Before law school and after graduating with a B.A. from UC Santa Cruz, Lucy was a paralegal, focused on California prison reform.
While not serving her clients, Lucy is biking, cooking, painting, and volunteering her advocacy efforts to California prisoners.
Julia K. Quinn: Senior Associate Attorney
Julia has been practicing exclusively family law for over seven years. She is a seasoned and strategic advocate, and prides herself in her thorough and thoughtful approach to complex custodial and financial issues.
Julia is a San Francisco native and graduated with honors from Saint Mary’s College in 2008. Before attending law school, she moved to Vietnam where she volunteered at a center for orphans and children with disabilities. She then attended the University of San Francisco School of Law.
In her second year at law school, Julia Quinn interned at Bay Area Legal Aid where she began practicing family law in and outside the courtroom as a certified law student. There, she was mentored by award winning family law specialists. After passing the BAR the first time, Julia Quinn returned to Bay Area Legal Aid where she continued to practice exclusively family law with a strong emphasis on domestic violence advocacy. During that time, Julia Quinn established case law in the case of Gou v. Xiao which clarified a mother’s right to seek a domestic violence restraining order. Julia worked for Miller & Associates, Attorneys LLP which was voted “Best of the Best” in Placer County each of the four years she worked there. However, Julia returned to her home of San Francisco in 2019.
She continues to work tirelessly to advocate for her clients. Julia understands that family law is a unique area of law and that it is usually the worst time in someone’s life when they are seeking the assistance of a family law attorney. Julia prides herself on being able to empathize with her clients while being vigorous advocate to help them assert their rights.
Julia is a world traveler and a passionate victims rights advocate. Before she began practicing family law, Julia worked for the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights focusing on the wrongful imprisonment of human rights advocates. She also worked with the Center for Justice and Accountability on the Khmer Rouge trials, and presented research on the right to food at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
On the weekends, you can find Julia in her office busting her butt for her clients. She is as dedicated as they come.