Recognizing that a divorce may be one of the most significant financial transactions a person enters into during his or her life, Ms. Lawless helps clients reach settlements that protect and preserve their assets for the future. She works with each client to find individualized solutions to fit his or her needs, whether that is through collaborative settlement or traditional litigation. Ms. Lawless has spent her entire career navigating high net worth individuals through complicated family law matters, including valuations of closely held businesses, tax and estate planning matters, custodial and support arrangements for minor children, as well as multi-state jurisdictional disputes.
While settlement is the primary goal, Ms. Lawless’ skills and experience also allow her to handle cases both at the trial and appellate levels, where she has successfully prosecuted and defended cases. This enables her to work with clients throughout the entire process, in the event that litigation is needed. When representing clients, Ms. Lawless is able to draw on her experience both as a seasoned attorney and a former judicial clerk to the Honorable Moshe Jacobius, former Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
In 2009, Michelle was recognized as one of the 40 Attorneys to Watch Under 40 Years of Age by the Chicago Law Bulletin Publishing Company. She is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and a graduate of both the American Bar Association’s Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute and the Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute focusing on business valuations. She is a frequent author and lecturer on family law subjects and currently co-authors the IICLE Family Law Flash Points with Donald C. Schiller.
Ms. Lawless served as liaison to the committee responsible for reviewing and redrafting the Cook County local court rules which govern domestic relations cases. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. She is also the former Chair of the Trial Techniques Committee and the former Chair of the Domestic Relations Committee of the Chicago Bar Association. Ms. Lawless has also completed a 40 hour mediation training certification program and is a certified mediator. Ms. Lawless received her law degree from St. Louis University in 1999 and her undergraduate degree in journalism from Indiana University in 1996.