Debra R. Schoenberg
Debra R. Schoenberg, Esq., has a long and distinguished career. More than twenty-five years ago, she established her own firm, which has vast experience and expertise in the highly sensitive and complex practice of family law, and Ms. Schoenberg has established a professional reputation for thoroughness, strategic thinking, keen attention to detail, loyalty, and dedication to client service.
Ms. Schoenberg handles cases that range from complex financial issues and extensive marital estates, to high-conflict custody matters. Adept at negotiating resolutions as well as aggressively pursuing litigated outcomes, she also handles straightforward family law cases, pre- and post-marital agreements, and marital settlements. Ms. Schoenberg has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to fairness and equity, and because of her vast experience she is able to capture the perfect balance of compassionate sensitivity, and the assertion of a client's rights.
Long recognized as a leading family law attorney, Ms. Schoenberg is a frequent lecturer in family law. In recognition of her work she was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a Board Certified Family Law Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. She is also a Certified Family Law Specialist by the State of California Board of Legal Specialization. As the result of an extensive and confidential review by members of the Bar, she has been repeatedly listed in the Directory of Super Lawyers.
The San Francisco Business Times named Debra Schoenberg to their 2013 and 2014 lists of 100 Top Women Owned Businesses, their 2014 list of the 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in the Bay Area, and the 2015 list of the Top 25 LGBT-Owned Business in the Bay Area.
Additionally, Ms. Schoenberg was selected by peer recognition and professional achievement as one of the Top Women Attorneys in Northern California and was recently named one of the Ten Best Family Law Attorneys in California by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys. The firm has also been repeatedly selected as one of the top three family law firms in the Bay Area. Ms. Schoenberg is a member of the California, New York, and Vermont Bar Associations. She is the author of a book entitled "Divorce in California."
"Debra is whip-smart, funny, and extremely professional. She has the skills, knowledge, and compassion needed to do a superb job as a family law attorney. I'll never forget how she reached out to me personally and empathetically when things were really tough."
— L.G. (See more testimonials from clients)
A Talented And Passionate Legal Team
All of our attorneys practice exclusively in family law, and bring a wealth of knowledge, skills and litigation experience, assisted by highly qualified and highly dedicated paralegals and support staff.
"The associates who work with her are terrific as well. It is a brilliant team of people to have on your side. Truly, I remain grateful now, two years after the resolution of my divorce, to have worked with SFLG and Debra Schoenberg."
Yishai received his J.D. in 2004 from UC Berkeley Law, Boalt Hall, where he received the Moot Court Advocacy award, the Human Rights Center fellowship and a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship to study Arabic. Upon graduating, Yishai joined the firm Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, LLP in the Los Angeles office as a business litigation associate, where he worked on complex business, employment and IP matters.
After three years with Orrick, Yishai moved to New York and specialized in Family Law. He received a Masters of Law (LL.M.) degree from Hofstra Law School, which upon graduation hired him as a Clinical Professor and Director of the Mediation Clinic. Over the next five years, Yishai mediated multiple cases, supervised students and taught mediation and ADR in the family law context. Yishai also developed a particular expertise in D.V. cases.
After 5 years as a clinical professor, Yishai returned to the Bay Area and to full-time practice. Yishai brings his full range of experiences to the table as a family law attorney: he believes that his role is to zealously advocate on behalf of his clients, to help find creative solutions when possible and to counsel and educate clients about their options. He believes the client should play an important role in helping shape the course and outcome of their case, if they so choose.
Outside of his role as a lawyer, Yishai loves being a father and enjoys various outdoor activities, yoga and reading.
Regina M. Franco
Regina graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. While in law school, Regina won the G. Mennen Williams First Year Competition wherein she argued before a panel of judges from the Michigan Court of Appeals. Inevitably, Regina was elected to serve as the school's executive director of its moot court program. Upon graduation and in recognition of Regina's accomplishments and contribution to the law school, she earned the privilege of being named a Presidential Ambassador for the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Shortly after her admission to the bar, Regina began her legal career focusing exclusively on family law matters and brings over seven years of family law experience to the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C.
Regina was born in Manila, Philippines, and immigrated to the United States as a baby with her parents. Prior to earning her Juris Doctorate, Regina studied French at The American School in Switzerland. She later earned a Bachelor of Arts from Albion College as a double major in Biology and French and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, earning the honor of Magna Cum Laude. Regina is a dedicated yogini and has gained respect and recognition for her yoga practice.
Family law issues concern the heart and Regina applies the principles and philosophies of yoga to her approach to law, which in turn helps ease the hearts and souls of her clients through this trying time while giving them assurance that Regina will zealously advocate for their best interest.
Jennifer L. Knops
Jennifer practices all aspects of family law and concentrates her practice on those cases which involve high-asset dissolutions, complex financial matters, complicated property and support issues, and high-conflict custody disputes. She frequently consults with her colleagues on post-trial issues and handles the firm's appellate work.
Jennifer earned her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in May 2009, after which time she relocated to San Francisco and re-joined the Schoenberg Family Law Group as an associate. While in law school, she worked as a certified legal intern in the health law clinic and twice represented Pitt Law at the National Health Law Moot Court competition. Jennifer also co-founded and co-developed a practicum in which law students developed a curriculum and taught health and human rights to local middle and high school students. Upon graduation, Jennifer was inducted into the Order of Barristers, a national organization recognizing excellence in courtroom advocacy.
Jennifer earned her undergraduate degree in Philosophy from the University of Vermont, and received a minor in Speech and Communication. While at UVM, Jennifer was a member of the Lawrence Debate Union and was appointed to the national All-American Debate Team. She also started her family law career during her last year as an undergraduate, working as a paralegal for over four years before attending law school.
Nancy brings her nearly 15 years' experience as a litigation attorney to the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. She graduated from the Golden Gate School of Law in 1998, where she focused on litigation "with honors." Nancy thereafter clerked with the San Francisco Federal Public Defender's Office for a year, prior to practicing civil litigation in a small firm for five years, where she specialized in small business litigation, landlord-tenant law, and probate litigation. She always had a strong desire to practice family law and, during her tenure at the civil litigation firm, Nancy began taking on family law cases. Her passion for family law ignited, Nancy and a partner founded a law firm in Oakland, California, in 2007, at which she limited her practice to family law matters. In addition to being well-versed in the drafting of family law pleadings, motions, and agreements, Nancy has experience with appellate argument, mediation, short- and long-cause family law hearings, and trials.
Nancy grew up in New York teaching sailing on the Great South Bay. She received her undergraduate degree in political science and philosophy with honors from Wheaton College, a women's college in New England. She is a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF). In her spare time she and her partner care for their active toddler, and she teaches self-defense as a second-degree black belt in a rare Indonesian art, Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Betty graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2003, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology, with Highest Distinction. Betty attended law school at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and was admitted to the California Bar in December, 2009.
After law school, Betty worked at a boutique firm practicing civil and business litigation before joining the family law firm of Jarvis, Krieger & Sullivan in 2010. At Jarvis, Krieger & Sullivan, Betty gained substantial experience with family law matters in Los Angeles and Orange County.
Betty decided to make the move back to her hometown of San Francisco and joined the Schoenberg Family Law Group in August, 2014. Betty is experienced in handling family law matters involving complex property, support and custody matters. She is committed to achieving thoughtful resolutions and the best possible outcomes for her clients.
Betty is a member of the San Francisco Bar Association and the Asian American Bar Association. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, the ballet, opera, and piano.
Michael R. Strebe
Michael graduated from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2011. While there, he was active in the appellate and trial advocacy programs. He also found his passion for Family Law, assisting low-income clients with family law issues at the Family Law Facilitator's Office. Prior to attending law school, Michael earned a Bachelor of Arts from UC Berkeley in Legal Studies. After passing the bar, he began his career in criminal law and swiftly transitioned to a practice devoted solely to family law. Michael brings his strong litigation background and his passion for family law to zealously advocate on behalf of all of his clients.
Outside of work, Michael enjoys hiking and backpacking in Northern California. As a California native, he is passionate about exploring and conserving California. Michael has previously volunteered for environmental causes. He also enjoys listening to jazz and classical music.
Laura E. Vocke
Laura received her Juris Doctorate from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she received a CALI award for outstanding performance in community property law. During law school, she became a certified court mediator and completed intensive court advocacy training; she draws upon both these experiences to bring about the best resolution for her clients. She completed her undergraduate degree in literature from University of California, Santa Cruz, with highest honors in her major. Laura chose to practice family law because she finds personal satisfaction in assisting her clients through an extremely difficult period of their lives.
Laura is passionate about issues affecting the San Francisco Bay Area. She serves as co-chair on the Queen's Bench Domestic Violence Committee and has been a guest speaker at Golden Gate University on this topic.
Outside of work, Laura enjoys taking advantage of all that the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer, including biking through Golden Gate Park, hiking Mount Tamalpais, or wine tasting at Russian River. She also practices yoga regularly.
Natalie Xifo graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2004, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in History with High Honors and Distinction in Major.
Natalie received her Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School and has been licensed to practice in all State and Federal Courts in California since 2011. Every internship, judicial externship and law clerk position Natalie has ever held has been in Family Law and specifically advocating for Children's Rights.
After being admitted to the California Bar, Natalie wanted to solely focus her practice on Family Law, yet somehow she was hired by an Employment Law firm in Santa Barbara. With fierce resolution and dedication, within a few months, Natalie opened the Firm's Family Law Division. Desiring to practice law in San Francisco and be a part of a firm that shared her same passion and dedication to Family Law, Natalie joined the Schoenberg Family Law Group. Despite spending the majority of her life living near beaches in Southern California, Natalie has the heart and mindset of a native Northern Californian and feels lucky to call San Francisco her "home".
Cory brings over 20 years of family law paralegal experience to the Schoenberg Family Law Group. Cory began her legal career as a paralegal in San Francisco with the predecessor firm to Manatt Phelps working with a managing partner who specialized in complex business litigation, real estate reorganizations and anti-trust work. Her background and knowledge of corporate litigation and real estate transactional work provided a strong foundation to her work with family law clients in assisting with the structuring of asset distributions. She particularly enjoys tracking hidden funds which unfortunately happens often during the dissolution process.
In furtherance of her passion to assist children, Cory worked as a volunteer working with underprivileged children, which led to a public service position as a manager for the Child Advocacy Section of the State of Oregon’s Department of Justice where she managed the legal team that provided support for almost 5,000 children that were in foster care.
Cory grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and then earned her degree in political science at the University of San Diego. Her hobbies include cycling – she is training for a 60 mile race to be held this October. She enjoys camping, the arts and being politically active especially when it comes to protecting our environment and living as green as possible. Her family immigrated to San Francisco from Germany to spread the art of violin making when she was three years old. Cory still has many ties to the violin community and was fortunate to spend her childhood summers in the small town of Mittenwald in the Bavarian Alps which is known for violin making, alpine skiing and mountain climbing.
Morgan joined the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. in 2014 and brings over six years of paralegal experience to the team. Morgan earned a bachelor's degree in American History and Political Science at California State University, East Bay and a paralegal certificate from John F. Kennedy University.
Previously, he interned with the Alameda County Court in Oakland and worked for Judge Jacob Morris in the Family Law Department at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse.
Morgan enjoys working closely with clients and helping them through a difficult time in their lives. In his spare time he enjoys playing golf, being outdoors, reading, writing and spending time with his family.
Jennifer M. Kennedy
Jennifer brings her over seven years of experience and expertise as a family law paralegal to the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., which she joined in April 2012. Jennifer has a passion for helping clients navigate some of the most difficult times in their lives with dignity and grace. She is compassionate, sharp and understanding, and is an excellent liaison between client and attorney.
A Bay Area native, Jennifer earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of South Carolina-Aiken and her paralegal certificate from California State University-East Bay. She moved to San Diego in 2006 to start her paralegal career and spent more than five years fine-tuning and expanding her capabilities in family law at Raskin & Tee Attorneys at Law and The Law Office of Lugar & Pohl. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys relaxing with friends and family, running, reading and being outdoors as much as possible.
Anita joined Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. as a paralegal in September 2014. Anita earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Writing from the University of California Merced and her paralegal certificate from Merritt College. While at UCM, Anita was a member of the UC Merced Pre-Law Society where she organized law clinics in conjunction with the Central Valley Legal Aid to assist low-income residents-- most of which were immigrants.
Anita has been a legal assistant/litigation paralegal for over five years and has extensive family law experience with complex cases in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has assisted attorneys, covering all aspects of family, estate planning and civil litigation, with handling cases involving child custody, divorce, child support, spousal support, prenuptial agreements, marriage dissolutions, trust administration, property division and domestic violence.
Dedicated to helping clients during this difficult process, Anita combines compassion and diligence in her approach to family law matters. Her strength lies in her result-focused yet sensitive approach to family law advocacy. For leisure, she enjoys learning about other languages and cultures. She also enjoys writing, reading, watching foreign movies and spending time with friends and family.
Lisa joined the Schoenberg Family Law Group in August, 2013. Before coming to the SFLG, Lisa worked as a senior paralegal for Hersh FamilyLaw Practice for many years.
Lisa brings experience in complex and high assets cases. Trained as a legal assistant and attorney, Lisa's background in family law has provided her with extensive knowledge and understanding in matters of pre- and postmarital agreements, marital dissolution, legal separations, marital property disputes, child and spousal support litigation, settlement, mediation and trial.
While working full time during the day, Lisa attended law school at night and earned her J.D. from San Francisco Law School in 2009. Lisa received her undergraduate education at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.
Lisa is a native of San Francisco, and currently resides in the East Bay with her husband. In her free time Lisa enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.
Lisa is a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco and the Cal Alumni Association.
Renee joined Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. as a paralegal in January 2010. Renee started her family law career in 2001. She attended Las Positas College majoring in Administration to Justice/Criminal Law.
Renee has been a legal assistant/litigation paralegal for over 12 years and has assisted clients with their family law disputes in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has assisted attorneys, covering all aspects of family and civil litigation, with handling cases involving divorce, same-sex marriage dissolutions, property division, child support, spousal support, contempt, domestic violence, prenuptial agreements, and post judgment motion matters. She is able to give each case her broad range of legal experience, while at the same time recognizing the very unique problems which face clients in a family law matter.
Chera joined the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. in 2015 and brings over 10 years of legal assistant/paralegal experience to the firm. She has focused her entire career exclusively in Family Law. Chera earned her B.A. in Philosophy with an Emphasis in Applied Ethics and Law from California State University-Sacramento, her M.A. in Philosophy from Loyola Marymount University, and a Paralegal certificate from UCLA.
Chera has extensive experience assisting attorneys with high-asset property division, paternity, dissolution, child custody, child and spousal support litigation as well as domestic violence matters. Chera spent many rewarding years working with the Alameda County Family Court. Chera is extremely passionate about social justice and human rights.
Chera brings excellent organizational and interpersonal skills to the firm. She enjoys helping clients navigate through complex Family Law matters. In her free time, Chera enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, watching classic movies, and travelling.
For more information about our attorneys, please click on the links below:
- Debra R. Schoenberg
- Yishai J. Boyarin
- Regina M. Franco
- Jennifer L. Knops
- Nancy N. Lawlor
- Betty Mac
- Michael R. Strebe
- Laura E. Vocke
- Natalie Xifo
Contact The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C.
To speak with a lawyer about divorce, LGBT partnerships, child custody or any other family law issue in the San Francisco Bay Area, please contact us online or call us at 415.834.1120.