Attorneys and Paralegals


Debra R. Schoenberg, Esq.

Debra Schoenberg 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 divorces and family law cases, pre- and postmarital 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 its 2013 list of 100 Top Women Owned Businesses. 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 recently published a book entitled "Divorce in California."

When not practicing law, Ms. Schoenberg sings with the San Francisco Bach Choir and is active in her temple, in addition to participating in a wide range of professional and community organizations.

Ms. Schoenberg can be reached at dschoenberg@sflg.com.

"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."
— A.V.

Taliah BaatinTaliah Baatin

Taliah joined the Schoenberg Family Law Group in November 2013 as a paralegal. Taliah recognizes that an integral part of assisting clients with family law matters is being able to compassionately connect and help guide them through the litigation process.

She earned her B.A. in Criminal Justice from San Francisco State University. Upon graduation, Taliah enrolled in the San Francisco State University Paralegal Program, where she received a paralegal certificate, with honors. She has worked in family law since 2009. In her free time, Taliah enjoys reading, music, and spending time with her family and friends.

Sheila Bari

Sheila BariSheila graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2002, where she received her bachelor's degree in political science and sociology, with honors. Upon graduation from UCLA, Sheila worked as a paralegal at the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and coached a girls' lacrosse league. Sheila attended law school at Santa Clara University and was admitted to the California Bar in December 2008. While in law school, she law clerked for three years at McManis Faulkner, a general civil litigation and family law firm, in San Jose, California. After law school, Sheila moved to New York City, passed the New York State Bar exam and worked at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), primarily on large class action cases.

Sheila moved back to California in 2009 and practiced family and civil litigation, gaining substantial courtroom experience in multiple counties in the Bay Area. Sheila is especially passionate about family law and joined Schoenberg Family Law Group in August 2010. Since September 2011, Sheila has worked with the SFLG as a contract attorney on a number of cases involving complex property, support and custody matters, as well as on negotiating and drafting premarital and postmarital agreements.

Shauna BuchananShauna Buchanan

Shauna brings her over ten years of experience as a Family Law paralegal to the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., which she joined in March 2014. Shauna is passionate about helping clients through difficult times and she has a unique compassion for our clients, their lives and their loved ones. She is a skilled family law paralegal who strives to understand and meet our individual client's needs by acting as liaison between client and attorney.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Shauna began her career in Family Law in 1996 while working as a Legal Secretary to Alan R. Rothstein, an attorney who practiced family law in San Mateo County for nearly 40 years. In her spare time, Shauna enjoys gardening, sewing and relaxing at the beach or on the nearest river's edge. Mostly she enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Katie BurkeKatie Burke

Katie brings nine years of family law practice to Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. After earning her Master of Counseling degree from Arizona State University in 1999, Katie attended the University of San Francisco School of Law, graduating with her J.D. and passing the California State Bar in 2002.

Katie practiced in San Francisco family law firms until June 2006, when she launched a solo family law practice, dividing her time equally between private practice and the San Francisco Family Law Court minor's counsel panel, through which she represented children in their parents' custody and visitation disputes.

Katie is also a creative nonfiction writer. Her passions for writing and child development took her to Africa three times between 2009 and 2010, to help Kenyan and South African children write and share their personal stories. This led to a one-year writing and editorial contract with Google, for which Katie closed her solo practice in March 2011, to report tech blog news about Google to its Sales Staffing recruiters worldwide, and edit persuasive documents that recruiters prepared for executive review.

Katie joined the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., in 2012. Katie extends compassion to her clients and delivers zealous advocacy, operating at a high level to preserve her clients' dignity throughout their family law proceedings.

Katie is a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco's Family Law Section and the Domestic Violence Committee of Queen's Bench Women's Bar Association. She occasionally writes family law articles for Nolo, a California publisher of legal books and software for self-represented litigants, and reports on civil appellate cases for Trial Insider, a daily online legal news source.

Katie was named on Super Lawyers' 2011 and 2013 "Rising Star" lists, for peer-rated top attorneys under 40 who have practiced for ten or fewer years.

Regina M Franco EsqRegina 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 M KennedyJennifer M. Kennedy

Jennifer brings her over six 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.

Jennifer L KnopsJennifer 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 LawlorNancy Lawlor

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.

Lisa M PerryLisa Perry

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.

Nicole Ruiz

Nicole brings over 12 years of experience to the Schoenberg Family Law Group. Nicole received her AA degree in Paralegal Studies in 2003 after which she went on to attend California State University Hayward focusing her studies in psychology. After taking some time off to raise her family, she then attended law school at Lincoln Law School in San Jose where she completed two years. Nicole has significant experience in Family Law, having previously worked for one of the most prestigious solo practitioners in Santa Clara County. She brings to the firm her substantial experience in dealing with complex custody and visitation matters, including domestic and international move-away cases, as well as high-asset and high-conflict divorces.

When not working, Nicole spends most of her time with her three daughters and her life-long partner, who is on active duty in the military. She is actively involved in local politics. Nicole is committed to supporting the clients she works with. She derives deep satisfaction from helping her clients through a difficult situation by applying her experience and compassion.

Michael R StrebeMichael 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.

Renee Soto JohnsonRenee Soto-Johnson

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.

Laura E VockeLaura 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 XifoNatalie Xifo

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".

For more information about our attorneys, please click on the links below:

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.