A lawyer, a rabbi and a shrink walk into a bar.
On two legs. In sensible pumps and a smart suit.
Emily Brenner is a divorce lawyer, a rabbi and a licensed counseling psychologist.
She is the kind of woman you want by your side as you walk into a courtroom. And, more importantly, she is the lawyer you want guiding you and your family through a divorce. “It’s not just the client at the table to consider. There are always more stakeholders involved.”
“People come to me angry, hurt and scared, not making the best decisions,” says Ms. Brenner, who brings more than 35 years experience to the Sandy Springs firm that bears her name. “I work with my clients to envision what their life will look like after the divorce for them AND the kids. I ask them, ‘What would a win look like to you?”
“Getting a divorce is the easy part,” she says. “In most cases there aren’t major legal issues. The most important time is spent helping people figure out how to coparent and divide assets.” Designing a coparenting contract means answering questions, for now, when young children move as a set, and for later, when they are individualized and independent. Will you both move them in to the dorm as they start college? Will you both walk them down the aisle?
“Family law calls for very diverse skills, from trial skills and strategy when it is complex or nasty, to mediative and counseling skills as we try to change the shape of a family without destroying it.”
She is frank but not blunt. She is warm and open, but firm in her beliefs and well-schooled in the surgical aspects of divorce law.
First admitted to the bar in Georgia in 1982 and the National Board or Child Advocacy in 1990, she continued her personal enrichment to become the best divorce lawyer by earning her degree in counseling psychology in 2006 and was fully licensed in 2010, the same year she was ordained as a rabbi. Her three-plus years of clinical interning allowed her to represent under-served children, honing her skills and empathy with family intervention work.
Her search for answers never ends. Recently, she completed specialized training on setting up trusts for special needs children. “If you don’t know what you are doing when coordinating the divorce decree and the trust, you could accidentally make a special needs child ineligible for benefits. Emily aims to work hand in hand with opposing counsel to construct a future for the entire family.
She is truly empathetic, having been through divorce and having been a single mother with a blended family of children. “It would be impossible to say we don’t bring our life experiences with us. I’ve been through a lot of it.”
And, with the construction of the modern family ever-changing, she is equipped to help clients climb through the web of a complex extended or blended family and reverse paternity suits, and is up to speed on transgender law, staying current through annual certification training.
“I’m one of those blessed people who love coming to their office. I’m very involved with my clients as they process through different chapters of a divorce and family issues. I love my job.”