Jeralyn L. Lawrence, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., member of its Management Committee, and Chair of the Matrimonial & Family Law Practice Group, has been installed as Second Vice President of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), the preeminent family law association in America.
The AAML was formed in 1962 by a small group of nationally-known matrimonial lawyers to “encourage the study, improve the practice, elevate the standards and advance the cause of matrimonial law, to the end that the welfare of the family and society be protected.” Today, the Academy has more than 1,600 Fellows who concentrate their practices in family and matrimonial law, a specialty that involves all aspects of pre-marriage counseling and agreements, legal separation, divorce, annulment, unmarried cohabitation, child custody, property valuation and division, and support. By demonstrating the highest standards of matrimonial practice, Fellows of the Academy have set the standard for the rest of the matrimonial bar and have helped improve the quality of family law practice throughout this country for attorneys and litigants alike.
Lawrence is Treasurer of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) and is expected to become its President in 2022. She is a Past Chair of the Family Law Section of the NJSBA, a Past President of the Somerset County Bar Association, and is a Senior Editor of New Jersey Family Lawyer, the official publication of the NJSBA Family Law Section. She works with the State Bar’s Military Legal Assistance Program, providing pro bono legal assistance to New Jersey residents who have served overseas or on active duty in the armed forces after September 11, 2001. Lawrence was appointed to the Somerset County Domestic Violence Working Group as a representative of the Somerset County Family Law Section. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the nation’s leading research institute for interdisciplinary empirical study of law.
A resident of Watchung, Lawrence devotes her practice to matrimonial, divorce and family law, and collaborative law. She is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. She is a trained Family/Divorce Mediator, admitted to the rosters of Mediators for Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases and of Custody and Parenting Time Cases for Somerset County; is certified by the AAML, the preeminent family law association in America, as a Family Law Arbitrator; and is a graduate of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. She has worked with clients in every area of matrimonial and family law, including divorce litigation and mediation, custody and parenting time, alimony and child support, separation and property settlement agreements, adoption and guardianship, domestic partnership matters under the Domestic Partnership Act, domestic violence and sexual abuse, and palimony. She has also handled high profile matters including celebrities and professional athletes. She takes immense pride and care in helping her clients through these difficult personal matters.
Lawrence is a member of the New Jersey Association of Justice, New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators, New Jersey Collaborative Law Group, Matrimonial Lawyers Alliance, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Central New Jersey Inns of Court, and the Norris McLaughlin & Marcus Women’s Forum Steering Committee. She serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court Matrimonial Certification Committee, which oversees the statewide matrimonial attorney certification process, and is a former member of The New Jersey Supreme Court Office of Attorney Ethics, District XIII Attorney Ethics Committee.
Lawrence has been selected by the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey to receive their Carol Murphy Award, presented to a woman with a successful career demonstrating leadership, advancing policies in support of women and families, and helping to pave the way for women of the next generation. She was honored with the 2013 NJSBA Distinguished Legislative Service Award for her cumulative and diligent efforts on alimony reform, open adoption records, and electronic monitoring on domestic violence. In 2007, she received this annual award for the first time for her efforts to incorporate “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for divorce under New Jersey law. Lawrence was also selected as a 2015 Attorney of The Year Finalist by the New Jersey Law Journal for her work with New Jersey alimony reform. She has also received an award from the NJSBA for her amicus curiae work on behalf of the bar.
Lawrence has been honored by NJBiz as one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business for her dedication and contributions to New Jersey business and the community. She was selected by the Kean University Alumni Association as a Kean University Distinguished Alumna, their highest award for alumni. She was also honored as an Outstanding Woman in Somerset County by the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women. The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys named her one of the “10 Best” Attorneys for the State of New Jersey. She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the Family Law, Family Law Arbitration, and Family Law Mediation sections, and was named the Best Lawyers 2018 Family Law “Lawyer of the Year” and the 2016 Family Law Mediation “Lawyer of the Year” in the Woodbridge, New Jersey, Metro Area. New Jersey Family has also named her as one of “New Jersey’s Best Lawyers for Families”. Lawrence has been selected as one of the TOP 10 Family Law Attorneys in New Jersey by The National Academy of Family Law Attorneys. In 2007, she received the Young Lawyers Division’s Professional Achievement Award from the NJSBA. She has also been selected by her peers as one of New Jersey’s Top Ten matrimonial lawyers under the age of 40 and recognized by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of 40 accomplished and promising attorneys in the State of New Jersey under the age of 40.
To complement her practice, Lawrence involves herself in professional engagements outside the firm. She frequently serves as a speaker and panelist at divorce and family law programs and seminars. She serves as an attorney volunteer at the Resource Center for Women and Their Families in Somerset County.
Lawrence earned her bachelor’s degree from Kean College and her law degree from Seton Hall, where she graduated second in her class.