Paula M. Lawhon is a Full-Time Private Mediator and Certified Specialist in Family Law, providing confidential mediation services to diverse and varied clients. She serves as a Bench Bar Settlement Panelist for the Marin Family Court, Settlement Conference Master for the San Francisco Unified Family Law Courts and provides private mediation and settlement conference services outside of court.
Paula has practiced law for 20 years and has been mediating for 15 years. Prior to and during law school, Paula worked as a civil and criminal defense investigator. She started her own family law practice in San Francisco in 2005 which has now grown to two attorney-mediators in addition to our administrative staff in addition to multiple locations.
Paula was admitted to the California bar in December 1999. She received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1999, graduating as a Public Interest Scholar and with a Public Interest Concentration. She received her Bachelor's degree in Criminology, Law and Society from the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine in 1996, graduating cum laude and phi beta kappa.
Paula has participated in over 200 hours of mediation skills training including as a trainer and presenter:
- Northern California Mediation Center, 'Civil and Family Law Mediation'
- University of California, Berkeley, 'Commercial Mediation & Conflict Resolution'
- Navigating the Minefields of Family Law Mediation Community Boards/JAMS (Presenter)
- Community Boards, San Francisco, 'Advanced Mediation Training' (Presenter)
- Community Boards, San Francisco, 'The Basics of Mediation'
- San Francisco Superior Court Family Law Self-Help, 'FLASH Mediation'
- San Francisco Bar Association, Mediation Section ongoing seminars (Presenter)
Retraining Family Lawyers to Support Mediating Clients, Family Law News, Publication of the California State Bar, Family Law Section (author), 2016
Authored chapter titled 'The Role of Mediation in Today's Family Law Cases' in book published by Thomson Reuters Westlaw. Chapters are comparable to white papers or thought-leadership essays, addressing the most important issues that lawyers face and offering strategies for managing those issues and effectively working with clients.
Mediating Same Sex Dissolutions, Family Law News, Publication of the California State Bar, Family Law Section (author), 2012
Crafting an Enforceable Settlement Agreement
Plaintiff Magazine, Alternative Dispute Resolution Issue (author), 2007
Mediation blog: www.sfmediation.com
San Francisco Mediation: A Better Solution (author), since 2006
- Association for Conflict Resolution
- Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern California
- Collaborative Attorneys & Mediators of Marin ('CAMM')
- Marin Bar Association
- San Francisco Bar Association
Family Law Section Member
Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
Mediator, Mediation Services of BASF
- State Bar of California
*Certified Specialist, Family Law, Board of Legal Specialization
UniversityUniversity of California, Irvine, B.A.,cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1996
Law SchoolHastings College of the Law, University of California, J.D., Public Interest Scholar, 1999
- 1999, California
- 2001, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
MembershipsMarin County Bar Association; Bar Association of San Francisco (Member, Sections on: Mediation; Family Law). Certified Specialist, Family Law, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.
- Full-time Family Law and Divorce Mediator since 2005; litigation attorney 1999-2005.
- Mediation of Pre-Marital and Post-Marital Agreements, Divorce Mediation, including Separation, Domestic Partnerships, Co-Habitation, Property Division and Property Agreements, Child Custody and Parenting Plans, Child Support and Spousal Support.
- Over 200 hours of mediation skills training and presenting.
- Over 1,000 mediations.