I want to hire an attorney. But who should I hire?

Posted on Feb 29, 2016 by Katie Carter

If you’re thinking about hiring an attorney, you’ve probably, at some point, wondered who you would hire. If you’re here, I’m assuming that you’re at least considering our firm, so I wanted to make sure that I wrote a brief article telling you all about the attorneys we have practicing with us. That way, when you go to make an appointment, you can make a decision about who you want to work with.

At Hofheimer Family Law, as you probably already know, we represent women only in divorce, custody, and support cases. All of our attorneys always represent women only; we don’t take any divorce or custody cases where we represent men. That means that we’re particularly attuned to issues that women face in divorce, and we’re uniquely situated to handle cases like yours.

Not only that, but we have tons of experience, especially as compared to attorneys who handle cases in more than one area of practice. For an attorney who has been practicing twenty years but handles family law alongside personal injury or bankruptcy or something else, they just don’t end up with the amount and extent of experience as someone who, like us, handles absolutely nothing but divorce and custody cases. In a single year, our attorneys experience as much as other attorneys experience in several years.
We have several different attorneys, though, and each attorney has his or her own strengths, and it may just be that a particular lawyer’s experience makes you feel like there is really no other attorney for you. That’s fine. In fact, that’s why I’m writing today. You shouldn’t just select blindly from available lawyers, pick whose head shot you like best, or allow the receptionist to schedule you with whoever is available. You should choose based on specific, targeted, case-related information that gives you faith in the attorney’s ability to handle your unique case and your specific issues.

Today, we have six attorneys: Sheera Herrell, Caitlin Walters, Ashli Pack, Lori Michaud, Lorna Rhoades and me.


Sheera Herrell

Sheera Herrell has been with the law firm for nearly fifteen years, ever since she graduated from law school. She particularly enjoys handling cases with a lot of assets and, therefore, fairly equitable distribution. She’s familiar with dividing retirement, qualified domestic relations orders, dividing family-owned businesses, business valuation, and more. A licensed Certified Financial Planner, Sheera is careful, methodical, and incredibly wise.
Her husband, Russ, is retired military, so Sheera also has a unique understanding of issues related to military divorce.
Today, Sheera is also the only attorney in our office who practices collaborative divorce.
Sheera is attuned to every last detail. She’s as effective at negotiating agreements as litigating in court. In person, she’s thoughtful, friendly, and understanding. You’ll sense her intelligence in every conversation. She’s a subtle and consistently effective advocate for her clients.


Caitlin Walters

Caitlin Walters has been practicing with the Hofheimer Family Law Firm for about 3 and a half years as of the date this article was published. She came from another local area law firm in Downtown Norfolk, but has always handled family law cases.

Caitlin particularly enjoys custody cases, but is also a skilled negotiator. She’s comfortable in the courtroom and in the conference room, negotiating or arguing for her client’s best interests. She handles settlement conferences skillfully but is equally at ease working with opposing counsel, Guardian ad Litems, and judges in the courtroom.

At her previous law firm, Caitlin also worked as a Guardian ad Litem, so she brings an additional level of skill and understanding to her custody cases. She’s also a pretty cool person; she’s a devout Christian (and even sings in a local worship group) and is about the kindest, most sincere person you’ll ever meet. Of course, don’t let that mislead you—she’s also an aggressive and passionate advocate for her clients. Caitlin is married to Lance, her high school sweetheart, and a dog mom to a sweet Weimeraner named Carp.


Ashli Pack

Ashli practices in our Newport News office location exclusively.  I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that Ashli and her husband, Brian Pack, are essentially the First Family of Smithfield.  Her husband owns Smithfield Station and the Surry Seafood Company.

Ashli is very well connected, and has a sterling reputation among attorneys on the Peninsula (Hampton, Newport News, York County, Williamsburg) and the “West Side” — Surry, Smithfield, Isle of Wight, Suffolk, the Eastern Shore, etc.

Ashli is a fierce advocate in court, and a clever and compassionate attorney.  She handles many cases with complex, litigated issues, including custody cases.  She’s kind and easy to talk to as well, so you should be perfectly at your ease when you meet with her — though your husband certainly won’t be!

Ashli lives in Smithfield (obviously) with her husband and two children.

Lori Michaud

Lori is a thirty year veteran, and an extremely accomplished and experienced family law attorney.  After running her own firm for a number of years, Lori joined our team.

Lori is battle tried and tested, and is an extremely well prepared litigator in court with impeccable attention to detail, not to mention a well versed and nuanced understanding of Virginia law.

Lori is competent, kind, considerate, but also pretty fearsome, and well known by other local area attorneys.  She’s a valuable asset to have in your corner!

Lorna Rhoades

Lorna is our newest attorney — though not new to the practice of law!  (An occupational hazard of a military marriage!)

She’s found her way back to Hofheimer Family Law, where she interned once upon a time, and always hoped she’d wind up.

Lorna is one of TEN children (four biological, and four adopted), and has two children of her own.  She has a thorough understanding of custody and, particularly, military divorce, which is invaluable to her clients.

She’s compassionate, quiet, and an empathetic listener, but also a real intellectual, savvy, and confident.  She’s a great attorney, and a wonderful addition to our team.

Katie Wilcox Carter (me!)

It’s a little hard for me to talk about myself, but I will do my best. I’ve been practicing at Hofheimer Family Law for about four and a half years now, and it has been such a great experience.

Since I started,  I also wrote the book, “The Woman’s Guide to Selecting an Outstanding Divorce and Custody Lawyer”. I do a lot of the marketing-related stuff at the firm (like writing these blogs and articles, as you can already tell), and creating a lot of the material on the website. It was really important to us to make sure that the information on our site came directly from a licensed and experienced divorce and custody attorney (as opposed to some organization that just writes general content for law firms), so I took it on.

I handle cases, though, too. Mostly, I like separation agreement cases, but I do a little bit of custody, too. I think my strength is through writing and negotiating agreements, even though I also really enjoy going to court.

I also manage and organize the seminars as well as our Girl’s Night Out events.  I keep pretty busy, and I love every minute of it. Since I don’t just practice law, I think I bring a different perspective to the table. I’m married to Jonathan, who works as a tug boat captain, and we have a young son — hopefully with more on the way eventually!

If you have a chance, you should check all of us out. With the exception of Jack, we all teach the seminars and attend the Girl’s Night Out events. If you’re thinking about hiring an attorney, why not request a free copy of my book? You’ll get a copy of the e-book emailed to you right away, so that you can begin to plan your next steps and, if you live in our immediate area, you’ll also have the opportunity to fill in your mailing address information so that we can send you a free hard copy of the book. (Don’t worry; we send it in a plain, white, unmarked enveloped to the spouse-safe address you provide.)
Lots of women have questions about who our attorneys are and what they can expect, which is why I thought we might take some time to talk to you a little bit about who each of them are. Without exception, our attorneys are caring, confident, and passionate about their work—but there’s no question that we all bring to the table little intricacies and interests that make us different as people.

Still want to know a little more about us? Consider attending a Girl’s Night Out event. They’re free, and you’ll get an opportunity to meet several of our attorneys. Click here to visit our website to find out more about our upcoming events.

For more information about our attorneys, to find out who is scheduled to present at our upcoming Second Saturday seminars, or to get more information about our upcoming Girl’s Night Out events, give our office a call at (757) 425-5200.