Jeralyn L. Lawrence, a Member of Bridgewater-based law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Chair of its Matrimonial & Family Law Practice, and member of the Management Committee, has been installed as Treasurer 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.
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 American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers 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 takes great pride and care in helping her clients through these difficult personal matters.
Lawrence is Secretary of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA), where she is expected to become its President in 2022. She is a Past Chair of the Family Law Section of the NJSBA, Immediate Past President of the Somerset County Bar Association (SCBA), and 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 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, P.A. 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. She has also accepted the honor as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the nation’s leading research institute for interdisciplinary empirical study of law.
Lawrence 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 was selected as one of the TOP 10 Family Law Attorneys in New Jersey by The National Academy of Family Law Attorneys (NAFLA). She has been honored as one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business for her dedication and contributions to New Jersey business and community. She was selected as a Kean University Distinguished Alumna, the highest award for alumni, by the Kean University Alumni Association. She was also honored as an Outstanding Woman in Somerset County by the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women. She was 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. For several years, Lawrence has been listed among New Jersey’s Super Lawyers, which places her among the top five percent of New Jersey lawyers. She has also been selected as one of the Top 100 New Jersey Super Lawyers and one of the Top 50 Women New Jersey Super Lawyers. 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 under Family Law and Family Law Mediation and was named the Best Lawyers 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 the 2017 Best Lawyers in New Jersey for Family Law. In 2007, Lawrence received the Young Lawyers Division’s Professional Achievement Award from the NJSBA.
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.