Throughout four decades as a practicing lawyer, I have had the privilege of helping to shape family law into the field that it has become today. In addition to holding certification as a family law specialist since a California program for this area was first introduced in 1980, I played a key role in establishing professional bodies like the American College of Family Trial Lawyers and the Los Angeles Superior Court Family Law Mediation Panel. Family law has evolved into a complex and multidisciplinary specialty, and I always endeavor to stay up-to-date on scientific developments through my affiliations with groups such as the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (IAML).
When I received my Juris Doctor at Boston University School of Law in 1965, AAML was only in its third year of existence. By the time I joined the organization in 1981, AAML had grown to become one of the leading professional associations in family law. Because the rigorous membership process considers depth of experience, range of knowledge, and professional participation, AAML Fellows enjoy a reputation as leaders in the field. The success of AAML inspired the creation of a similar organization to serve the needs of practitioners worldwide, and IAML launched in 1986 with a mission to advance the field of international family law.
The two groups promote the highest standards of competence, professionalism, and integrity, and I have gladly contributed my time to both AAML and IAML over the years. Within AAML, which currently boasts 1,600 members across the United States, I have served as Chair of the Continuing Legal Education Program, member of the Admissions and Attorney’s Fee Committees, and Vice President and President of the Southern California Chapter, among other positions.
As a member of IAML, which includes members from 43 countries around the world, I published the organization’s newsletter for several years before serving as President of the USA Chapter and member of the Board of Governors. I have lectured frequently before both organizations on various topics in the field, particularly in my main focus area of complex family law matters, and I look forward to doing so in the future as well.
About the author: Recognized as one of the Top 10 Divorce Lawyers in the United States by Town & Country Magazine, Stephen Kolodny currently serves as founding partner of the Los Angeles family law firm, Kolodny & Anteau.