Attorney Profiles - Child:DORENE MARCUS

Dorene Marcus


As a certified mediator and an experienced litigator, Dorene Marcus employs a full spectrum of legal talents, all of which she believes are rooted in her early professional experience. "What I learned as a young attorney is the cornerstone of my family law practice," she says. "My formal training in litigation and handling complex financial matters gives me the solid foundation that grounds my approach to useful alternatives such as arbitration and mediation."

Marcus's certification as a mediator is a notable asset. Having completed intensive coursework, Marcus is certified to act as a neutral third party for two or more people who want to settle a family-law dispute outside of a courtroom. Marcus believes getting divorced doesn't have to be a miserable process, provided both parties are civil and reasonable. And with people becoming increasingly aware of the long-term damage that a protracted and adversarial court case can wreak upon a family, "a lot of spouses are smarter now, and promote good relationships between themselves and their children," she adds. "Compared with when I first started to practice family law, my clients today are more educated about family life after divorce. In this more informed climate, were finding that more and more, mediation is the answer."

Marcus's litigation skills, however, remain at the ready. "Even though most divorces are best handled through mediation and negotiation, the option of using litigation offers confidence and comfort to my clients. I encourage them to work toward a fair deal, which most often means they're giving up something. Still, we do have the leverage of being prepared to go to trial." Having taught litigation law at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, Marcus is recognized for her record as a successful trial lawyer. But she cautions, "Litigation is best left to resolving conflicts about property and other economic matters."

Many of Marcus's clients arrive at her office feeling weakened but still having to fight. To them she offers a way to gain insight into how they can influence the most important outcomes during their divorce, helping them take the long view. "Some clients must fight for the very basics, including shelter. Others, who have less worry about their financial security, still must grapple with their feelings of rejection." But even under these circumstances, she explains, "if clients understand how secure or insecure they might feel later on, they can begin to build their plan and their future."

"As my practice has matured, I attract clients who are happiest with my balanced style of representation: forceful, but calm and supportive. Now, most people who interview me hire me because I'm the attorney they were looking for in the first place."

Admitted to the Bar

1978, Illinois


Loyola University Law School, J.D., 1978

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers: Parliamentarian, 2004-2005; Vice President, 2000-2003; Treasurer, 1997-2000; Secretary, 1995-1997; Illinois Chapter, President, 1996-1997

American College of Family Trial Lawyers Chicago Bar Association: Diplomate; Matrimonial Law Committee, Chair, 1988-1989

American Bar Association: Family Law Section, Member; Executive Council, 1993-1996; Long Range Planning, Chair, 1994-1995; Publications Development Board, 1986-1993

Accomplishments and Publications

Certified Family Law Mediator

Certified Family Law Arbitrator

ABA Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute, U. of Houston Law School, Faculty, 2002-2007

Houston Family Law Trial Institute, South Texas School of Law, Faculty, 2009, 2010

Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Family Law Handbook, "Valuation of Marital Property Right,"1986, revised 1989, 1992 and 1995

Illinois Bar Journal, "The Continuing Jurisdiction Dilemma in Interstate Child Custody Disputes," Co-Author, 1982

Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Leading Lawyers, Leading Lawyers Top 100 Women Attorneys, Super Lawyers

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