For an attorney widely regarded as a legend in his field, Lee Hymerling still barely conceals his boyish enthusiasm for the law - or wavers in his energy to improve it. Every New Jersey divorce - and divorce practice - is to some extent influenced by Hymerling's contributions over more than four decades. Raised in Princeton (his parents co-founded the Jewish Center of Princeton, in an era in which Albert Einstein roamed the university's campus), Hymerling possesses the humanist roots that gave him the depth and sensitivity to shape divorce law as few attorneys have.
At Penn ("I had to get out of town for college.") Hymerling was his fraternity president, and Penn Law was a natural next step. He clerked for Judge Herbert Horn, whose caseload included divorce cases. By 1970, he had joined Archer & Greiner (15 lawyers then; over 150 today). The state's equitable distribution standards were being enacted and Hymerling, recognizing the implications, convinced his skeptical colleagues that divorce law was a practice area worth pursuing. (Today's large firms are only beginning to dedicate resources to family law.)
While still in his 30's Hymerling conceived and helped to launch the New Jersey Family Lawyer publication, and sat on enough committees - for both the Supreme Court and the New Jersey Bar - to ensure that most every workday became a worknight. For almost 15 years, he served as a member or chair on the Supreme Court's Disciplinary Review Board, which among other roles is empowered to discipline or even suspend law licenses.
Colleagues marvel at Hymerling's buoyant energy and commitment. His swirl of an office is replete with piles of current cases, articles in mid-edit, mementos and recognitions and Philadelphia Flyers bobble head dolls. Often first in the office and last out, Hymerling is well into his fourth decade in practice, heading a prestigious firm's exceptional family law department; several of the South Jersey Ten Leaders mentored under Hymerling. He lives in Haddonfield with his wife Rosie; they have one grown son.