Laura C. Dove
Divorce Law - Arlington, VA

As I tell my clients from the first conversation, we have a partnership. There's a trust and confidence that we must share for me to be your advisor and advocate. We're both putting our energies into this process, to accomplish what you need and deserve. Decisions can't be made in a vacuum - your view, your outlook, your voice are all part of any decision, any course of action. It's my job to keep an eye on the big picture, to focus on the end-game and to keep my clients centered on their ultimate goals.

A unique aspect of my firm is that we don't assign cases to associates and paralegals. We personally work each case and learn the facts firsthand. This approach better prepares me to represent your interests, whether it be in settlement negotiations or at trial. I am also very privileged to have three law partners who are collaborative and are always willing to discuss the interesting or thorny legal issues that arise in each case. Our clients benefit from the combined advocacy and legal experience of the entire firm.

A person going through a divorce is facing one of the hardest times in his or her life. Naturally they will want a fast cure to all the stress and anxiety they face. Part of my job is to help my clients understand the process - that helps ease anxiety right away. I'm always responsive and always educating clients about the next steps that they can take to improve their circumstances and positively contribute to the resolution of their case.

For example, I encourage my clients to quiet down their life for a while - don't go online and start posting things that hurt you, that aren't in your best interests. No matter how angry or anxious you feel, social media is not the outlet. A certain amount of restraint and discretion is very important. Don't debate issues in a text message or email, because no one "wins" that argument.

For most clients, a preferred course will be well-thought-out settlement - an agreement that can be reached out of court and which best meets the needs of the client and their family. The facts matter greatly in family law cases, and people's lives can be messy. Sometimes the best solutions are creative solutions - and our area of the law welcomes those types of solutions in the context of settlements. I know there's plenty of temptation to go to court, to have the judge hear you. But the fact is you'll be asking a judge to make a decision that affects you and your family for the rest of your life based upon a brief snapshot of your situation - the judge simply doesn't have the luxury of time.

When litigation is necessary, my client and I will have a detailed discussion regarding his or her options and the possible outcomes of going to court. We are also going to engage in a cost-benefit analysis of litigation. The decision to litigate is not one to take lightly and if we go to court, I am planning and preparing to win.

My parents divorced when I was young, so I do have a unique perspective. Sometimes keeping a marriage together isn't the best thing - the children certainly know, they pick up on what's going on. Living in an environment that is tense, angry and negative should not be their definition of a normal family. Sometimes divorce is the right choice. I tell my clients to trust their instincts.

As I said, my effectiveness as a lawyer really stems from one thing - that my clients have that trust and confidence in me, and me in them. There's nothing more important than to have that kind of relationship. It's the kind that achieves successful and lasting results.

Laura C. Dove
"As I said, my effectiveness as a lawyer really stems from one thing - that my clients have that trust and confidence in me, and me in them."
Phone: (703) 522-8100
Fax: (703) 522-3770
University of Northern Iowa, B.S., 1996
George Mason University School of Law, J.D., 2003
2016-04-25 12:01:26