Help Me Help You

But first let me introduce myself. I’m Debbie Long, the family law paralegal in Cozen O’Connor’s Philadelphia office. I joined the Cozen O’Connor team this past August. While I am new to Cozen O’Connor, I am not new to family law. I have 20 years of experience in the legal field, with 15 years specifically in the area of family law.

The main focus of my position is to facilitate the procedural aspects of your case so that your attorney can remain focused on moving matters forward – through negotiation, litigation and ongoing analysis as the details of your case unfold. My direction comes from the attorney as she decides what information is needed and/or what steps need to be taken in order to achieve certain goals. I then work with the client, the court, or opposing counsel – or maybe all three – to help get us there. Once we have what we need, the attorney will reassess to see where we need to go next and will then provide further instruction.

As the client, you can help me help you by providing information and documentation as requested, signing and returning documents in a timely manner, and asking questions when you don’t understand. Whenever you leave a voicemail message, be sure to leave details as to the reason for your call as this will cut down on response time and, therefore, billing.

While I cannot give you legal advice, I can answer questions relating to the process and simplify some of the legalese for you. If you are not sure whether your question is procedural or more along the lines of legal advice, don’t worry – I will be sure to pass your questions along to the attorney if they are more substantive in nature. Carefully consider all information provided to you by your attorney and weigh your options to make informed decisions throughout the process.

The legal process can sometimes seem daunting, especially when it comes to such personal issues involving marriage, children and finances. I chose the area of family law because I feel I have a knack for simplifying complicated language and processes, and clients have often thanked me for the clarity I’ve been able to provide. I hope I will be able to ease the process for you as well.

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About Family Law Focus
The Family Law Focus blog provides highlights, updates and insights on complex family disputes including divorce, division of property, and alimony; child and spousal support; child custody; domestic violence; pre- and post-nuptial agreements; name changes; and adoption or termination of parental rights.
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The Editor

Attorney Jennifer A. Brandt, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Family Law practice, has represented a wide variety of clients in hundreds of family law cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Jennifer is a regular legal commentator on national and local television outlets such as CNN, Fox New Network, HLN, MSNBC, Fox29, ABC News, NBC and CBS and frequently writes and contributes to articles in numerous publications, including the Huffington Post, Fox, The PhiIly Post,,, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Business Journal, the National Law Journal, and Main Line Today magazine.
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