Twenty years ago, Angela Larimer, was in the middle of a contentious divorce and custody battle with her ex-spouse, a prominent Chicago Attorney. “I know what it feels like to sit next to an attorney, looking up at the judge, while the future of my family hangs in the balance,” Angela says.
To protect her sons and herself, Angela decided to learn everything that she could about Family Law and put herself through law school as part of DePaul University’s night school program. Her dedication paid off. She obtained full custody of her children, and the marital home. She also discovered a wonderful new career.
“I know the system as an Attorney, and as a Litigant myself. I understand what it is like to be in the court system. I have specialized training in Family Law, and problem-solving techniques like Collaboration, Mediation and Litigation.”
Before starting her own practice, Angela worked with other Family Law firms. “I observed that not all Lawyers discuss all of the available options or want to empower their clients with the necessary information, skills and tools. I realized that if I wanted to do things my own way, I needed to run my own practice,” Angela adds.
With her signature “can-do” attitude, Angela left a job on a Friday in March 2017. “100% of my clients came with me from my previous firm. Because I wanted to give clients the most comfortable experience in the most uncomfortable time of their lives, I secured a great office location in an historical stone building on the northwest side of the city.”
“My dad, a prominent business owner in my hometown, always said a leader isn’t the one on the top of the wagon saying ‘mush’ to his or her staff. A leader is the one pulling the hardest at the front of the line.” When clients call Angela, she is the one answering the phone. She delegates to paralegals and others at the firm when necessary.
“I never take on more clients than I can personally serve. I only have one goal - to advocate my clients’ position and rights and to get through the legal process as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Besides, no one wants to have their personal life exposed in open court. Family law is really a very private matter,” she explains.
Philosophy & Approach
In less than five minutes, it becomes obvious that Angela is passionate about Family Law in general, and her work and service to her clients in particular. No wonder her colleagues describe her as an outstanding Mediator and Collaborative Attorney who is passionate about helping others resolve their issues through a balanced, and productive process.
“Getting the right kind of legal advice is critical to your future life, and the future lives of your children. From personal experience, I know it is possible to move beyond the pleadings, the problems, and the pain of a divorce,” Angela explains.
Attitude is so important. An embittered client can undermine their own case when they take unreasonable stances. “If a client only wants to focus on ‘payback’ rather than on their children’s and their own physical, mental, and emotional well-being, I’m not a good fit. If however, he or she wants to achieve the best possible outcome, to learn about ALL of their options, and to actively participate in their life choices, then I’m an excellent fit,” Angela adds.
Angela works with clients to identify their priorities, strengths, and stumbling blocks. “Clients need this information to transform, to build a healthy new life, and to resolve their differences in a conference room rather than in a courtroom. Having said that, if litigation is the only option, both in and out of court, I’m a force to be reckoned with,” she adds. Her Southern charm, persistence and quick wit have helped her successfully litigate against some of Chicago’s most prominent family lawyers.
Awards & Distinctions
Angela has four degrees, including a double bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Rhetoric from the University of Illinois, a Type 3 teaching certificate in the State of Illinois (highly qualified, K-9), a license which she still keeps active, from North-Eastern Illinois University in Chicago, and a Juris Doctorate from DePaul College of Law.
After undergraduate studies, Angela served as a public school teacher. She also founded, and is the current President of, Educators’ Choice Tutoring in the Greater Chicago area, a go-to resource for parents looking for tutoring options for their children.
Members of the legal profession, the media, and the public often look to Leading Lawyers to identify the best experts in their respective fields. In 2020 Angela was recognized as a Leading Family Law Lawyer. “It is an incredible honor to be recognized by my peers as one of the top 5% of Illinois’ Domestic Relations Lawyers. This recognition is especially satisfying because it’s totally based upon a collective vote from all Illinois lawyers. Lawyers tend to be the harshest critics of other lawyers,” the 2020 Best Lawyer proudly says.
Angela is regularly appointed by the Court to serve as an attorney for children in high conflict divorce proceedings and often works as a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) and Child Representative in Cook and Lake Counties (GAL’s and Child Representatives are Attorneys appointed by the court to work in the best interests of the child(ren).
She is a member in good standing of the Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, The Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, and the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts. She regularly attends Collaborative, Mediator and Family Law seminars to stay on the cutting edge of family law issues, changes in the law, and technology.
She is also a Member of the Marketing Committee at the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the premier interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict.
Angela often guest speaks at local and mega churches around Chicago about various topics in domestic relations, including what you need to know, what to expect, how to prepare for divorce, what documents to gather, things to consider, and the legal procedures. Angela offers free consultations (tel: 773/370-0660, email: email@example.com).
Up Close & Personal
Angela is the proud mother of two adult sons whom she raised on her own. Both graduated at the top of their college classes and are now successfully pursuing their own careers.
In her spare time Angela enjoys walking her shelter dog, “Caruso,” bike riding and writing. She recently finished “Chasing After the Wind”, her first fiction book, which is currently under contract with a major New York publisher.
As a last word, Angela says, “Fear can be a motivator; it doesn’t have to be a showstopper. The point of life lessons is to learn. If we don’t change and morph in life, we would never grow as people. I am honored that my practice has given me the experience of seeing so many people grow into marvelous people with amazing lives. That’s one of the many reasons that powers my passion for advocating for each person who walks through my door. Everyone is special. Everyone is unique. And, everyone is highly represented.”
Suzen Fromstein is the author of Suits and Ladders, Ten Proven Ways to Keep Your Job Safe - with a few jokes thrown in. Suits and Ladders was an Amazon Best Selling Book in the Career Guides Career Guides Category
Angela Larimer Matrimonial Law:
Litigation, Collaboration, Mediation
Larimer Law LLC
6405 North Kinzua Avenue
Chicago, IL 60646