When AllynMarie “Ali” Smedley opened Smedley Law Group, she was guided by the concept of remaining by her clients’ side from the very first consultation to post-judgement, with a cost-benefit philosophy. She has not only stayed true to these principles, but also ensured that her clients fully understand the legalities and their options so they have the full breadth of knowledge they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their children.
“We're very big on educating our clients on the process and what the steps are, and what needs to be done to bring the case to a conclusion. They start out in the beginning, from a point of knowledge,” Smedley explains. “We are very practical with our approach. I will recommend people to not pursue a particular course of action if the cost of the action is going to outweigh the value of what they're trying to get.”
When a client works with Smedley Law Group, they will notice the practice’s humanistic approach, a necessity in navigating the often-sensitive situations typical in family-law matters. This helps clients find comfort in knowing they have full support and attention from the entire team, instead of feeling like just another number.
“Everybody in my firm knows about all our clients: You can call my paralegal and she will be able to help you with your case, the same as if you were talking to me,” Smedley says. “It's not somebody answering the phone and saying, ‘Well, I have to look into that, I'll call you back.’ People have answers when people have questions.”
Smedley Law Group is also unique in that the full staff understands firsthand what each client is going through. As a child of divorced parents, Smedley was drawn to family law to help others work through a situation that she had experienced herself. In addition to knowing what the children in the middle of a dispute are facing and feeling, she and her team have all been impacted by divorce in their personal lives.
“Whether they're a child of divorce, or they've been divorced themselves, everybody here gets what our clients are going through because every person here has lived it,” she says. “It just so happened that it turned out that way, but it gives people a really good perspective in handling a high emotional situation.”
As a solo female business owner, Smedley has worked persistently to build her firm and to maintain the stellar reputation that comes with putting her clients first. It is a rare attribute for a company to remain transparent with their values, and it is something that clients value in return.
“A female founder is really kind of unique in this area…I think that that gives clients a place where they feel like they can be heard and get that compassionate touch that you might not get from other, larger firms,” Smedley says.
When children are involved in a contentious situation, Smedley prioritizes their wellbeing—which is the main goal of the courts, as well. She encourages a logical approach over an emotional one, giving clients an outside perspective that illuminates the sometimes-neglected turbulence a child is dealing with as their parents negotiate the terms of their divorce.
While these tense scenarios are exponentiated by a drawn-out legal process, Smedley offers assurance that the New Jersey case backlog and judicial shortage is finally seeing some alleviation. During this time, some parties were more likely to settle than to remain in “purgatory,” according to Smedley. Now and in the future, though, having an experienced lawyer at your side is not just beneficial, but necessary.
In primarily handling cases with people who have never been to court before, Smedley and her team work to clarify any preconceived, erroneous notions gleaned from the internet or unreliable secondary sources. Her extensive knowledge in a full range of areas ensures that she and her team can educate clients while preparing them for any possible outcome.
“In family law, there's very little black and white—it's various shades of gray. I can take a specific set of facts and put it before two different judges and get two different outcomes,” she explains.
Regardless of the legal conclusion, Smedley knows her clients’ journeys do not end there. Armed with the necessary support and information, her clients are able to work through their struggles no matter what the end result.
“We end up being their lawyer for life,” Smedley says.
Whether it’s a situation involving divorce, child custody, child support, alternate dispute resolution, modifications and terminations, adoptions, appeals or non-dissolution matters, Smedley Law Group is always by your side every step of the way.
Smedley Law Group
Serving South Jersey