Category Archives: About Me

Voted One of New Orleans’ Best

I am thrilled to announce that I will appear in the November edition of New Orleans Magazine, listed among the top family attorneys in New Orleans.  This list was compiled with suggestions from members of the legal community, and so I am particularly happy to know I am becoming a respected practitioner in my chosen field.

Still, as much as those accolades mean, I can’t grow my practice without my clients.  If you have a family law need to discuss with me, please call at (504) 581-4334, or reach out  to me at liz@menerayfamilylaw.com.

The Power of Good Will

In this age of instant, electronic communication, it’s really nice to get a paper and envelope note.  It’s really gratifying to hold a thank you card in your hand, and reflect upon the time and care it took to write it.  I get these notes from clients from time to time, and I hold on to them to remind me that my work is valued.

A few years ago, I received a letter from a woman, thanking me for my “professionalism and your kindness.”  She said “it eased my nerves more than you know when you greeted me so warmly at the hearing.”  This woman was not my client, but rather the unrepresented spouse of my client.    I have held on to this note as a symbol that my work impacts not only my clients but everyone else I encounter in the course of a case, especially when there is no lawyer on the other side.

Today, I received what I consider to be an even higher compliment from an unrepresented party – a referral.  The former husband of a client referred me to his friend, saying that he was really impressed with the way I handled their divorce matter.  Even though I was not his attorney, he respected my knowledge and skill enough to refer me to another person he cared about.

I try to approach everyone in a case with the same level of respect, with an understanding that both parties are hurting, are stressed, are frustrated, confused and probably scared.  Of course, my client gets the full benefit of my counsel and advice, but I feel it’s important to show both parties that I understand and respect their positions.  Sometimes this has unexpected consequences.  It’s called good will, and it has great value to me as a person, as a lawyer, as a counselor, and as a representative of the legal profession.

I would love to talk with you or those special to you about their family law concerns.  Contact me today at:  liz@menerayfamilylaw.com or (504)  330-5522.

 

 

 

2014 – Looking Back and Giving Back

2014 was a year for giving back to the community, to helping budding lawyers and paralegals alike, to continuing to serve those in need of legal services, and to celebrating the vibrant city we call home.  Here are some highlights of Meneray Family Law’s year:

PRESENTING AT LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL

As I have done for the past few years, I was part of a distinguished panel of Loyola alumni invited to present advice and instruction to students studying the Civil Law of Persons with Professor Monica H. Wallace.  This past semester we taught students how to interview clients, how to draft a divorce petition and how to present an argument in a child custody case.

NATIONAL PRO BONO DAY, LOUISIANA “LAWYERS IN LIBRARIES” EVENT

I volunteered this past October at the Plaquemines Parish Public Library to offer free “mini consultations” to residents of the parish seeking family law help.  Similar events were held in every parish in the State of Louisiana, facilitated by the Louisiana State Bar Association Access to Justice Committee.

MENTORING TULANE UNIVERSITY PARALEGAL STUDENTS

Continuing my belief that good lawyers make great paralegals, by giving them patient attention and instruction, I worked with student interns this past year, guiding them as they learned the complicated process of contributing to the work of a family law practice.

ORLEANS PARISH CIVIL DISTRICT COURT DOMESTIC MEDIATION PROGRAM

Last year I became a certified family law mediator, and this year I began working with the Domestic Mediation Program at the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.  It’s a new program, but I am confident that by using qualified mediators to help people resolve disputes without litigation, many people who could not otherwise afford to see their cases to conclusion will get results to assist them in parenting their children, obtaining child support and other relief.

CONTINUED COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

I am now in my second decade as a volunteer for WWOZ 90.7 FM, as host of the program “Sitttin’ In,” which presents modern jazz in an all vinyl format.  This year I joined the Board of Directors of the NOLA Project, an energetic local theater company celebrating its tenth year of presenting “theater for the bold.”  I am looking forward to continuing to work within the New Orleans community to celebrate its culture and diversity.

Whether as attorney, mediator, volunteer, teacher, disc jockey or theater lover, I love the New Orleans community and am committed to serving it.  When we do what we love, that commitment shows in our work.  I look forward to working with you and your families in 2015.

If you or someone you care about needs family law advice, call Liz at (504) 330-5522 today, or send her an email request at liz@menerayfamilylaw.com.

2013 – The Year in Review

It had its ups and downs, but 2013 wasn’t a bad year, all in all.  Personally and professionally I’d say 2013 offered many challenges and opportunities to grow. 

  • City Business “Women of the Year”

I was included among the 50 women honored by New Orleans City Business in their annual Women of the Year issue for my contributions to the New Orleans community through Meneray Family Law, L.L.C., through work with organizations like Hagar’s House, a shelter for women and children transitioning from domestic violence, and for the radio show I do every Sunday as a volunteer for the community radio station, WWOZ, 90.7 FM.

  • Mediation Certification

In December, I completed a 40 hour course of training to become a certified family law mediator.  The training was intensive, but very rewarding.  I am looking forward to working with families seeking to work out problems without court intervention.  Look for future posts regarding Meneray Family Mediation, L.L.C., and a new website which will offer information about mediation services.

  • Interstate Custody Practice

Interestingly, I worked a great deal in 2013 with custody matters involving courts in different states.  I gained new knowledge of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which is the law that applies when parents in different states have conflicts about where the child should live.  It’s a fascinating area of practice, and I hope to work with many more clients in this area of the law.

  • 2014 – Upward and Onward!

I have high hopes for the new year, and look forward to working with new families.  Please remember Meneray Family Law, L.L.C. to your friends and family with questions about divorce, child custody and support, spousal support or property distribution/community property concerns.  Please also remember the soon to be formed Meneray Family Mediation, L.L.C. to your friends and family looking to find a solution to problems outside of court with the help of a certified family law mediator.

I continue to be reached on my website:  www.menerayfamilylaw.com, by e-mail at liz@menerayfamilylaw.com and by phone at (504) 330-5522 or (504) 322-3222.  I look forward to speaking with you soon.  Have a wonderful 2014!

Sometimes it’s the Little Things

A little boy hugged me today.  I say “little,” but he was a teenager, old enough to appreciate the large scale change in his life that would come with the piece of paper the judge would sign giving his mom custody of him.  He had come to the end of a hard road, and he was grateful.  I can’t express just what that hug meant to me, but suffice it to say it was pretty special.  I need to store that away in my memory for times when I am challenged about why I do this work.  I do it because it means something very real to my clients and to their families.  It’s the little things that make the work worthwhile.

Community Property, Intellectual Property webinar now available for free streaming

Protecting your intellectual property doesn’t end at Copyright registration. Your copyright is for life, plus 70 years, but what happens when your situation changes?

Recently, I presented a webinar for the Arts Council of New Orleans, entitled
Community Property/Intellectual Property.

This webinar is now available for free streaming.

The webinar lasts about 18 minutes and covers:

  • What community property means in Louisiana.
  • Divorce and intellectual property.
  • Estate Planning and intellectual property.
  • How to plan ahead to protect yourself.

To view the webinar,
please click here.

Meet Elizabeth S. Meneray

Hello!  Thank you for taking the time to visit our site.  I know that you want to make careful choices when selecting legal representation, so allow me to introduce myself and invite you to contact me at (504) 330-5522 for a consultation.

I am Elizabeth Stevenson Meneray, born in New Orleans Louisiana at Baptist Hospital.  I grew up on the Westbank and attended John Ehret High School, where I first encountered the law as a member of its premier Mock Trial Competition Team.  Although I had been an avid student journalist in high school and was expected to write for a career, I took the fire for the law that was kindled that spring semester and carried it with me to the University of New Orleans, where I majored in Political Science on a pre-law track.

At UNO, I obtained my Bachelor’s degree along with a Certificate of Paralegal Studies, thinking that I would test the waters of the legal field before diving into the deep end that was law school.  Little did I know I would practice as a paralegal for 15 years before finally braving those waters, when Hurricane Katrina finally kicked me out of the boat!

I entered Loyola University New Orleans School of Law with the perspective of someone who had already worked very hard and accomplished a great deal, but who believed she could contribute so much more but for the lack of this degree.  In the years leading up to law school, I had begun to volunteer more vigorously, to take greater part in my community, and to work more closely with those who gave part of themselves to make New Orleans a better place.  The education I received at Loyola was grounded in service of others, and the pursuit of education as a means to that service. 

It was at Loyola that I found my passion for the “Persons practice” that was to become Meneray Family Law.  As a student in the Loyola Family Law Clinic, I worked closely with families facing divorce, children caught in custody battles, elderly people bound by the red tape of the Road Home program.  I found there were solutions to their problems, and as an attorney I was able to make those solutions happen for them.  It was an incredible feeling to know that I could help, that I had found the tools to make things go right for people whose lives didn’t often work out so well.  It was with pleasure in my third year that I accepted an award from the Association of Women Attorneys as the outstanding student family law practitioner.

Today, I have begun to work for you.  I started Meneray Family Law in an effort to serve people with needs in the areas of divorce, custody, tutorship, emancipation, child support, adoption, wills and successions.  I would like to sit down and talk with you about your concerns, about what’s important to you.  Feel free to call for a consultation today at (504) 330-5522.