Distinguished Counsel, Uncompromising Ethics

Fellows of the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) are recognized by judges, other attorneys and clients as the gold standard for family law. In addition to their individual practice, Fellows conduct legal education programs, lead community outreach, and support philanthropic initiatives. They also lead the charge in shaping family law legislation and enacting legal reform.

Of the several thousand family law attorneys in the State of Illinois, 95 are practicing Academy Fellows. To earn the distinction of Fellow, these remarkable lawyers–most with decades of experience in family law–have sustained the highest principles in their practice and passed a rigorous review process.

Renowned for providing outstanding service to their clients, Illinois Fellows raise the bar for the practice of family law. Not only do they advance the profession with their exceptional advocacy and uncompromising ethics, they also benefit their clients through expert guidance and protection.

AAML Fellows address myriad issues to achieve the best outcome for their clients, including

  • Divorce
    • Alimony
  • Children
    • Custody (parental responsibility)
    • Visitation
    • Support
  • Agreements
    • Prenuptial
    • Postnuptial
  • Valuation and division
    • Business
    • Property
  • Alternative Dispute Resolutions
    • Mediation
    • Arbitration
    • Collaboration

Get to know. . .

What are you most looking forward to in the following year, personally and or professionally?

Partnering with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services to start the Beermann LLP Pro Bono Legal Clinic in June 2023.

What area of family law do you find most interesting?

I like the problem-solving aspect of this job. Whether it is litigation, mediation, or collaboration, I like developing the best strategy to achieve my client’s goals in the most efficient way possible.

What do you find rewarding about being a Fellow of the AAML?

Spending time with other top family law attorneys and judges outside of the courtroom in a non-adversarial setting.

Outside the office, what do you do for fun?

Mainly spending time with my husband, our two kids and our dogs. We’re often at the pool with our daughter, who is 13 and who swims and plays water polo, and on the football field with our son, who is 8.

Give us the number one tip you have for clients considering divorce, custody, prenup arrangements – any issues involved with family law.

Choose an attorney who is a good fit for you. Trust is huge in the attorney-client relationship, especially in the highly emotional area of divorce.

What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?

Work hard, be respectful to others and stay true to yourself. Don’t take things personally or you will never make it in this job.

Shana L. Vitek, partner at Beermann LLP in Chicago and Bannockburn, can be reached at slvitek@beermannlaw.com and 312-621-1263.

William Boyd Scholarship for African American Law Students

The Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers sponsors the AAML Illinois Chapter William Stewart Boyd Scholarship for African American Law Students. This scholarship is a one-time award of $5,000 to a first-year law student attending Illinois Law Schools. It is named for the Hon. William Stewart Boyd, who has spent more than two decades as an Associate Judge for the Cook County Circuit Court, and who has agreed to mentor the scholarship winners.

Kyle Johnson

Kyle Johnson of Oswego, IL is this year’s winner of the Illinois Chapter’s second annual William Stewart Boyd Scholarship for African-American Law Students.

Kyle graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in Political Science and emphasis in public law. Enrolled as a 1-L at the NIU College of Law, Kyle recognizes the sensitive nature of family law proceedings and states that he hopes to “smooth the road” from the start of such cases to their conclusion.