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

The national network of close friends is unequivocally the best part of membership. The professional and personal support, in addition to wonderful referrals, has been rewarding beyond anything I expected.

What area of family law do you find most interesting?

Cultivating longstanding and meaningful relationships with clients is unique to this practice and the most fulfilling thing to me, because of the impact we have on each other.

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

Delete certain overused words from your vocabulary, including “winning,” “losing,” “offense,” “defense,” “aggressive,” “control” and “fair.” None of those words mean anything and only blur clarity and solutions.

As an AAML Fellow in Illinois, what sets you apart from other family law attorneys who are not Fellows?

I think the most important aspect of membership is the ability to formulate national relationships, which has resulted in incredible opportunities to safely talk about our business, including cases and firm management.

Outside the office, what do you do for fun?

I listen to a lot of music, and hang out with my teenage boys, wife and two dogs. I still play basketball every Sunday morning with my closest childhood friends.

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

Develop your own style and practice in a way that feels authentic, personal and sincere. Don’t try to be like anyone else, be the best version of yourself.

Brian J. Blitz, principal and executive committee member at Berger Schatz in Chicago, can be reached at bblitz@bergerschatz.com and 312-782-3456.

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 second-year law student attending an Illinois Law School. 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 was the 2022-23 winner of the Illinois Chapter’s 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.