Vicki L. Shemin

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Family Law Attorney in Wellesley, MA

Fields and Dennis LLP
 | 80 William Street, Suite 210
Wellesley, MA 02481
Phone: 781-489-6776
Fax: 781-489-6233
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2018
Licensed Since: 1989
Practice Areas:
  • Family Law (50%),
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (50%)
Attorney Profile

Attorney Vicki L. Shemin is a partner at Fields and Dennis LLP in Wellesley, Massachusetts. In 2018, Ms. Shemin was honored to be selected as one of the Top Women in Law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly which recognizes those women who have been pioneers, educators, trailblazers and role models. Ms. Shemin devotes her practice to family law (concentrating on alternative dispute resolution) and serves clients in the Wellesley, surrounding suburbs and greater Boston areas. She has been practicing law for more than 30 years and has experience with all aspects of family law including divorce, alimony, child support, custody, estates, marital asset division, modifications, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, trusts and more.

Recognized on a state and national level as a leader in the field of family law, Ms. Shemin has received honors and awards over the course of his career. She is AV Preeminent* rated by the peer review organization Martindale-Hubbell and is consistently listed on the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

In addition, Ms. Shemin has been named one of the “top 10 family law lawyers in Massachusetts” by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys and was named one of the “top lawyers” in 2018 as published in The Boston Globe. She has lectured on various domestic-related legal topics for several bar associations and professional organizations and authored articles for numerous publications.

Outside of her practice, Ms. Shemin is a founder of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, board member of the Massachusetts chapter of AFCC, and President of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, graduated cum laude from Boston University School of Law and holds dual degrees in clinical social work and law. She has also taught Negotiation at the Northeastern D'Amore-McKim School of Business and Family Law at Boston University School of Social Work.

Ms. Shemin is a certified advanced practitioner by the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, a certified family mediator by the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation and a certified family mediator by the Florida Supreme Court. She is also a nationally certified parenting coordinator by the Professional Academy of Custody Evaluators.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

 
Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Family Law (50%): Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Dissolution, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Paternity, Prenuptial Agreements, Marital Property, Mediation & Collaborative Law, Same Sex Family Law, Father's Rights

Alternative Dispute Resolution (50%): Mediation

Focus Areas

Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Dissolution, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Paternity, Prenuptial Agreements, Marital Property, Mediation & Collaborative Law, Same Sex Family Law, Father's Rights, Mediation

Selections

Selected to Super Lawyers for 1 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2018

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About Vicki Shemin

Admitted: 1989, Massachusetts

Professional Webpage: http://www.fieldsdennis.com/vicki-l-shemin

Honors/Awards:

  • Attorney Shemin was honored to be named to the 2018 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list., Named to the 2018 Massachusetts Super Lawyers List, Massachusetts Super Lawyers List, 2018
  • This prestigious distinction is accorded to the top 50 women attorneys practicing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who have demonstrated exceptional and outstanding achievements as pioneers, educators, trailblazers and role models., Top Women of Law 1/50, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 2018
  • Attorney Shemin was recognized as a Top Rated Lawyer:Women Leaders in the Law by Martindale-Hubbell for both 2017 and 2018, Top Rated Lawyers: Women Leaders in the Law, 2018
  • Attorney Shemin was recognized in both 2016 and 2017 as a Top Ten Family Lawyer in Massachusetts by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys, Top Ten Attorney in Family Law in Massachusetts, 2017
  • Based on peer review ratings, Attorney Shemin was named among Boston's Top Rated Lawyers in 2015 in 3 distinct categories - Alternative Dispute Resolution, Family Law, and Mediation/Collaborative Law, Boston's Top Rated Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, 2015
  • Attorney Shemin has been continuously recognized in the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers as one of the Top Women Lawyers in the Northeast (less than 5% of female attorneys are accorded this honor) for all selection years, 2011-2014, inclusive., Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers, 2014
  • Top Rated Lawyers: Legal Leaders in Family Law, 2013-2014, Top Rated Lawyer: Legal Leaders in Family Law, 2014
  • Attorney Shemin served as Note Editor of the Law Review at Boston University School of Law, Note Editor, Boston University Law Review, Boston University School of Law, 1989
  • Best Cross Examiner, Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute, 1994, Best Cross Examiner, MCLE Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute, 1994

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certified Advanced Practitioner, Association of Professional Family Mediators, since 2018, 2019
  • Attorney Shemin has earned a 10.0 "Superb" AVVO rating as a "Top Divorce Attorney" for more than the last 15 years., 2019
  • Since 2017, Attorney Shemin has earned recognition as a Premium Member Certified Mediator by Mediate.com (validating highest ethical standards and at least 200 hours of mediation case experience and at least 100 hours of mediation training), 2019
  • Attorney Shemin has continuously met the State of Florida's stringent requirements to be licensed as a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator for more than the past 5 years, 2019
  • Attorney Shemin has maintaned her ACSW credentials for more than the past 15 years (the Academy of Certified Social Workers was established in 1960 and remains the most widely recognized and respected social work credential obtainable), 2019
  • Since 2003, Attorney Shemin has been credentialed as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). This designation signifies the most advanced of social work licenses in Massachusetts; as such, it allows the professional to function as an independent clinical social worker in private practice; to engage in counseling, treatment and diagnosis of psycho-social issues; and to provide a full range of supervisory and consultation services, 2019
  • Attorney Shemin has met the stringent requirements to be recognized as a Certified Family Mediator as conferred by the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, 2018
  • For the past 2 years, Attorney Shemin has been accorded recognition as a Nationally Certified Parenting Coordinator by PACE (Professional Academy of Custody Experts), 2018
  • Since 2017, Attorney Shemin met the stringent requirements to become approved as a Category V Parenting Coordinator under the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' new Standing Order 1-17, 2017

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • The Divorce Center's Annual Speaker. My topic will be focused on my research work in progress/book-in-the-making: LETTERS TO EX-SPOUSES:...AND I JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW , 2019
  • President of Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, 2019
  • Massachusetts Chapter of AFCC Board Member, 2019
  • Speaker/Moderator at MA Chapter of AFCC Annual Conference: Judicial Panel/Legal Perspectives (Regis College)(March 2019), 2019
  • Senior Partners for Justice - Invited Speaker on "No-Nup Prenup" to Judges and Court Personnel and Lawyers in Springfield and Boston (MCLE), 2019
  • Massachusetts chapter of AFCC Conference Committee member, 2019
  • Conference Committee for 1st ever joint MCFM-AFCC-ADFP Annual Institute, 2019
  • Boston Bar Association/Family Law Section, 2019
  • Women's Bar Association (ADR and MetroWest Chapters), 2019
  • Massachusetts Bar Association/Family Law Section/Dispute Resolution Section, 2019
  • Mediate.com - Certified Mediator/Premium Member (since  ~ 2015), 2019
  • Faculty presenter at MCLE seminar on "Trying Divorce Cases": "Arbitration, Mediation, Collaboration and other ADR Alternatives: Working with Lawyers to 'Win' for Clients.", 2018
  • Academy of Professional Family Mediators - Board Member and Founding Member (since  ~ 2015), 2018
  • President of Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation (MCFM), 2018
  • Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation (MCFM) Annual Institute Featured Speaker/Annual Institute Committee Member/Co-Chair, MCLC-MCFM Joint Committee (since ~ 2000), 2018
  • The Divorce Center - former Board Member/Speaker (since  ~ 1998), 2018
  • Association of Famiy and Conciiation Courts - Board of Directors and Annual Conference Committee (Massachusetts chapter)(since 2017), 2018
  • Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council - Member/Workshop Presenter/Formerly on Continuing Education Committee (since  ~ 2000), 2018
  • International Association of Collaborative Professionals - Member/Annual Institute Speaker - 2017 (since  ~ 2000), 2018
  • In 2017, Attorney Shemin was honored to be invited to join the prestigious organization Massachusetts Family and Probate American Inn of Court., 2017
  • Attorney Shemin has been a member in good standing of the Massachusetts Bar since her admission in 1989, 1989

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Senior Partners Volunteer Lawyers Project Featured Speaker - Springfield & Boston, 2019
  • Volunteer Probate and Family Court Mediator as part of MCFM Certified Mediator Approved Referral List, 2019
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education - volunteer mediation coach (since  ~ 2005), 2018
  • Volunteer Mediator/Trainee Supervisor at Norfolk County Probate & Family Court in Massachusetts for MWI (since  ~ 2014), 2018
  • Volunteer educator about legal and co-parenting issues for The Divorce Center (2015-2017), 2015
  • Attorney Shemin has, over the years, volunteered as Lawyer for the Day in Middlesex County Probate and Family Court ( ~ 2014-2017), 2014

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Attorney Shemin is honored to be a panel moderator at the 2019 AFCC Massachusetts Chapter Annual Conference., Moderator/Judicial Panel Discussion/Legal Perspectives on Removal, A 2019 Perspective on Removal: Social Science Research, Case Law, and Best Practices, Massachusetts Chapter, AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Family Law; Domestic Relations, 2019
  • First, there were prenups. Then, there were postnups. Could the no-nup postnup be far behind for couples test-driving the relationship or never intending to marry?, Author, First Things First: The No-Nup Prenup, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Family Law; Domestic Relations, 2019
  • Co-presented at the Massachusetts Psychological Association on partnering with mental health practitioners to assist clients in the throes of the divorce process. My emphasis was on Alternative Dispute Resolutions to help clients engage in a more civilized approach to conflict resolution., Featured Co-Presenter, The Divorce Process: Challenges Opportunities for Psychologists , Massachusetts Psychological Association, Law And Psychology, 2019
  • I have been invited to be the guest speaker in May, 2019 for The Divorce Center's Annual Dinner., Featured Speaker, Annual Dinner Guest Speaker, The Divorce Center, Family Law; Domestic Relations, 2019
  • This article discusses the varying perspectives as to who rightly gets to keep the engagement ring if the couple never marry., Author, A Diamond is Forever But the Engagement Ring May Be Ne'er, CityBiz, Family Law; Domestic Relations, 2019
  • This article takes a look at remedies, if any, available to individuals when relationships break-up., Author, Heart-Balm Statutes: Can Money Heal Heartache?, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Family Law; Domestic Relations, 2018
  • Attorney Shemin conceived the idea of a book rooted in international, cutting-edge divorce research. To date, 275 respondents have written letters to their ex-spouses now, for the first time (with no intention to necessarily send the letters), expressing their innermost thoughts about their marriage, divorce, and all that has followed. One of the goals of the project is for judges, attorneys, therapists and clergy to understand the impact they have had on the participants as they experienced the throes of divorce. The letters are accompanied by a research component that is equal parts subjective and objective; the hope is that those contemplating marriage, remarriage, or divorce will benefit from the respondents' collective experiences - as will the professionals who profoundly touch the lives of divorcing men and women., Author/Editor, Letters to Ex-Spouses:...And I Just Wanted You To Know, www.surveymonkey.com/s/XC89FQ9, 2018
  • Attorney Shemin was the Moderator for this panel of attorneys and court personnel on behalf of the Massachusetts Chapter of the national organization, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. The topic was "Parent Coordinator - The Court's Next Gladiator: Cutting Through Standing Order 1-17", Featured Speaker, Parent Coordinator - The Court's Next Gladiator: Cutting Through Standing Order 1-17, Massachusetts Chapter, AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, AFCC - Winter Symposium, 2018
  • Addressing an increasingly common fact of life for divorcing couples - the necessity of living together under the same roof, Attorney Shemin offers some practical advice for couples in the throes of this challenge., Author, 8 Survival Tips for Living Together During Divorce, Divorce Magazine.com, Divorce, 2018
  • Designed to offer practical advice within the context of a theoretical perspective, Attorney Shemin co-presented a webinar on Prenuptial Agreements and Postnuptial Agreements for the national organization, Academy of Professional Family Mediators (of which she is a Founding Member and Board Member), Webinar Co-Presenter, 2018
  • Attorney Shemin wrote about a little-known type of recovery - heart-balm statutes - that are only available in a handful of states and argues that we should have more universal 21st century remedies available for damages available to the aggrieved whose injuires are clearly connected to broken promises., Author, Heart-Balm Statutes: Can Money Heal Heartache?, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 2018
  • Cohabitation After Divorce: Reasons You Need a Co-Tenancy Agreement, Divorce Magazine, 2018
  • With couples increasingly opting to live together and not get married (or live together prior to marriage), the "no-nup prenup" offers an excellent solution to ensuring that the rights of both parties are addressed and protected., Author, First Things First: The No-Nup Prenup, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Family Law; Domestic Relations, 2018
  • In this article, Attorney Shemin offers practical advice and encourages parents to set aside any negative feelings they may have about their ex-spouses to ensure their children honor the other parent on his and her special day., Author, "Mother's Day, Father's Day and Divorce: 5 Ways to be a Hero to Your Children", Divorce Magazine.com, Divorce, 2018
  • Attorney Shemin presented a 90-minute workshop in Philadelphia tracing the historical roots and highlighting the ethical challenges presented in Collaborative Law cases, Presenter, "Chasing Zebras: Collaborative Law Models of a Different Stripe", International Association of Collaborative Professionals, International Association Of Collaborative Professionals, 2017
  • Attorney Shemin was honored to have her workshop accepted for presentation at the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council's Annual Institute at Clark University in May, 2017, Presenter, "Making the Collaborative Law Shoe Fit the Clients: Creative Options for a Better Fitting Practice Model", Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council, Family Law; Domestic Relations, 2017
  • Attorney Shemin was invited by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)(the Commonwealth's premier professional teaching organization for lawyers) to Chair a program entitled, "A Kaleidoscopic Perspective on the Impact of Divorce", Program Chair, A Kaleidoscopic Perspective on the Impact of Divorce, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), Family Law; Domestic Relations, 2017
  • Attorney Shemin wrote this article as a service to those men and women contemplating divorce and interviewing lawyers for that purpose, Author, Divorce Lawyers: Five Little Known Things You Need to Know, 2017
  • Attorney Shemin co-authored this article which addresses the recent parenting coordination case Leon v. Cormier., Author, "Parenting Coordination: The Emancipation Proclamation", 2017
  • This article delves into the impact of Sunset Clauses as they pertain to prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements., Author, "Prenups and Postnups: The Dawning of Sunrise/Sunset Clauses", Massachusetts Bar Association Journal, 2017
  • Reflecting on the challenges experienced by children of divorce during the holiday season, Attorney Shemin offers insights and practical advice, Author, Making Holidays Magical for Kids After Divorce, 2017
  • Coining the phrase, "Trumped-Up Prenup," became the inspiration for a Boston Globe author to investigate and write about a phenomenon identified by Attorney Shemin (i.e., engaged couples expediting wedding plans where only one partner is a US citizen), Newspaper Interviewee, "Tying the Knot, Faster Than Planned", The Boston Globe, 2017
  • Attorney Shemin was honored to have her article contemplating the perspectives - and potential advantages - of children of divorce published in the Huffington Post., Author, "4 Benefits of Being A Child of Divorce", Huffington Post, Family Law; Domestic Relations, 2016
  • Attorney Shemin wrote this article in the hopes that couples contemplating divorce might also consider an alternative known as "Mediation To Stay Married.", Author, "4 Important Things To Do Before You Say 'I Don't'", 2016
  • Attorney Shemin presented at a national workshop at the Academy of Professional Family Mediators on the advantages and disadvantages of Prenuptial Agreements and Postnuptial Agreements, Presenter, "To Prenup/Postnup or Not to Prenup/Postnup: That is the Question!", 2015
  • Ironcially, although Attorney Shemin is a domestic relations attorney specializing in divorce matters, she is hopeful that couples will make all best efforts to strengthen their marriage before separating., Author, "10 Ways To Keep Your (Re)Marriage Alive and Well", 2015
  • Attorney Shemin was interviewed on the topics of Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements as well as on her research on "Letters to Ex-Spouses:...And I Just Wanted You To Know" for Family Matters (VoiceAmerica)., Radio Guest, 2015
  • Attorney Shemin authored this article based on a landmark ruling in an actual NY case, Author, Facebook: You Can Run, But You Cannot HIde!, 2015
  • Attorney Shemin was invited to talk about helping separating and divorcing men and women move past divorce, Podcast Interviewee, "Prenups-Postnups-and-How-to-get-Closure-on-your-Divorce/", OverDivorce, 2015
  • Attorney Shemin uses an actual case example (with permission of the couple) to highlight a success story involving divorcing mediation clients who opted for "mediation to stay married" - 8 years later, the marriage is still going strong., Author, "Helping Save A Marriage Through Mediation To Stay Married", 2013
  • The Squid & The Whale: A Relevant Tale, MCFM Family Mediation Quarterly, 2012
  • Collaborative Divorce Handbook: Helping Families Without Going to Court, by Forrest S. Mosten, Book Notes reviewed by Vicki Shemin, ABA Dispute Resolution Magazine, vol. 17, no.2, Winter 2011
  • Health Care Proxies & Durable Powers of Attorney,” in A Practical Guide to Estate Planning in Massachusetts, Fall, 1997; updated 2011
  • The Uniform Mediation Act, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 2005
  • Collaborative Divorce in the Fast Lane: Negotiating an Agreement, Start to Finish, in Ten Days
  • Analysis of case law and proferred practice tips for prenuptial agreements., Author, Ménage À Trois in Antenuptial Agreements: Balancing the Interests of the Couple and the State, 15 Tax Management Estates, Gifts and Trust Journal 93, f/k/a Ehrlichman, Family Law; Domestic Relations, 1990
  • Section 1041 and its Estate Planning Opportunities for Clients Contemplating Divorce,” 25 Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal 535, f/k/a Ehrlichman, Fall, 1990

Verdicts/Settlements:

  • In a highly contested case (non-published) on the validity and enforceability of a Prenuptial Agreement dated 1999, the Judge found on behalf of our client upholding the validity of the Prenuptial Agreement despite the fact that it arguably violated the "conscionability" standard when viewed pursuant to the "second look" prong of Prenuptial Agreement standards of review., 2019

Representative Clients:

  • Please see "what others are saying" https://www.fieldsdennis.com/what-others-are-saying-about-fields-dennis , 2019

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Please see accompanying resume and webpage http://www.fieldsdennis.com/vicki-l-shemin Thank you, 2019
  • Family Law "10 Best Attorneys" in Massacusetts, 2018
  • Attorney Shemin was interviewed by The Boston Globe and featured for a front-page article she spearheaded entitled "Tying the Knot Faster Than Planned" - this is based on a term Attorney Shemin coined: "The Trumped-Up Prenup."  https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/04/02/immigration-fears-lead-sped-weddings-and-prenups/UyksYzEKwrYTYZoeGYHYKM/story.html , 2017
  • WorldWide Registry - Inclusion in Top 101 Industry Experts (featured for expertise in Alternative Dispute Resolution), 2017
  • Attorney Shemin received the award for "Best Cross-Examiner" in MCLE's Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute , 1994
  • American Jurisprudence Book Award in Family Law (1/110), 1988

Videos:

  • My perspective and approach to family law matters., Vicki Shemin, Family Law; Alternative Dispute Resolution; Domestic Relations, 2018

Newsletters:

  • , MA AFCC Newsletter Guest Contributor, Family Law; Domestic Relations
  • Profile , Massachusetts Probate Inn of Court, Family Law; Domestic Relations

Educational Background:

  • Boston University School of Law cum laude, 1989
  • The University of Maryland School of Social Work, M.S.W., Clinical Practice, 1979
  • The Johns Hopkins University Honors Program, B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, 1977

Industry Groups

  • Agreements to Stay Married. Parenting Coordinator
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Child Custody
  • Collaborative Law
  • Collaborative Law Attorney
  • Divorce
  • Domestic Relations
  • Family Law
  • GAL Evaluative Consultations
  • Mediation
  • No-Nuptial Agreements
  • Postnuptial Agreements
  • Prenuptial Agreements
Office Location for Vicki L. Shemin

80 William Street
Suite 210
Wellesley, MA 02481

Phone: 781-489-6776

Fax: 781-489-6233

Vicki L. Shemin:

Last Updated: 2/22/2019

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