Joanna R. Adu
Top rated Estate Planning & Probate attorney in Somerville, New JerseyLyons & Associates, P.C.
Practice Areas: Estate Planning & Probate, Appellate, Business & Corporate; view more
Licensed in New Jersey since: 2017
Education: Seattle University School of Law
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Ms. Adu is a Principal and currently Chairs the firm's Somerville office, as well as the Trusts, Estates and Financial Practice Group, where her practice is devoted to all aspects of wills, trusts and estates, guardianships, and business law, including business formation, litigation, and ongoing consultation. As part of the firm’s financial practice, Ms. Adu also represents clients in addressing Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs). She is admitted to practice in the State of New Jersey and the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey.
Prior to joining Lyons & Associates, P.C., Ms. Adu served as an appellate law clerk for the Honorable Susan L. Reisner, P.J.A.D. (ret.). In her clerkship, she worked on various legal appeals including civil litigation, mass tort litigation, land use, criminal law and various family law matters. Ms. Adu obtained her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Washington and graduated with honors from the Seattle University School of Law in 2016.
Ms. Adu regularly serves as a speaker and panelist for professional presentations and attorney Continuing Legal Education seminars on a variety of legal topics which in the past have included: financial elder abuse, child support, ethics, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), among others. She has also published articles on a variety of topics including estate planning considerations for LGBTQ+ clients and posthumous lawsuits against Jeffrey Epstein’s estate.
In her personal life, Ms. Adu is the parent of a child with special needs. As a special needs parent, she has an innate understanding of the issues and concerns of special needs families, including providing for their future care through special need trusts and guardianships.
Ms. Adu is also committed to serving the community at large, particularly the disability community, and currently serves as a Director for SERV Connect, which is a subsidiary of SERV Behavioral Health Systems, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides an array of services, supports and housing for individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse issues across the State of New Jersey. Prior to her current appointment, Ms. Adu served as a Director for SERV Achievement Centers for two years and as a member of SERV’s Young Professionals’ Group.
Ms. Adu’s commitment to the legal community includes serving on the New Jersey Association of Justice Matrimonial Law Committee, as well as membership in the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association, Garden State Bar Association, and Association of Black Women Lawyers.
Ms. Adu’s accolades include selection as a New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Star for family law in 2020 and 2021 and for estate planning and probate law in 2022.
Practice areasEstate Planning & Probate, Appellate, Business/Corporate, Estate & Trust Litigation
Estate Planning, Probate & Estate Administration
- 70% Estate Planning & Probate
- 10% Appellate
- 10% Business/Corporate
- 10% Estate & Trust Litigation
First Admitted: 2017, New Jersey
Professional Webpage: https://www.lyonspc.com/joanna-r-adu/
- Member, National Bar Association
- Member, Garden State Bar Association
- Member, Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey
- Member, New Jersey State Bar Association
- Member, Somerset County Bar Association
- Member, American Bar Association
- 2019 - 2022: Member, New Jersey Association of Justice, Matrimonial Law Committee
- Seattle University School of Law , 2016
- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science; University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2006
- An estate planning conversation about the ideals, concerns, perceptions that hold people back from getting their affairs in order and establishing an estate plan. , Listen Up! An Estate Planning Conversation between Nikki Adler-Frigoletto and Joanna Adu , Finance, Wealth Management, 2023
- 2023 - present: Member, Eden Autism Development Committee, 2023
- 2022 - present: Director, SERV Connect
- 2020 - present: Legal Committee Member, SERV Behavioral Health Systems, Inc.
- New Jersey State Bar Foundation - Speakers Bureau volunteer. Conducted 45 minute public presentation at the Gloucester Public Library - Glassboro Branch on wills, trusts and estates. , 2023
- New Jersey State Bar Foundation - Speakers Bureau volunteer. Conducted a 45-minute presentation for the Frelinghuysen Senior Citizen Group on the basics of elder law using an elder law bingo game. , 2022
- 2019 - 2021: Director, SERV Achievement Centers, LLC, 2021
- 2018 -2019, Member, Young Professionals Group, SERV Behavioral Health Systems, 2019
- Family seminar discussing the legal procedure and requirements to obtain guardianship of an incapacitated person. , Speaker, The ABCs of Guardianship, Eden Autism Services - Family Seminar, Legal, 2022
- Co-panelist for discussion of diversity, inclusion and implicit bias seminar. , Speaker, Diversity and Ethics in Family Law, New Jersey Association of Justice Boardwalk Seminar 2021, Legal, 2021
- Addresses questions that financial advisors or estate planning counsel should ask to identify potential gaps and legal issues in a client's proposed estate plan. , Author, 3 critical questions for LGBTQ+ clients' estate planning , NAPFA Advisor Magazine - February 2022, Finance, Banking, Wealth Management, Investment, 2022
- Served as speaker for "Rising Star" CLE program. , Speaker, Spotlight on Guardianships and Conservatorships from the Free Britney Movement, New Jersey Association of Justice Boardwalk Seminar 2021, Legal, 2021
- Served as panelist on CLE addressing ethical considerations in use of experts in matrimonial and family law matters, Speaker, Ethical Considerations in Family Law Practice, New Jersey Association of Justice Boardwalk Seminar 2020, Legal, 2020
- The Matrimonial Law Program consisted of one full day of the three-day CLE event offering 24 programs taught in 65 separate webinars by an esteemed faculty. In serving as Co-Chair, planned full day's program in conjunction with other Co-Chairs, including selecting CLE program subject matter and securing experienced jurists and other professionals to serve as panelists. Also served as Moderator for ethics program titled "Ethics: Financial Aspects of Collecting From Clients, Running a Family Law Practice", Co-Chair, Matrimonial Law Program, New Jersey Association of Justice Meadowlands Seminar 2020, Law, 2020
- Participated as a Speaker on CLE regarding child support changes following tax reform at the New Jersey Association of Justice's annual Boardwalk Seminar in Atlantic City on May 9th, Speaker, Child Support: What's Changed and What Hasn't, New Jersey Association of Justice, Matrimonial Law, 2019
- Served as a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) panelist for discussion of pet custody disputes in family law. , Speaker, Pets: Who Gets Custody? , New Jersey Association of Justice Boardwalk Seminar 2019, Legal, 2019
Office location for Joanna R. Adu
76 East Main Street
Somerville, NJ 08876
- Rising Stars: 2020 - 2024