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The Women of Archer
The ladies of the law firm’s Matrimonial and Family Law Department discuss their practice philosophies and what they find most rewarding about working with their clients.

by Staff

Archer & Greiner, one of the region’s most recognized law firms, offers vast resources and expertise for an array of legal matters. One of its most distinguishing features is its family law department, which is equipped to handle divorce, custody/parenting time, child support, college contribution, alimony, relocation, adoption and domestic violence. As a litigation alternative, it also offers mediation or arbitration.  

But it’s the people of the family law department who are positively impacting their clients’ lives, several of whom are women who have not only résumés full of accomplishments, but also the essential human qualities to best support their clients during a trying time. Meet these outstanding women and accomplished family law attorneys:

Stephanie J. Zane, Partner
A partner and the Family Law Department Chair, Zane joined Archer over 20 years ago. She attended St. Joseph’s University followed by Rutgers University-Camden School of Law, and clerked in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden County, Family Part, prior to joining the firm. Zane’s decision to dedicate her career to the practice of family law was guided by her desire to help people problem-solve through a difficult situation. “Being a family law attorney is never boring. Every case is different, which requires attention to detail and the ability to encourage rational decision-making by a client during times when emotions are very high. Allowing a client to have a safe environment to share his or her story is essential to the foundation of the attorney/client relationship. Being able to then understand the goals of the client while ensuring that realistic expectations are established is a skill that comes through years of experience,” says Zane.   

Jennie A. Owens, Partner
Owens has been with Archer for almost 15 years. She not only handles family law cases but also adoptions, appeals and domestic violence cases. A graduate of Rutgers University and Rutgers Law School, Owens is currently a partner at Archer. “Getting a divorce can be the most difficult process most people go through. Understanding a client’s goals right from the start and providing them with a plan to achieve those goals is crucial. Helping people through a very difficult time and helping them meet their goals is very rewarding.” Owens saw the need for empathetic attorneys during her own parents’ divorce early on as a child, and experience has shown her that she needs to be ready to tackle anything that comes her way. “I have to be able to pivot and put out fires when necessary all while continuing to meet deadlines and time constraints.” As for adoptions, that is Owens’ favorite part of her job: “Seeing families finally come together is extremely rewarding.” 

Marie E. Lihotz, Of Counsel
Lihotz served more than 20 years with the New Jersey judiciary and brings over 43 years of experience to her clients. After her time as a judge, Lihotz worked in alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation. “It was my job to work as a neutral facilitator and get parties to calmly consider resolutions without spending the time and emotion associated with litigation.” Lihotz adds that it’s very important to truly listen and to understand both sides and their objectives, and then make assessments to find the best course of action for all parties involved. “This requires knowledge of the law, a practical view of reaching a goal, taking a hard look at client expectations and patience. Divorce is a process, focused on information-gathering vital to understanding interests.” Lihotz says she is surrounded by amazing people at Archer who all strive to provide their clients with dependable overall services addressing all their legal needs. 

Tara L. Hanna, Associate
Hanna attended American University and Rutgers University School of Law, and has been with Archer for almost 10 years. While she says family law is not without its challenges, Hanna loves having a job where she can interact with clients regularly and establish close relationships with them. “Empathy, patience, creativity and being able to communicate effectively are important qualities a family law attorney should possess. I tell some of my clients that I am a working parent, too, and can understand the range of emotions that come along with the divorce process. I try to establish trust from the very beginning and let clients know that I will be a good listener and advocate for them but I never make promises I cannot keep. Helping clients see the light at the end of the tunnel and having them realize a new beginning is on the horizon is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.”             

Archer & Greiner, P.C.  
1025 Laurel Oak Road, Voorhees
(856) 795-2121 |

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 12.
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