Sterk Family Law Group is comprised of a team of individuals who collectively work together for the best interests of our clients. We understand that the journey through Family Law litigation has many components, including but not limited to, the Court process itself. Herein, we hope to give you a comprehensive overview of what to expect before, during, and after your case has been filed. To help you along your journey, our experienced team members will become your advocates, walking with you every step of the way. Everyone in our group will provide assistance to you with various elements of your case, as our unique team concept affords our clients the benefit of a virtual army of experienced and knowledgeable individuals all working together on your behalf. Sterk Family Law Group, P.C., includes the following team members:
Jennifer is an attorney whose primary area of practice is Family Law. Jennifer has experience handling support matters, including maintenance and child support, child related issues, relocation matters, financial and real estate issues, and other family law matters. Jennifer is actively involved in leadership with various bar associations. She also brings to her cases legal experience in foreclosures, short sales and loan modifications. Jennifer joined our team at Sterk Family Law Group, in 2016.
Amy is an attorney who currently focuses her practice in the area of Family Law. Amy’s passion is to assist clients during what is likely one of their most trying times. Amy appears in court to handle status calls, motions, arguments and trials. Amy’s background in business and experience working with various agencies for the benefit of children, makes her a unique asset in navigating all aspects of your case. Amy is an active member of Zonta International, an empowerment organization for women. Amy joined our team at Sterk Family Law Group in 2015.
As an attorney and Team Leader of our Family Law Group, Gwendolyn meets with potential clients and develops the initial strategy for each case by analyzing the needs of the client and assessing the most effective approach to accomplish their primary objectives and best interest. Gwendolyn plays an integral role in every client’s case, and directs each team member according to specific client needs on a daily basis. Gwendolyn regularly appears in court conducting pretrials, hearings and trials. Gwendolyn’s goal is to have fully informed clients who understand their options. The relationship formed with each client is key to the success of the case. Gwendolyn and the Family Law team believe in a holistic approach to servicing our clients and promote counseling for each in a manner that helps them move on with integrity and dignity. Gwendolyn successfully started her own law firm, Sterk Family Law Group in 2015.
Kelli Lardi is an attorney who originally joined our team as a law clerk at Sterk Family Law Group in December of 2015. She has had a strong interest in family law throughout her law school career, which was solidified after taking an advanced family law class, as well as participating in the family law practicum while at law school. She also participated in the Domestic Violence Clinic during her time at Valparaiso, where she honed her skills in client communication and was able to obtain experience advocating for her clients before a judge.
Ragan Pattison is a Family Law attorney who graduated from Joliet Catholic Academy and previously served as President of the Joliet Catholic Academy Alumni Association. She went on to be one of the few women that graduated from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina where she received both military training and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and American Government. She was elected to the Will County Board and to the Will County Forest Preserve in 2012 and was re-elected in 2016. Most recently, Ragan resigned as an elected official to take the position of the Chief of Staff for the Will County Board. Ragan joined the team at Sterk Family Law Group in 2017.
Joan has garnered nearly ten years of legal experience in family law. An avid traveler, who has lived in three countries, Joan fell in love with Chicago and settled down here permanently in 2016. She is a member of various bar associations throughout the greater Chicagoland area. As an attorney of our firm, Joan will be appearing in court to handle routine and contested matters and is a strong advocate for our clients both in and out of the courtroom. Joan joined our team in 2017.
Terry is an attorney whose primary area of practice at our office is Estate Planning and Probate. After earning his law degree during his service in the United States Air Force, Terry entered private practice. He has experience in real estate, estate planning, and civil litigation including handling decedent’s and guardianship estates for both minors and disabled adults. Terry also works with families to create their estate plan including Wills and Trusts. For those families which include a person with special needs, Terry works to create Special Needs trusts and will explore other tools available for unique family circumstances. Terry joined our team at Sterk Family Law Group in 2019.
Jackie is the managing paralegal of our Family Law Group, and Jackie may be your first contact as a new or returning client. Jackie is responsible for providing information to help guide clients through their family law related issues. As part of our team, Jackie may also initially meet with our potential clients to discuss office procedures, preliminary steps for filing an action and what to expect moving forward. Jackie develops a relationship with each client that will continue to grow throughout their entire case. Jackie also drafts court documents, conducts legal research, and assists our team with developing strategies and scenarios for settlement negotiations and an ultimate, final resolution or trial. Jackie has worked with Sterk Family Law Group since 1995.
Crystal is a paralegal with whom you may have frequent contact. Crystal’s role in the Family Law Group is that of client liaison, fielding a heavy volume of client phone calls throughout the day. Crystal develops a relationship with clients to help them understand the court process and to ensure that each client is fully informed about their case. Crystal assists in all aspects of a client’s litigation, from drafting initial pleadings to commence the action, to preparing, organizing and reviewing incoming and outgoing discovery. She also prepares matrimonial trial memorandums, drafts motions or petitions throughout the litigation, and prepares a case for trial or prove up. Crystal has worked with Sterk Family Law Group since 2003.
Amanda is a paralegal who focuses her efforts on complex cases which require a significant amount of investigation and attention to detail. Amanda works closely with clients to ensure that all financials and documents are up to date. She also drafts pleadings, motions and other Court documents. Additionally, she works very closely with the attorneys with regard to trial preparation. Amanda is a Member of the Illinois Paralegal Association, and has worked with Sterk Family Law Group since 2015.
Laura is a paralegal who focuses her efforts on thoroughly reviewing and investigating discovery answers and assets of the parties. She works with clients and the attorneys to ensure all avenues of the investigation of discovery answers and assets are complete. She also drafts various pleadings and motions during the course of family law cases and works closely with the attorneys to prepare a case for trial. Laura is a Member of the Illinois Paralegal Association, has been a paralegal for 18 years and has worked with the Sterk Family Law Group since 2019.
Nicole is the Docketing & Discovery Manager/legal assistant doing paralegal work with whom you will have frequent contact. She handles all forms of client communication. She coordinates correspondence to clients, manages our docketing system, oversees the Court schedule and relays important information such as results from Court or new case developments. She also fields questions or concerns from clients and ensures that the client’s requests are handled by the appropriate team member. Nicole has worked with Sterk Family Law Group since 2012.
Amy is a docketing clerk/legal assistant doing paralegal work with whom you may have frequent contact. She processes court orders and court related documents to clients and relays important information such as results from Court or new case developments in addition to working with the maintenance of our court schedule. She also assists our team with other projects as time allows. Amy has over 30 years of experience as a Family Law legal assistant and has worked with Sterk Family Law Group since 2018.
Arianna is a Discovery/legal assistant who you may have frequent contact with in order for her to gather and prepare the documents necessary for completion of Financial Affidavit forms. Holding a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice, Arianna has experience as a legal advocate and Deputy Clerk at the Will County Circuit Clerk’s office and has volunteered as a Domestic Violence/sexual assault advocate/counselor. Arianna joined our team in 2017 and her professional experience will be an asset while working with the team to process your case.
Jen is a Discovery/legal assistant doing paralegal work with whom you will have frequent contact at the beginning of your case. Jen is the initial contact to assemble the necessary information for all financial disclosures, a requirement in every case. In addition, Jen works with each client on discovery requests to assist in the gathering of relevant documents and prepares updates as needed. Jen has worked with Sterk Family Law Group since 2011.
Kelly Garver is the Business Development and Marketing Manager for Sterk Family Law. Often, as the first point of contact with our prospective clients, Kelly’s goal is to offer the understanding and support to provide affirmation of the services our firm has to offer. Professional and compassionate, Kelly provides our clients with honest and knowledgeable insights to guide them as they move forward in taking the first steps in the next chapters of their lives. With over a decade of professional experience in marketing, event planning, and business development, Kelly also serves as an ambassador for the professional development of our firm. Between participating in local and regional networking events and promoting the Sterk Family Law Group’s brand through various marketing initiatives, Kelly strives to build awareness and forge long-term relationships to share our mission with our local communities.
Monika re-joined our team full time in 2016 as a graphic designer/office assistant. She has previously worked both full and part with our group on various projects over the last 10 years. Monika prepares visual presentations by designing art and copy layouts and assists in concept planning. Monika received her undergraduate degree in Visual Communication and Graphic Design in 2015. Monika also does a variety of work for our office to ensure that it operates smoothly and efficiently.
Our team hires various part-time employees as Family Law Coordinators. The Coordinators assist in the day-to-day operations of the practice. They work side by side with team members on projects, document assembly, collation of records and other relevant tasks as needed.
Alyssa is our Receptionist as well a Legal Assistant. She helps keep our office running smoothly by providing a wide range of daily assistance to our clients and our entire team. She schedules appointments and telephone conference with clients, reviews and distributes faxes and emails, and coordinates our daily in office schedule. She will field the majority of calls coming into our office to ensure that all questions or concerns are directed to the appropriate team member. Alyssa joined our team in 2016.
Stephanie is a billing coordinator of our office and deals directly with clients to assist in devising a plan that works for both the client and our office in order to manage and resolve any remaining or current account balance with our firm. Stephanie also helps us maintain our records and assists when fees are sought during the course of litigation from the other party. She joined our team in 2017.
Roza is a special project coordinator for our Family Law Group. She has a passion to assist victims of domestic violence through difficult times and serious situations they are facing. Roza draws on the experience she gained while working at Guardian Angel Community Services to provide a unique, hands on perspective to our clients who have endured domestic abuse. She has also served both as a counselor and a Legal Advocate at the Will County Courthouse. Her previous experience as a Legal Advocate allows her to assist our group in providing vital information and resources for our clients who have struggled or are struggling in an abusive relationship.
Lauren is a legal coordinator for Sterk Family Law and she provides various levels of assistance to paralegals, legal assistants, and other members of our team as needed. Lauren assists with client communications, drafting pleadings and parenting agreements, processing court documents, organizing files and other general office duties as required. Lauren received her paralegal certification and her undergraduate degree in paralegal studies.
Robin is the accounting/billing coordinator for our office and has over 30 years of legal experience. Robin prepares all of the billing and performs all Juris accounting for the practice but she enjoys wearing many hats in the legal office. She has been working part-time with our firm since the inception of Sterk Family Law Group in 2015.
Duke Sterk is a Goldendoodle who joined Sterk Family Law Group in 2016 and was trained as a therapy dog for our clients and our team. He brings joy every day to everyone he greets. He is responsible to provide support, diversion, cuteness, and fun. Duke is a welcome addition to our office and our clients love him. He regularly attends our firm’s events and loves anyone willing to pet him.
As a therapy dog, Duke has a special place in his heart for children and seniors. Duke is also an author and currently collaborates with K.P. Lynne writing and telling stories for kids of all ages. Duke has a Facebook page where you can like and follow his story at Duke Sterk. He also is on Instagram at Duke_Sterk.
The last member of our group is you, the client. We will provide you with all the necessary information to understand your goals and objectives, as well as encourage you to take an active role in your litigation. Assisting our group with whatever element of your case is manageable for you will not only save time and money, but will also provide a necessary distraction from the emotional stressors that may arise. It is our goal not only to be your counsel, but to arm you with any and all resources you will need to move forward in a positive direction and to emerge stronger and more empowered than you ever thought you could be. We can do it together!