Mary S. Pence

Mary S. Pence2022-09-09T10:06:49-04:00

Mary S. Pence

Senior Partner

  • 202.466.8960
Mary S. Pence

As clients navigate the turbulent waters of divorce, they need clarity as to where they want to go and they need resources to help them get there.  Mary assists clients in developing a “vision” of where they want to be in the future, and in putting in place the “pieces” necessary to achieve that vision.

For the client who feels overwhelmed, beleaguered, or diminished, Mary excels in helping to develop strategies and skills to address those feelings and in achieving the client’s unique desired outcome. Understanding the very real and raw emotions of clients in divorce, Mary encourages them to balance their feelings with actions that will lead to long-term benefits for them and their children.

Mary is particularly skillful and creative in getting a divorce process underway which embodies the client’s values for the divorce – values such as dignity, integrity and respectfulness – as well as at keeping the needs of the children first and foremost in the process. She recognizes that divorce affects the whole person and is adept at bringing resources from the financial, mental health, estate planning and other professions to address all of a client’s needs.

Mary has been a leader in bringing the Collaborative Divorce model to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and in supporting excellence in the practice of Collaborative Law in this area.

Mary is a tough, take charge advocate for her client in any process, and brings a sophisticated knowledge of complex financial matters to her practice.  She prides herself on being highly organized and thorough in her preparation at all stages of the client’s matter. Clients appreciate her zeal and perseverance in pursuing all available remedies to achieve results tailored to the client’s particular situation. Typically beginning the divorce process feeling off-balance and uncertain, clients complete it with a sense of empowerment thanks to Mary’s relentless efforts on their behalf.


  • The Best Lawyers in America® – Family Law (2012-2023)
  • Best Lawyers® – Women in the Law (2011-2012, 2013, 2016-2017)
  • Selected to the Washington, DC, Super Lawyers list –Family Law (2007-2021)
  • Top Women Lawyers in the Northeast (2012, 2015, 2016)
  • Top Nine Women Family Law Lawyers in Washington, DC (2016)
  • Washingtonian Magazine, Top Lawyer – Divorce and Family Law (1995, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
Mary S. Pence
“I encourage divorcing clients to look to the future and determine what will be important to them, what their children will remember.”



  • J.D., The George Washington University Law School, cum laude (1984)
  • M.S., University of Michigan (1971)
  • B.S., University of Michigan, Phi Beta Kappa (1967)

Bar/Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Professional Memberships / Affiliations

  • D.C. Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Founding Member in 2005; Board Member – 2005 to present; President – 2013-2014
  • D.C. Bar, Member; Family Law Section, Member
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Member – 2004 to present; Domestic Violence Task Force – 2013 to present
  • Maryland Collaborative Practice Council, Founding Member; Board Member
  • Maryland State Bar Association, Member; Family Law Section, Member
  • Montgomery County Bar Association, Member; Family Law Section, Member