Although divorce can be one of life’s most distressing events, Sarah Zimmerman helps clients achieve the best outcome possible while attempting to minimize the financial and emotional impact of divorce. Building relationships, cultivating trust and focusing on solutions are hallmarks of Sarah’s approach.
Sarah excels in guiding clients through complex financial, emotional and custody issues. Her client-centered approach and her empathic, calming presence offer divorcing individuals much-needed support during this difficult time in their lives. Sarah forms close working relationships with her clients and is committed to the hard work of problem-solving with both sides, believing that a cooperative approach typically brings her clients’ matters to a quicker and better resolution.
Sarah utilizes all forms of dispute resolution, including Collaborative Law and mediation, to constructively resolve her client’s matter out-of-court. As a result, the majority of Sarah’s cases settle without the need for a trial. However, if Collaborative Law or mediation are not suitable for a client or the case will not settle out of court, Sarah is tenacious in pursuing her client’s goals, including litigating when necessary. Regardless of the divorce process chosen, Sarah, a skilled negotiator, advocate and litigator, ensures that her client’s specific needs and interests are addressed.
Sarah is also a trusted private and court-appointed mediator engaged by individual clients and family law attorneys. Sarah is known for her ability to constructively resolve difficult and seemingly intractable custody and financial issues through the mediation process.
Sarah believes that a good and durable divorce settlement is very much a “package”. Utilizing her keen analytical skills, she is adept at helping clients focus on their priorities and make informed decisions about what they and their families will need for the long-term. Moreover, as the mother of three children, Sarah understands the importance of keeping children’s best interests paramount and protected, in particular through minimizing conflict. In every case, Sarah strives to reach a fair and long-lasting outcome that will help clients avoid conflicts in the future, and most importantly, move forward and begin this new stage in their lives.
Named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the “Top Domestic Relations Lawyers” in the area, and recognized by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers and Bethesda Magazine, Sarah received her Juris Doctor With Honors in 1996 from the George Washington University. After law school, Sarah clerked for the Honorable James P. Salmon in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Prior to joining Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP in 2002, Sarah practiced at Crowell & Moring for five years in the fields of employment law and general litigation and was involved in pro bono domestic violence and custody matters in the District of Columbia Superior Court.
Sarah is a Board Member of the DC Academy of Collaborative Professionals and a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Practitioners as well as the DC and Montgomery County, Maryland Women’s Bar Associations.
- Compton v. Hutchins – Co-counsel with Jonathan Dana on precedent setting case clarifying the definition of joint custody in the District of Columbia.
- Ellis v. Bjorgung, Maryland Court of Special Appeals, 2010: Affirming default judgment by Montgomery County Circuit Court against Husband, including award of significant portion of World Bank Pension to Wife.
- The Best Lawyers in America® – Family Law (2010-2023)
- The Best Lawyers in America® – Family Law Mediation (2020-2023)
- The Best Lawyers in America® – Family Law Arbitration (2021-2023)
- The Best Lawyers in America® – Collaborative Law: Family Law (2023)
- Bethesda Magazine, Voted Best Family Law Practitioner (2020)
- Recognized as a Top-Rated Family Law Attorney in Washington, DC (2010-2021)
- Washingtonian Magazine, “Top Domestic Relations Lawyer”
- Washingtonian Magazine, Top Lawyer – Divorce and Family Law (2007, 2017-2022)
- Selected to the Washington, DC, Super Lawyers list – Family Law (2019-2022)
- Selected to the Washington, DC, Super Lawyers “Top 100 Lawyers” list – Family Law (2020-2022)
- Selected to the Washington, DC, Super Lawyers “Top 50 Women Lawyers” list – Family Law (2020-2022)
- Sarah J. Zimmerman, Co-Author, Domestic Relations Manual for the District of Columbia (2018 to present)
- Sarah J. Zimmerman, Tips for Putting Children First During Separation and Divorce (January 2013)
- Crowell & Moring LLP, Associate (1997-2002)