Going through a divorce/permanent separation is obviously one of the most traumatic things that can happen to anyone. When you are in the midst of all that pain and suffering, you don't always think clearly and most of us don't have the legal know-how to wade through everything that must be done. Lawyers are expensive, of course, but a good one is worth every penny.
Colleen was recommended to me by a friend, after my first set of lawyers basically just disappeared (5 week vacations, nobody covering, things happening in my case that they were not on top of, etc). I was surprised to hear that she wasn't with a firm, but was a sole practitioner operating out of her house. Within the first three days of working with her, I realized that this is an immense benefit - she responds directly to clients (i.e. no middle layer of paralegal/assistant), often in the evening or on weekends as well as during the workday. She keeps her client load reasonable, so that she can be available to those who have hired her. She communicates both by phone and email, so it is easy to reach her.
Colleen's knowledge of case law is towering, and she is one of the smartest people I have ever met. She outflanked the opposing counsel on so many issues, I can't even count them. I would not want to be sitting on the other side of the mediation table from her!
Lastly, although she is a tough cookie and formidable legal battler, Colleen has a core of empathy and humanity, as well as a fabulous sense of humor, that helped me get through on so many occasions. I often wonder how I would have managed without her - she shepherded me through the most horrendous, wrenching time of my life and I feel so indebted to her. I could not recommend her more highly.