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Sarah Novak Nesbitt

Divorce and separation Attorney at Columbia, MD

5.0   9 reviews
  • Licensed for 13 years
    State MD
    Acquired 2009
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Sarah

Learn Sarah’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation

  2. Child custody

  3. Family
    Includes modification and contempt proceedings and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

  4. Adoption

  5. Education

Sarah Novak Nesbitt is the Managing Attorney of Family Law at the Family Legal Advocacy Group, L.L.C.  Prior to that position, Sarah was an associate with Weinberg & Schwartz, L.L.C.  Sarah’s practice focuses on collaborative divorce, advising clients in mediation, representation of children in contested cases, estate planning, adoption, guardianship of children, and litigation. Sarah has been an at-large board member for the Howard County Chapter of the Women’s Bar Association since 2010, is a regular volunteer at the Family Law Clinic at the Circuit Court for Howard County, and is a member of the Howard County Collaborative Professionals, the Howard County Bar Association, and the Maryland State Bar Association.

Sarah graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2009, where she won the Maryland Public Interest Law Project Pro Bono Student of the Year award for her work in starting a pro bono project for law students in partnership with Project HEAL through the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service and Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. While in law school, Ms. Nesbitt worked as a volunteer with domestic violence victims through the House of Ruth and focused her academic work on courses such as Domestic Violence and the Law, Children and the Law, Children and Divorce, Mediation in Family Law, and Families, Contracts, and Status. Sarah’s work in law school also focused on alternative dispute resolution options for families, including collaborative law. As an undergraduate student, Sarah studied family dynamics and infant and child development, and she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with degrees in psychology and sociology. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Nesbitt worked as a full time volunteer teacher at a scholarship school for low-income middle school boys in Baltimore City. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, Sarah was named as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for her work in family law.

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Family Legal Advocacy Group
9256 Bendix Rd.
Suite 307
Columbia, MD, 21045


5.0 / 5.0
  9 customer reviews
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Posted by anonymous | July 18, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
My Saving Grace
I was referred to Sarah by another reputable lawyer to represent me in the collaboration process for my divorce. As soon as I met her, I knew she was the one I wanted to be by my side during one of the most stressful and emotional roller coasters of my life. Sarah was not only extremely smart but she made me feel like she was a friend I had had my entire life. Very easy to talk to, always responsive and on top of things. I would have never gotten through the past year if it hadn't been for her patience and kindness. I know you aren't supposed to miss your lawyer, but I am going to miss her.
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Posted by anonymous | June 29, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Intelligence, Professionalism & Commitment
The system is fractured, the process a labyrinth. However, Sarah Novak Nesbitt helped me to navigate a challenging support dispute and get the best possible arrangement for my children and myself. She understood the issues and could distill them to a logical, winnable argument. Well-prepared, we entered court on separate occasions and Sarah's organizational skills and thought processes delivered convincing arguments that rose above the lies and negative commentary from a much-less professional opponent. I am proud of the way we kept our heads high and did not waver in our approach. My bottom line was always about protecting my time with the children and lessening the impact of a high conflict divorce, and far less about monetary considerations. Sarah fought for all elements to ensure that we would not end up back in court in twelve or eighteen months time, again. I have cycled through several attorneys in this incredibly difficult journey, and Sarah is the ONLY one who I can honestly say really cared about me, my children and our future. Thank you Sarah!
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Posted by anonymous | November 11, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Perhaps among the best in her field in this area
I hired Ms. Sarah Novak Nesbitt recently to represent me in my separation and child custody case. I did not end up going to the court hence cannot evaluate her performance in front of a judge. I strongly recommend Ms. Novak Nesbitt especially if one intends to settle her/his case rather than contest it. In negotiating my case with the opposing parties she "spoke softly and carried a big stick.” She was detailed oriented when discussing issues, reviewing documents/letters, and communicating with the client and the other lawyers. Ms. Novak Nesbitt did not return my calls or respond to my emails in a timely manner. However, she just expanded her office staff and hired another lawyer to assist her. Sarah’s legal fees were very reasonable and compatible. Considering different factors such as quality of deliverables, legal knowledge, cost, and negotiation skills, perhaps Ms. Novak Nesbitt is among the best in her field in this area.
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Posted by Janine | January 6, 2015
A Fantastic Lawyer Who Truly Cares About Her Clients
This sounds so corny, but when I think about how to describe Sarah I immediately think of the movie Jerry Maguire. At the end of the movie when Jerry and Rod are celebrating after the big game, a player from a different team asks his agent "Why don't we have that kind of relationship?". I can picture people saying that when they see Sarah waiting outside a court room with her client. She is honest, straightforward, caring, and has integrity. She has sound judgement based off of extensive experience in family law and is also extremely intelligent. I have been through a lot with Sarah, and I believe that she truly cares about doing what is best for the people who she represents. Sarah was the third attorney who I worked with during my very ugly divorce and child custody dispute, and she was the first attorney who was actually able to help me. She made sure I understood what I could reasonably expect as an outcome whenever we discussed my options, and she didn't placate me. Sarah has the unique ability to get right to the point and tell it " like it is" while also being sensitive and considerate, which means that she isn't wasting time and racking up needless billable hours. Since she is a parent herself, she can relate to her clients' sometimes desperate desire to do everything they can for their kids, so she doesn't minimize the pain and heartache they are experiencing. Instead she shows compassion as she helps her clients stay as calm and rational as possible while navigating the often unpleasant court system. I would absolutely recommend Sarah to anyone in need of a family law attorney.
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Posted by Jack | May 1, 2014
I was referred to Sarah by a friend of a friend because I really had no idea what I was doing in looking for a divorce lawyer (I had initially tried to do everything myself). I must say that the one bright spot out of my divorce was the work of Sarah. She not only looked after my needs but also of what was best for my two young boys. While I'm sure she has tried hundreds if not thousands of divorce cases, however, she truly made it feel like my case was important to her and that she was working exclusively on mine. I know that isn't true because of how professional, compassionate and organized she was she must get referrals from previous clients all the time. While I don't wish a divorce on anyone as it is an extremely stressful and sad time, Sarah was the one constant that I could depend on throughout the whole process. Anytime I called she either answered my call then or if she was with another client or in court she would get back to me within the hour. I cannot stress enough how happy I am with her work. My case was "ripe" on March 31st and I was divorced on April 1st. Every step along the way she kept me informed of what was going on and where I needed to be and at what time. I would recommend Sarah without any reservations to my best friend, relative, colleague, or anyone with whom I had respect for and cared about. She was a Godsend
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Posted by Amy | March 10, 2013
Collaborative Divorce
Sarah represented me for my Collaborative Divorce case. Logically, I accepted the process but emotionally it was very difficult. Sarah kept in constant contact and skillfully assisted me through the process. I can confidently say that I came through the ordeal better than I could have hoped and gained much confidence in successfully supporting my family.
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Posted by Tom | February 12, 2013
Sarah Novak Nesbitt: Distinguishing Characteristics
Sarah Novak Nesbitt: Distinguishing Characteristics : . Exceptional professionalism and knowledge of Family Law. Experienced. . Genuine interest and practice of keeping client fees contained. . Provide a realistic picture of what you need to know versus what you want to hear ( asset versus income issue) . Ability to quickly and accurately assess your situation and provide a best case, worst case and most likely case scenario ( in my case they preformed better than their most likely case scenario). . Will willingly & actively pursue an issue on you behalf even though Sarah may assess it has a high risk of succeeding . . Personable & Engaging. Emotionally Intelligent. Ability to work with a wide variety of people & personalities. . I wouldn't think twice about engaging Sarah again, if needed. I would highly recommend her to anyone. .Given my considerable experience with family law professionals Sara has a distinct competitive advantage to many family law practitioners.
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Posted by John | January 4, 2013
Thank you Sarah!
Sarah's work was excellent. I had a very difficult divorce case, financially complex, hampered with many dramatic events. Sarah has the ability to look at multiple aspects of the case, from her social worker background. She sees the legal, psychological aspects, family, financial, and strategic concerns. She keeps the client well informed and up to date regarding the next steps in the process. Her ability to write and plan are excellent. Getting divorced is a very painful and causes a lot of fear. I was confident in Sarah's legal experience and abilities to guide me through this transformation. By the way, my life my is great now! I would highly recommend Sarah as your attorney.
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Posted by Julie | January 4, 2013
Sara Nesbitt, highly recommended.
I began working with Sarah Nesbitt's firm when she was a paralegal, waiting for her bar results. She handled much of the "behind the scenes" of my my complicated divorce case that involved property settlement, child support, and child access schedules. Upon passing the bar exam, she took over the majority of my case and I always felt comfortable, well informed, well represented and safe that my best interests (and more so, my children's) were her primary focus. I never felt that it was about her billable hours and often, she would discuss with me the approach that would be less expensive. While going to court was an option in a couple of circumstances, Sarah helped me weigh the pros and cons and avoid what would have been additional expenses. Due to complications and my ex changing lawyers, my case continued with Sarah's firm on and off for about 2 1/2 years. I would highly recommend her to anyone going through a separation and/or divorce in need of legal representation.
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AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Adjunct Professor of Children and Divorce
  • University Of Maryland School Of Law
  • 2015 - Present
  • Managing Attorney of Family Law
  • Family Legal Advocacy Group, L.L.C.
  • 2014 - Present
  • Associate Attorney
  • Weinberg & Schwartz, L.L.C.
  • 2009 - 2014
  • Law Clerk
  • Weinberg & Schwartz, L.L.C.
  • 2008 - 2009
View all work experience


  • University of Maryland School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2009
  • University of Notre Dame
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2004


  • Divorce Roundtable of Montgomery County
  • Secretary
  • 2014 - Present
  • Howard County Women's Bar Association
  • Vice President
  • N/A
  • Howard County Collaborative Practice
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Howard County Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Women's Bar Association of Maryland
  • Member
  • N/A
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Baltimore Finest 2014
  • Baltimore City Paper
  • 2014
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2013
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2012
  • Pro Bono Student of the Year
  • Maryland Public Interest Law Project
  • 2008
  • Leadership Scholar
  • University of Maryland School of Law
  • 2006
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Presentation
  • Collaborative Law
  • 2010

Attorney endorsements

Received (7)
Given (10)
Endorse Sarah
Family Attorney | Oct 22
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Sarah served as a best interest attorney for our client. From the beginning and throughout the difficult case she was thorough, responsive, and always kept the best interests of the children at the forefront. I have also referred several clients to Sarah for post-divorce retirement orders. It is always a pleasure to work with Sarah."
Family Attorney | Feb 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Sarah is an experienced, knowledgeable and thoughtful family law attorney. I recommend her for anyone in need of legal counsel."
Unknown Attorney | Feb 12
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Sarah is one of those family law attorneys that has the rare ability to immediately see right to the heart of the matter and assist her clients reach a resolution that is best for the client and the children. Sarah is a tough litigator when she has to be, but simultaneously reasonable and family-focused. Sarah is an excellent representative of children, with experience and background in child development that not all family attorneys have. I highly recommend Sarah for all types of family law cases, but especially mediation/settlement/collaborative and Best Interest Attorney work."
Family Attorney | Jul 17
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I have had the pleasure of working with Sarah on a number of cases. She is always polite and respectful of myself and my client, while remaining a zealous advocate for her client."
Family Attorney | Jul 08
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Sarah is an extremely hardworking attorney who will advocate for her client's best interest without forgetting to uphold the integrity of the legal profession. It is always a pleasure to know that she is representing opposing party in a case."
Family Attorney | Feb 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Sarah Nesbitt is among the most knowledgeable and talented family law attorneys I know. She is a caring and zealous advocate on behalf of her clients. I highly recommend this attorney."
Family Attorney | Jan 30
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I am pleased to endorse Sarah. Sarah is an excellent attorney. Her advocacy, attention to detail, and comprehensive approach makes her an outstanding advocate for her clients."
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Columbia Divorce and separation Lawyer Sarah Novak Nesbitt
Sarah Novak Nesbitt
Divorce and separation Attorney
Columbia, MD
Licensed for 13 years