Ellen does things differently. Her fee structure (at the time I engaged her) was a flat-rate, which made it easy for me to know what I was getting into. My situation was amicable, and yet divorce does things to people. My retirement plan was at risk, and Ellen is the sole reason I got to keep it without any compromise beyond what felt fair to me. You need an advocate who understands the psychology of other attorneys, who has experience in navigating complicated terrain, and who will bare her teeth when necessary.
She has strong social skills and is highly personable, which isn't common with divorce attorneys (disillusionment can mess with your head, I guess). She knows how to make light of things to remove worry, but can also flip to a more serious mode when it's appropriate (and necessary). I found it incredibly easy to communicate with her in person, over the phone, and through email. That trifecta is essential, as sometimes you have a pleasant meeting an attorney – only to then feel like you're speaking to someone entirely different over email.
The moment I realized I made the right choice in hiring her came during mediation (which is mandated in certain areas when you file for divorce). We made a more-than-reasonable offer, which was met with a ridiculous counter that only got more ridiculous. Ellen jumped in, set new ground rules for how the negotiations went, and I walked away with everything that I wanted. Had I been a more malicious person, there's no telling what deal we could have struck. I'm just thankful this part of my life has passed, and I'm appreciative that I had excellent legal counsel during such a tumultuous period.
She was referred to me by another respected attorney, and so I'd like to pass along the referral by saying that I would unequivocally recommend Ellen Ross.