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About me

Paul A. Swiller, CWLS, has cared about children his entire life, and he decided early-on that he wished to spend his life seeking to ensure that youth have the opportunity and ability to maximize their potential and achieve their dreams. That goal led Mr. Swiller to U.C.L.A. where he was recognized as a National Merit Scholar, a Discover-A-Star Scholar, a Malcolm R. Stacey Scholar and a Shoninger Scholar, and spent a summer interning with the United States Department of Education.  At U.C.L.A., Mr. Swiller received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Policy Studies (he wanted to be the next great American president!), and, upon graduating, joined the national service organizationAmeriCorps to help fulfill unmet educational, socioeconomic, public safety, disaster relief, environmental needs in the western United States.  After AmeriCorps, Mr. Swiller earned a teaching credential and served as a Special Education teacher and athletic coach at a school for students with special needs.  At that school - where every student had educational issues and most were also involved with the juvenile dependency and delinquency systems - Mr. Swiller made the decision to become a lawyer to address these concerns.  

Mr. Swiller attended the University of California, Hastings College of the Law where he served as the Dan Bradley Fellow, an editor for the Race and Poverty Law Journal, a teaching assistant for Moot Court and Legal Research and Writing, a Street Law teacher at Juvenile Hall, a tutor with the Hastings Tenderloin Tutoring Program, a participant in both the Civil Justice Individual Representation Clinic (wherein he successfully appealed a homeless client's denial of social security disability benefits) and in the Civil Justice Small Claims Mediation Clinic, a co-creator of the Hastings Core Concentration Colloquium, and the president of the Hastings Indoor Soccer Club.

Upon graduating from law school and passing the California Bar Exam, Mr. Swiller began his legal career at the San Diego County Office of the Public Defender and then at the Dependency Legal Group serving as a child advocacy attorney for children in foster-care.  After thousands of clients, over one thousand trials, and seven years spent fighting for the best interest of foster youth, Mr. Swiller believed that there was a need for a legal office in Southern California, operated by lawyers knowledgeable in multiple fields, which would serve the interests of children and parents.  Thus, Tot Law was born.  


Currently, you will find Mr. Swiller at Tot Law fighting for his clients' rights, at the Court of Appeals for the 4th District of California where Mr. Swiller is appointed by the Court to represent children and parents in juvenile dependency appeals, and on the field coaching the Special Olympics San Carlos softball team.  He is a member of the San Diego Bar Association, the SDCBA Children at Risk Committee and the California Appellate Defense Counsel, and is also a volunteer for the Professional Alliance for Children.  In addition, Mr. Swiller has been designated a Child Welfare Law Specialist by the National Association of Counsel for Children - an organization accredited by the American Bar Association and the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.  Mr. Swiller is married to his law school sweetheart and has two beautiful children who remind him every day that a child's bright future is worth fighting for.  If he's not at the office then he's chasing his kids from one end of the yard to the other, and then back, and then back again, and then back again...


Languages spoken: English, Spanish

Practice areas


  1. Child Abuse: 20%
    10 years, 1 thousand cases
  2. Juvenile: 20%
    10 years, 1 thousand cases
  3. Guardianship: 15%
    10 years, 100 cases
  4. Child Custody: 15%
    10 years, 100 cases
  5. Other: 30%
  6. More 



Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

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Attorney endorsements

14 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Andres Y. Mejer

    I endorse this lawyer. He is an effective and determined advocate for kids. If you have a legal issues like child support, guardianship, or adoption call Paul first.


    Andres Mejer Immigration Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Ryan Thomas Mardock

    I have known Mr. Swiller for several years now. Paul is a dedicated and extraordinarily competent advocate. What has always impressed me the most about Paul is the personal concern and interest he exhibits for each and every client he represents. This is an especially important quality to have when you are working with minors. This area of practice requires a special “kind” of attorney. One that truly cares about the well being of those he represents. Paul Swiller is certainly that kind of attorney. I would highly recommend Paul.


    Ryan Mardock Federal crime Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Tot Law

1901 1st Ave., Second Fl.
San Diego, CA, 92101


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Child Welfare Law SpecializationNational Association of Counsel for Children2014
National Merit ScholarNational Society of Collegiate ScholarsN/A
Shoninger ScholarUCLAN/A
Malcolm R. Stacey FellowUCLAN/A
Discover-A-Star ScholarUCLAN/A
Dan Bradley FellowUC Hastings COLN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Owner / AttorneyTot Law2013 - Present
Contract AttorneyOffice of County Counsel, San Diego County2013 - 2013
Senior AssociateDependency Legal Group2010 - 2012
Minors' CounselSan Diego County Public Defender's Office2006 - 2010
Special Education TeacherThe Ofman Learning Center2001 - 2002
Corps MemberAmeriCorps2001 - 2001
Association namePosition nameDuration
National Association of Counsel for ChildrenMember, CWLS2014 - Present
San Diego County Bar Association, Family Law SectionAttorney Member2013 - Present
Super LawyersAttorney Member2013 - Present
Law GuruAttorney Member2013 - Present
San Diego County Bar Association, Children at Risk CommitteeAttorney Member2013 - Present
San Diego County Bar Association, Social Security Disability SectionAttorney Member2013 - Present
San Diego County Bar Association, Appellate Court CommitteeAttorney Member2013 - Present
San Diego County Bar FoundationAttorney Member2013 - Present
California Association of Defense CounselMember2013 - Present
Special Olympics Southern CaliforniaHead Coach2001 - Present
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of California, Hastings College of the LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2005
University of California - Los AngelesPolitical Science / Policy StudiesBA - Bachelor of Arts2001