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Alice Pak-Yan Cheng

Family Attorney at Walnut Creek, CA

3.7   6 reviews
  • Licensed for 13 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2010
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Alice

Learn Alice’s areas of practice.

  • My approach to practicing law is practical.  I take a close look at each individual matter, and work with clients to determine the logical approach.
  • I am settlement-oriented, but not afraid of fighting for your rights in court.  
  • I strive not to sugar coat the bad news, as clients do not pay me to lie to them.  Instead, I prefer to spend my time working on workable solutions for clients. 
  • I enjoy working with clients to help them get through one of the most difficult times in their lives.  
  • I especially enjoy watching the transition my clients go through as they are making huge, positive changes in their lives.  
  • Please remember that anonymous online reviews do not always tell the whole story.  If you want to know more about me and my approach to practicing family law, please directly contact me.  I look forward to hearing from you.


Law Offices of Vanessa Candelaria, P.C.
1981 N. Broadway Ste 440
Walnut Creek, CA, 94696

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3.7 / 5.0
  6 customer reviews
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1 Star
Posted by Jayme | September 28, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Hands down... AMAZING ATTORNEY!!!
Alice is by far an amazing attorney!!! I could not have been happier with her service. Alice is very trust worthy and knowledgeable. I had hired her for my divorce with child custody. I was recommended to her firm because of their experience with domestic abuse. When I first spoke with Alice, before hiring her, she was very thorough in my options in moving forward. She did not try and “sell” me on herself but more instead kept it real with what the law allows and how we could make those options work for me. I ended up working with Alice over 2 years to get my case settled. It could have been settled sooner, however the other party did their best to drag it out. With all that I was up against with taking my case to trial, Alice was absolutely what I needed. She wasn’t trying to charge me for things just because she could. She was very straight forward and honest about every step along the way. She never tried to guide me in a direction I didn’t want to go or make me settle for something I didn’t want. She came to every court hearing professionally presentable, well prepared and knowledgeable of my case. Her knowledge of the law and simple common sense helped expose the facts which put the case in my favor time and time again. During our trials and meetings with the judge, Alice was always so well prepared that it made opposing counsel look like a joke. The manner in which Alice speaks to people is by far the most helpful for my case. During the trial, Alice showed her persistence to expose the truth of the matter and didn’t take no for an answer. She is a bulldog when it comes to fighting for what is right! I never walked out of a meeting wishing Alice had done more because she had already done it. She thought of everything and would take my thought and opinions to the tables. Alice was always up to speed with the latest law changes and current cases taking place. She knows when to reference them in order to show similar cases and their outcomes. Alice clearly does her homework on your case as well as the other attorney she is up against. Not once during my case, did I ever feel I wasn’t going to get what I wanted. Alice always kept things open and honest. She never gave me false hopes. She was always straight forward and honest! (Which is hard to say about lawyers) The staff at Law offices of Tracey Wapnick was tremendously helpful as well. Every time I needed something, they were very responsive and able to get me answers. When calling, they knew what the status of my case was and what was needed to be done. I didn’t have to explain any details outside of stating my name. I felt very comfortable with all of their staff and felt I was in great hands. Hopefully I never need to hire Alice again but if I did, she would be my first call. I would recommend Alice to anyone needing representation for a divorce, restraining order or child custody. My family and friends that saw me through this whole situation were just as impressed with Alice’s services as well.
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Posted by anonymous | March 27, 2014
Obviously sour grapes.. Ailce is wonderful
I felt I had to respond after I read the poor review posted here which is so obviously written by an opposing party who had their plate cleaned by Alice. Alice represented me when she was with another firm in Martinez and she was responsive, kind and most of all, practical. I felt that at all times, Alice was telling me the truth and not sugar coating any elements of the very difficult custody battle that I was facing. Me and my children are now happy and safe thanks to the hard work of Alice.
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Posted by Lara | January 2, 2014
Compassionate Attorney
Alice Cheng is very kind, understanding, and knowledgeable. She was very professional in helping me out with a contentious custody divorce. Alice deftly handled the opposing counsel who was simply inundating my case with superfluous, unsubstantiated, unenforceable, illogical motions and nonsensical responses. Alice helped me understand the family court and that opposing counsel was only interested in muddying the water and acting NOT in the best interest of my child, only in the interest of enacting my soon to be ex-husband's promised revenge. I can heartily and sincerely recommend Alice to any spouse interested in a straight talking, honest, and supportive counsel who is interested in you being successful and not the bottom line of enriching her purse
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Response from Alice Cheng January 3, 2014
Thank you for your kind words. I wish you and your family the best, and hope that your matter will be completely resolved soon.
Posted by Alan | July 22, 2013
Alice helped me on a support issue and was very helpful. Thanks for your hard work
Response from Alice Cheng July 26, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. I really enjoyed working with you on resolving the issues you faced. Please let us know if we can be of further service to you.
Posted by anonymous | June 14, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Bad experience
I hired Ms.cheng for Child custody through her law firm "Law Offices of Vanessa Candelaria". I am very dissatisfied with the service provided by this attorney because I found her to lack the required knowledge and skills to handle custody cases, every piece of advice she gave was proven to be wrong. She was not collaborative throughout the process when I sent her details about my case she overlooks them or pushes them back which made the communication with her very hard and unpleasant. She lacks commitment she Showed up late to the Hearing and unprepared, she was very late in sending an important document to the court although she had enough time to send it earlier. She was severely overcharging me (Double the initial retainer amount) with some unrelated tasks that she claims she did work on, that she did not ask me or involve me about, and when I challenged her to provide evidence she refused to do so. She lacks compassion and empathy she only wants to drag the case so that she can charge more money. I TERMINATED her services after seeing her work and I didn't feel confident about her handling my case and she failed to give any positive results, I am working with a new attorney that is handling my case much better. I DO NOT recommend this attorney based on my experience, please save yourself thousands of dollars and find a better attorney.
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Response from Alice Cheng June 14, 2021
Good morning: First, please know that I am always disappointed to hear that a client feels that expectations are not met. Because of the rules of ethics, attorneys are prevented from responding to posts such as these in detail when it comes to reviews posted online such as this one. To the extent that I can, I will respond by only providing information which is either public knowledge or is revealing information that is personal to me. I was not late to a hearing; I always show up early. The court was having technical difficulties, as more than one person complained that they could not get into the Zoom room at the same that that I was trying to get in. I took the necessary steps to contact the court and continued to log in and out of the room until I was finally admitted. It is especially disappointing to be accused of not being committed when I continue to work on clients' cases while on the first overnight trip that I took in a year. Also, our firm works as a team to ensure that tasks are completed. For example, when my father passed away earlier this year after his 1+ year battle with cancer, my team lifted me up by making sure that we covered all of my cases. I also often worked from the hospital or my parents' home during that time. Generally speaking, here are a few more reminders that I can provide as it is the same no matter what case is involved: -Attorneys cannot completely control what happens at court. Sometimes our clients will pay us to prepare declarations and pleadings, only for it to appear at the time of hearing that the court has not read them. Or, the court has a completely different idea of what is on the calendar for a particular hearing date than what the parties understood. It is highly frustrating that either scenario can happen, but it happens. If the court decides to continue your hearing for another date, that is the court's decision. -Attorneys cannot never make promises for how much it will cost for a case to be completed, unless it is a flat fee arrangement. Family law matters tend not to be, as attorneys have no way of knowing how the opposing party, counsel, or court will act in a case. At the end of my consultations, I only make quotes for retainers. Our fee agreement is also very clear with these expectations. As a small business supporting our employees' families, we must seek payment for our services. -Put simply, people hire attorneys so that the attorney can complete the tasks that are necessary towards bringing your case to a resolution. Attorneys must be provided some autonomy to do so without having to check with clients for every single small task that needs to be completed. At every step, I am making procedural and technical decisions for how to proceed. Attorneys must exercise independent professional judgment and to render candid advice. The clients must then consider the advice carefully, and with counsel, decide how to proceed. -Finally, one of the most important parts of hiring an attorney is building a trusting relationship. This process requires both the client and attorney to take a hard look at the facts presented in a case and make the best determinations that one can given difficult circumstances. I always have open conversations with clients about their case concerns. Hiring an attorney is by no means a guarantee of results, but it is always a goal of our firm to get the best results possible given the circumstances with which we are presented. I pride myself in being an ethical attorney who is committed to helping families through what may be one of the most difficult times of their lives. I believe that many of my clients and colleagues would agree. For the writer: I am glad to hear that you have hired an attorney that you are happy with. Good luck to you and your family, and take care.
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Posted by anonymous | January 26, 2014
i am thoroughly and completely DISSATISFIED with the services provided by ALICE CHENG in my divorce case. I found her to be lacking the proper skills and knowledge to handle any DIVORCE CASE. She was given evidence supporting my case however, she did not present this evidence to the court. She has no ideal how to SETTLE A CASE. Based on what I experienced I strongly urge anyone to NOT HIRE THIS ATTORNEY TO REPRESENT YOU.... I can definitely say in y case that she did not have the knowledge or even the basic skills as an attorney to represent me properly and I post this review in hope that no one else experiences this same amount of unprofessional service that I received.
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Response from Alice Cheng January 27, 2014
As you have chosen to remain anonymous and provide no specific details as to my apparent shortcomings, I am sorry to hear that you feel this way. I encourage you to contact me via email at [email protected] so that you can tell me directly what you are dissatisfied with. I encourage clients to be openly and directly communicate with me, as opposed to stating their concerns at an anonymous forum such as Avvo. Not only does it not give me a chance to respond fairly (as I can only guess as to who you are), it also does not give me the opportunity to improve my services to current and future clients. It is extremely important to me that I continue to grow as an attorney, but I cannot do so if I do not have specific feedback from clients. If you truly have constructive feedback for me, then I welcome your thoughts via email. I look forward to hearing from you.
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Contact for Details


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Senior Associate Attorney
  • Law Offices of Vanessa Candelaria, P.C.
  • 2019 - Present
  • Associate Attorney
  • Law Offices of Tracey C. Wapnick
  • 2013 - 2019
  • Associate Attorney
  • Whatley Law Firm
  • 2012 - 2013
  • Associate
  • Celerity Consulting, Inc.
  • 2011 - 2012
  • Deputy District Attorney
  • Sacramento County District Attorney's Office
  • 2010 - 2011
  • Legal Research Assistant
  • Sacramento County District Attorney's Office
  • 2010 - 2010
  • Legal Intern
  • Sacramento County District Attorney's Office
  • 2008 - 2010
View all work experience


  • UC Davis School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2010
  • Univ of California Davis
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2006

Sample of Legal Cases

  • San Mateo County
  • San Francisco County
  • Contra Costa County
View all legal cases


  • Contra Costa County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Board Member
  • 2019 - Present
  • Alameda County Bar Association, Barristers Section
  • Alternate
  • 2014 - Present
  • Alameda County Family Law Association
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2013 - Present
  • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area
  • Member
  • 2013 - Present
  • Earl Warren American Inn of Court
  • Member
  • 2013 - Present
  • State Bar of California, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • N/A
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Cantonese

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Service Award - New Lawyer
  • Alameda County Bar Association
  • 2017
  • Frank and Margaret Johns Alumni Association Award
  • UC Davis School of Law
  • 2010
  • Pro Bono Program Certificate
  • UC Davis School of Law
  • 2010
  • Public Service Law Program Certificate
  • UC Davis School of Law
  • 2010
  • Diversity Bar Fellowship
  • Sacramento County Bar Association
  • 2008
View all awards

Attorney endorsements

Received (13)
Given (27)
Endorse Alice
Family Attorney | Aug 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Alice for over 10 years. In that time, she has proven herself to be a great family law attorney and an active member of the local legal community. She is a wonderful advocate for her clients and is highly respected by all. I recommend her without reservations."
Family Attorney | Jul 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Alice is not only a highly regarded family law attorney. She is also someone who is easy to talk to and communicates well with others, which I witnessed first hand when I worked with her at a summer program for prospective law school students. I also admire her commitment to the legal community as she is an active member of the Alameda County Bar Association. I highly endrose Alice."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Oct 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Alice is a passionate attorney and a great asset to our community. She provides exceptional representation to her clients."
Unknown Attorney | May 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Alice is a fierce advocate for her clients with extensive knowledge in all areas of family law. I have had the pleasure of working along side, and against, Alice on several cases and would recommend her to anyone."
Family Attorney | Apr 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse and recommend Ms. Cheng. SHe is an extremely experienced Cantonese speaking family law attorney, with a background in criminal prosecution, which is a huge advantage as she knows how the courts truly function. She also handles each case with great care and will zealously represent you. I endorse Alice Cheng."
Family Attorney | Dec 11
Relationship: Co-worker
"I have known Alice since law school, and I have worked with her for over two years. I have always known her to be knowledgeable, professional and caring as an attorney. I highly endorse Alice Cheng if you need a family law attorney."
Family Attorney | Mar 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Feb 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Oct 17
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Oct 02
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have has the distinct pleasure of working with Alice, she is extremely knowledgeable and has a passion for Family Law. I will be recommending all my clients with Family matters to her."
Unknown Attorney | Aug 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Alice since 2007 and have always known her to be bright, hard-working and approachable. I strongly endorse her."
Unknown Attorney | Jun 12
Relationship: Other
"I knew Alice throughout lawschool and she has always been impressive. She is a very smart and earnest professional. I would trust her with my legal representation, and endorse her as an attorney for anyone who is looking."
Unknown Attorney | Jun 11
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
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Walnut Creek Family Lawyer Alice Pak-Yan Cheng
Alice Pak-Yan Cheng
Family Attorney
Walnut Creek, CA
Licensed for 13 years