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Shelley L. Brandt

Family Attorney at Olympia, WA

2.0   14 reviews
  • Licensed for 31 years
    State WA
    Acquired 1993
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Shelley

Learn Shelley’s areas of practice.


Cordes Brandt, PLLC, has been helping people through tough challenges for many years. It may feel as if circumstances are out of your control and this may be the first time in your life that you need to turn to a lawyer for help. We completely understand that the stress can be overwhelming. Turn to us for help.

Our focus is on helping you get the outcome that is right for you and your family. If you are seeking compassionate, honest legal representation from a law firm that has a proven record of hard work and successful outcomes, you can trust us to exceed your expectations.


Distinguished Peer Review Rating


Cordes Brandt PLLC
914 7th Ave SE
Olympia, WA, 98501-1548


2.0 / 5.0
  14 customer reviews
Posted by anonymous | November 20, 2014
Exceptional Family Law Attorney
I have worked with Ms. Brandt on numerous cases as a guardian ad litem. Even when my findings are not in her client's favor, she has treated me with respect and maintained her professionalism in and out of the courtroom. She is astute, timely, tenacious and fair, and one of our county's very finest family law attorneys.
Posted by anonymous | February 12, 2015
Came through for me in a pinch
I had an ongoing court case that began while Ms Brandt was representing me. She had since resigned from my divorce case and my new lawyer needed information on very short notice that Ms Brandt could supply. Shelley graciously agreed to help. She went to her office on her own time during a Federal holiday to ensure we received the crucial documents in time for the hearing that week. In addition, as she had firsthand knowledge of the events that took place, she took the time to write a declaration on my behalf that proved to be very helpful in the Judge's decision. I want to thank Shelley for her assistance.
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Posted by Richard | February 20, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Responsible Deficated
Ms Bryant Reoresent myself and a number of my acquaintances over the past 20 years Her professional upfront attitude is commendable I appreciate her dedication and family values ,Many times cases do not reach a conclusion that makes all parties happy , The main thing is She does puts forth the effort and experience to reach that covclusion
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Posted by Danielle | September 23, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thank you Shelly and Amber
We are still in our process however Shelly and her Team has been the rock through all of this. I have 4 children and I'm more at peace knowing Shelly is representing us. She is fair and reasonable.
Posted by anonymous | November 14, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Please read and research for yourself
When I explained I was divorcing an abusive narcissist who had a lot of money to burn and loved playing games with the family court, dragging everything out to deplete my resources she used it as an opportunity for her instead of a chance to protect her vulnerable client. She did not follow through to settle anything after my ex withheld spousal support, put all the debt in my name cashed out my retirement and lied on financial disclosures. Her advice and actions made me feel like she was protecting the ex and dragging it on instead! It was crazy! She did not get aggressive or push for a settlement on so many opportunities when they were available to end the nightmare for me. In the end I walked away with nothing but debt I mean nothing! but a broke down car that had to go to the crusher months later, 70k in attorney fees (45k were hers ) and 50k in community debt. The worst is my kids- Mid way through I had to move out of state for my physical safety and without my kids (because of the parenting plan) to become gainfully employed during Covid pandemic to try to make a life for them and to be able to keep paying her. When i couldn’t pay her and survive -even though our agreement was she’d be paid upon settlement which she wasn’t getting anywhere close to after 1 year- -she dumped me and put a lien on my home- so i lost that too. In the end I had no one to fight for custody after being the only parent at home for 16 years! supporting an ex who now earns 4x as much as me. Now I see only them 5 times a year. I pay all the support to him and get support to cover my kids airplane fare. ( otherwise id never see them) I went on to represent myself for another full year I hired someone to end it and they did in one month. But there was nothing left for me at that point and I couldn’t afford a trial to move my kids back to me. I often wonder if I had never met her where would i be ? In my house with my kids and even less than reasonable support until i could get them graduated after a 20 year marriage?. I still haven’t met another divorced mom whose outcome was this bad. BTW l later learned her firm was in serious financial trouble because of payroll theft by a by a former employee/ relative during my divorce proceedings so I cant help but believe the other reviews that peoples bills were run up with no results are factual we were all being used to recoup that loss Nothing will ever be nice about divorce most people so t love their divorce attorney that’s understandable but this one had catastrophic. results. Do your research well or it can really go this poorly for you!
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Posted by anonymous | July 23, 2021
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Ever talk to someone who didn't care to listen to what you had to say. Welcome to a consultation with Shelley. She acted completely distant in our conversation, only spoke when prompted to, and provided very little feedback in the end. It was apparent from the beginning she was only there to collect her consultation check and had no attention in providing professional assistance.
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Posted by anonymous | April 7, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
You are better off representing yourself!
I wish I would have seen these reviews before hiring Shelley. She was a nightmare! She takes you on at your most vulnerable, and has no empathy or compassion whatsoever! I was hoping to have representation that would fight for me, and look out for my best interests, but that could not have been farther from the truth. I have been screwed in every way possible. She would not answer questions that were asked of her repeatedly, her emails were rude and abrasive, and it felt like she was working for apposing counsel! As if a tumultuous divorce was not trying enough, I felt like it was an uphill battle with her constantly! From what I’m reading, it’s her MO to withdraw when she has racked up enough billable hours, or finds a new bank account to drain. She never concluded my case, and told me to either speak directly with apposing counsel, or take my ex to small claims court for the very things outlined in the divorce decree that I begged her to help me with! I would not wish her on my worst enemy, and my ex walked away unscathed.
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Posted by anonymous | July 6, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Results of hiring for divorce with children
The results of working with Shelley have been disastrous over the last several years following a very difficult divorce. Her parenting plan lacked enough specifics and detail which left many areas for misinterpretation and to much time and money spent in future legal battles. In the end I felt like Shelley was more of an attorney for my ex-wife than she was for me. The majority of writing and documentation was completed by family members and I which she copied and pasted into her legal documents. I do not recommend Shelley if you want to be fully represented and protected from major future litigation.
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Posted by anonymous | February 27, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Expensive Mistake
Shelley promised- with no doubt- results that she did not even come close to delivering. I wouldn’t recommend her to anyone- except an opposing party. She did not listen to my desires, and did no footwork. Her assistant Shannon is kind and caring- which was refreshing after conversations with Shelly.
Posted by anonymous | February 8, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Run, Don't Walk, the Other Way
If Shelley Brandt decides you are somehow worthy of her effort, she will fight for you. If not (and the reviews here suggest there are many of us deemed not worth her efforts) she will take (and take) your money and drag the case out, getting you nothing in return. She did not fight for my best interests in mediation and, in fact, missed a $20,000 discrepancy in my ex's asset reporting. After paying approximately $8,000 for this poor service, I now have to hire another attorney and take the case to court to try and resolve it. Hiring Shelley was the second biggest mistake of my life.
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Posted by anonymous | October 24, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Lazy, unprepared, and nickel and dime me to death.
I quickly learned that she was billing me every time she looked at an email, so I started gathering my questions together for one large email instead of many smaller ones. Once I sent several questions and then remembered one more important question. She responded to that last email separately with a one word response, but billed me for an entire email. She would wait until the last minute to tell me of the information I needed to obtain when she should have known months earlier that we would eventually need some of my military retirement records. She would tell me that I was not required at a certain court hearing and then call me the night before and tell me my presence was required, making me miss work. She would send me a 50 page legal document prepared by the other side, instruct me to read it, and sign it if I agreed, with no input on if it was a good document to sign or not. I told her there was a reason I hired a lawyer and that included some advice on documents printed in legalese, but she just called me rude and hung up, having her assistant call me back. Her younger sister, assistant, is very kind and helpful, but if you want any legal assistance, do someplace else. I could have obtained the same results had I went in with no lawyer at all. Stay away from this woman as she is worthless as an attorney.
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Posted by anonymous | February 15, 2015
Love how she takes your money then drops you as a client
Shelley Brandt is not interested in anything other than the almighty dollar. She will go on the offensive with opposing counsel by making crazy assertions based on her selective memory and not actual facts. She will not spend the time doing her research prior to firing off nasty letters to ensure what she says is correct. She will resort to all kinds of low brow tactics to destroy any chance of reasonable negotiations between parties, and once she is found out to be less (much less) than honest, she simply withdraws from the case leaving her clients high and dry. Of course, this is all her strategy to increase her billable hours. Her paralegal, Rae, is as rude as they come and gets very defensive when one points out her numerous typos and contradictions in the declarations she types up. Of course Brandt tries to charge for the corrections made by her staff. There are much better family law attorneys in Thurston County-why waste your time and money on someone that doesn't care about anything other than herself?
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Posted by anonymous | November 11, 2014
Worst mistake I ever made
Shelley Brandt bled more than $20,000 from me only to withdraw three days prior to the final decree. With me being out of state this certainly proved to be detrimental to a positive outcome of my divorce. It required me to find another lawyer on very short notice and prolonged the proceedings for many more months while the new attorney sorted everything out. My divorce should have been very simple as we didn't have any bills, one house and a few investment accounts to divide up, but she managed to draw it out for nearly two years. I had a mediation meeting in March 2013---July 2013 after multiple inquires of what the hold up was in finalizing the divorce she quit. Ms Brandt does NOT like her clients to ask her questions. If you are not well versed in Family Law of Washington, you do not want to have her as your "legal counsel". She will develop and pursue her own agenda whether in your best interest or not. I spent nearly two very frustrating years and more than $20,000 on Shelly Brandt's "services" and got absolutely nothing in return. If you want a lawyer that will represent your best interest in the courtroom Shelley Brandt is not that lawyer.
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Posted by anonymous | November 1, 2014
Stay away unless you like sleazy
Shelly Brandt is an attorney with absolutely no morals. She has been described as a person with multiple personalities and that has certainly been my experience. She is not interested in whats best or whats reasonable. She is dishonest in court and encourages her clients to be dishonest as well. She exemplifies everything thats wrong with the legal system
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AVVO RATING 9.1 (Superb)


  • Seattle University
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1992


  • Family Law Executive Committee
  • Chair
  • 2012 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2019

Attorney endorsements

Received (2)
Given (2)
Endorse Shelley
Family Attorney | Mar 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Shelley Brandt is smart, experienced and cares about her clients and the law. I highly recommend her."
Family Attorney | Oct 31
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"I endorse this lawyer. Ms. Brandt is a tenacious and determined advocate who is very familiar with the system in the Thurston County courts, as well as the courts in the surrounding counties. She is very effective, and she has the experience to handle highly complicated matters."
Criminal defense

Avvo Contributions

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Olympia Family Lawyer Shelley L. Brandt
Shelley L. Brandt
Family Attorney
Olympia, WA
Licensed for 31 years