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Stefan Otterson

Adoption Attorney at Anchorage, AK

5.0   3 reviews

also known as J. Stefan Otterson

  • Licensed for 35 years
    State AK
    Acquired 1988
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Stefan

Learn Stefan’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Adoption
    Our team has deep experience in all types of adoption and all aspects and implications of adoption.

    27 years

  2. Mediation
    Family, small business, and other disputes or planning.

    23 years

  3. Guardianship
    Adults and minors (sometimes an alternative to a custody case or adoption). We often represent third parties such as grandparents and other close relatives.

    35 years

  4. Marriage and prenuptials
    Go into your partnership with your eyes open. Prenuptials are very flexible and don't have to be "every one for him/her self."

    17 years

  5. Child abuse
    We usually represent relatives trying to keep children out of foster care. Most parents can get court appointed counsel, but if you don't qualify and OCS conduct is egregious, we may be able to help.

    35 years

  6. Child custody
    We have long experience in child welfare and can help you do what's best for your child.

    32 years

  7. Divorce and separation
    Divorce can be done without destructive conflict. We can help you get it done so you can move on with your life in a positive way.

    24 years

  8. Family
    Advice and assistance with all other aspects of family law are the core of our practice. We offer collaborative law, mediation, and all other assistance you need to avoid fighting in court.

    32 years

  9. Juvenile law
    We understand both the legal and the treatment aspects of a juvenile case. Sometimes the later is the most important.

    27 years

Three principles guide my practice.  First, listen carefully to clients, and help them express what's really going on in their lives.  Second, find the least conflict-oriented path to a resolution.  Finally, pull out all the stops in pursuing that path.  Leave no stone unturned in developing a case.    

I practiced business law for two years before moving to family law in 1990. Since then, I have represented state agencies, foster children, juvenile delinquents, parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, and adoption agencies.  I have worked in every aspect of family law, family mediation, and collaborative law.  I have worked with Native Alaskan tribal courts and State Superior Courts all over Alaska. 

I have spent as much time in a courtroom as anyone in the state, but I only litigate when there is no good alternative.   That would be the case where the other party is dishonest, or where children are at risk of imminent harm.  Otherwise, there are great alternatives such as mediation and collaborative law.  Collaborative law gives all the support you expect from a traditional attorney-client relationship, but adds open communication within a multidisciplinary team all focused on settlement.   You may be surprised what can be accomplished without going to court.   Either way, my office can help you decide what you want, and achieve it.

Photos and videos

Alaska Peninsula traverse (Port Heiden to Chignik Bay) by foot and packraft.
Conference room
View from the office
Stefan performing with daughter at the State Fair


8240 Sandlewood Place
8240 Sandlewood Place
Ste. 102
Anchorage, AK, 99507


5.0 / 5.0
  3 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by anonymous | June 22, 2015
Excellent knowledge, demeanor and advice
I initially consulted Stefan with a divorce case that was not black and white. Stefan evaluated the situation completely and offered excellent advice. He was very considerate of the situation, handled everything with extreme professionalism and utilized his excellent assistant as much as possible to minimize my financial impact. Stefan is a great resource for Anchorage and I would whole heartedly recommend him to anyone looking for a divorce lawyer. Stefan's approach is very calming in a turbulent time and his knowledge appears to be as broad as it can be. His tenure in the community provides him with a solid understanding of his peers as well as those he is going to present his cases to. Both of these facets are extremely helpful in coming to the best resolution possible.
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Posted by M | May 15, 2015
Divorce&property settlement agreement
I met him today for an initial consultation. He is a gentle man and a great guy. He is humanistic and provided me great advice. I talked to many lawyers before about the same issue, but nobody gives me strategic advice like he did. He look for your best interest and truly care for his client. I whole heartedly recommend him.
Posted by anonymous | July 28, 2014
Great Adoption Hearing
I used the Otterson Law Office to complete two OCS adoptions. It was very easy to get them on the phone and they answered my questions immediately. I had some troubles with OCS and Stefan was great at explaining the process to me. It was a long two years to get to the adoption, we were exhausted and the Otterson Law Office handled it all.
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  • Hourly Rates $ 300-300 per hour
  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.0 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Founder/Owner
  • Otterson Law Office
  • 2009 - Present
  • Partner
  • Nelson, Flint, Otterson & Lombardi
  • 2008 - 2009
  • Founder/Owner
  • Otterson Law Office
  • 2000 - 2007
  • Attorney Guardian Ad Litem
  • Office of Public Advocacy
  • 2000 - 2000
  • Assistant Attorney General
  • State of Alaska Department of Law
  • 1990 - 1999
  • Associate
  • Hartig, Rhodes, Mahoney & Edwards
  • 1988 - 1989
View all work experience


  • University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1988
  • University of Utah Eccles School of Business
  • MA - Masters
  • 1988
  • University of Utah
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1984

Sample of Legal Cases

  • E.M. v. State, 959 P.2d 766 (1998)
  • Ruling for client affirmed
  • F.T. v. State, 922 P.2d 277 (1996)
  • Affirmed


  • Alaska Association of Collaborative Professionals
  • Charter Member
  • 2008 - Present
  • Alaska Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 1988 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • German
  • French

Honors and Awards

  • Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2017
  • Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2016

Speaking Engagements

  • ACRF Adoptive Parent Training
  • Legal Details of Adoption Finalization
  • 2017
  • ACRF Staff Training
  • Potential Legal Problem Areas in OCS Adoptions
  • 2015
  • Adoptive Parent Workshop (Quarterly since 2009)
  • Legal Aspects of Adoption Process - What to expect
  • 2010

Attorney endorsements

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Given (2)
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Divorce and separation