Vanessa Candelaria

Throughout her legal career, Vanessa has practiced exclusively in the area of family law. With her legal training and knowledge, she provides compassion and advocacy for her clients. Vanessa’s experience working on a broad spectrum of family law matters include divorce, pre-divorce counseling and planning, premarital agreements, complex marital property issues, high conflict child custody disputes, child and spousal support issues and domestic violence prevention and defense. Vanessa protects her clients’ assets and the best interests of her clients and their children. She represents clients in public court and before private judicial officers. In addition, she serves as a consulting attorney for clients who are preparing for divorce, going through the divorce process, are in mediation and who are seeking a second opinion on his or her family law matter.

Prior to earning her Juris Doctorate degree from Golden Gate University School of Law, Vanessa earned dual degrees in English and Psychology and Social Behavior and a minor in Political Science from the University of California – Irvine. While at the University of California - Irvine, Vanessa was the first recipient of the “Most Inspirational Student” Scholarship Award. At Golden Gate University School of Law, Vanessa was accepted into the Honors Lawyering Program and she was a judicial extern the San Francisco Unified Family Court.

Vanessa received excellent training and experience from the well-known and highly respected Bay Area law firms, Fox & Bank LLP and Viola Law Firm, P.C. In 2012, Vanessa completed an intense, weeklong trial training course through the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA). She participated in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) Mentoring Group from 2010 to 2012 and completed the AAML Trial Practicum in 2016.

Vanessa is also an active member of the legal community. She is a Board Member of the Contra Costa County Family Law Section, Past President of the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC), a former District Representative for the American Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division and former Co-Chair of the Family Law Section of the San Mateo County Bar Association. Vanessa also holds the position of Regional Governor for the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) for Northern California and Advisory Board Member for FBANC. She is a member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and the Alameda County Bar Association. Since becoming an attorney, Vanessa has regularly volunteered at local legal clinics throughout the Bay Area and has mentored many law students.

 To learn more about Vanessa, please see her Curriculum Vitae.

Elena Ramirez

Elena Ramirez is an active member of the California State Bar, with significant experience in family law. Prior to joining our firm, Elena worked for the Family Violence Law Center in Alameda County and assisted survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in their family matters, and gained extensive family law and litigation experience. Elena had the honor of helping hundreds of families facing such difficult times, and has been gratified to see how her advice and guidance improved the lives of her clients and their children and families.

Prior to Elena’s graduation from Golden Gate University School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctorate in 2010, her participation in Trial Advocacy and the Criminal Law Litigation clinic prepared her for intense trial advocacy work during her internship at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office (Domestic Violence Unit), and Bay Area Legal Aid where she helped run the domestic violence clinic held at the Richmond Superior Court.

One of the unique aspects of Elena's practice is her ability to share her knowledge and experience with residents from Latino communities around the Bay Area. Elena is one of a handful of Spanish-speaking Latino lawyers in the Bay Area practicing exclusively in divorce and family law who can assist Latinos with divorce and family law issues in their native Spanish language.

Elena is committed to help resolve any divorce and child custody challenges you may be facing. She understands that a divorce or child custody dispute can be emotionally draining and mentally stressful. She will work relentlessly to resolve your divorce or child custody dispute quickly, fairly and cost effectively.


Additional Information for Elena

  • B.A. University of California at Davis, Sociology
  • J.D. Golden Gate University School of Law
  • Cali Excellence Award for excellence in legal writing and research; property; and professional responsibly
  • Completed 40-hour domestic violence training
  • Member of the California State Bar and the Family Law Section of the Alameda County and Contra Costa Bar Association