Marlene was born in Detroit and raised in a Los Angeles suburb, but adopted Portland as her home in 1984 during her second year at Lewis & Clark School of Law. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in economics with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Marlene has been an active Oregon State Bar member since 1985.
The focus of Marlene’s practice has changed several times over the years. Her first position as an attorney was with St. Andrew Legal Clinic, working with low income people. The bulk of her cases at St. Andrew consisted of general family law, primarily divorce and child custody. Marlene left St. Andrew and opened a solo practice in 1988.
Since that time, Marlene has practiced either in a small partnership or as a solo attorney. In the late 1990’s, she made a conscious decision to eliminate trial work from her practice. Marlene believes that in most situations, collaboration and cooperation are far more effective than aggression or a courtroom battle in helping a client reach his or her goals. Marlene always welcomes new clients and does not schedule new client appointments without spending a few minutes on the phone with a prospective client.
Marlene has served on several boards of directors over the years, and was a member of the founding board of Oregon Lawyers Against Hunger which was formed in 1997 to raise money from lawyers for the Oregon Food Bank, which has always been her favorite charity.
When Marlene is not working or spending time with one or both of her daughters, you can likely find her running through the neighborhood. Marlene has completed 12 marathons and numerous half marathons and other running events. She also is an avid hiker and bicyclist. Most recently, after backpacking in Peru with her daughter, Marlene was inspired to take a Spanish class and hopes to become fluent at a conversational level. One of her favorite activities is listening to live music, and you will almost always find her at Laurelthirst Pub on Sunday evenings listening to her favorite local band, the Freak Mountain Ramblers.