Tara E. Steinnerd

Steinnerd Law PLLC

Alexandria, Virginia 22301


Alimony, Child Custody, Child Support Modification, Co-Parenting, Divorce, Divorce Modification and Enforcement, Domestic Relations, Family, LGBT, Same Sex Disputes

Ms. Steinnerd has been named one of the 50 “Rising Stars” in Virginia for the past three years by SuperLawyers Magazine in the area of Family Law, and the “Top 10 Under 40” by the American Institute of Family Lawyers. SuperLawyers Magazine recently interviewed Ms. Steinnerd for a feature on running your practice in the 21st Century, using smart technology, applications, and the internet to create firms of the future.  Ms. Steinnerd is licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Ms. Steinnerd became a Certified Mediator for family law issues because to her specialty in domestic issues regarding families. Parties choose mediation because they want to avoid the courtroom, so Ms. Steinnerd realized the importance of having a family law attorney draft meaningful settlement agreements, so that she could counsel clients on drafting language that would keep matters out of court. Ms. Steinnerd has offices in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Reston, and Tysons Corner to make it convenient for parties to meet and discuss their needs.

Ms. Steinnerd is a native Texan, and received her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University. She remains an enthusiastic SEC college football fan. Ms. Steinnerd received her Juris Doctor from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. While attending law school, Ms. Steinnerd worked as a Law Clerk for the National Law Center for Children and Families, and as a Clerk for the Hon. Odessa Vincent in the D.C. Superior Court. Ms. Steinnerd was also a member of Catholic University’s National Moot Court Team in Constitutional Law.

Mediation is a dynamic, structured, interactive process where a neutral third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process. Mediation is a "party-centered" process in that it is focused primarily upon the needs, rights, and interests of the parties. The mediator uses a wide variety of techniques to guide the process in a constructive direction and to help the parties find their optimal solution. A mediator is facilitative in that s/he manages the interaction between parties and facilitates open communication. Mediation is also evaluative in that the mediator analyzes issues and relevant norms ("reality-testing), while refraining from providing prescriptive advice to the parties (e.g., "You should do... .").

Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community and family matters.

The term "mediation" broadly refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach agreement. More specifically, mediation has a structure, timetable and dynamics that "ordinary" negotiation lacks. The process is private and confidential, possibly enforced by law. Participation is typically voluntary. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates rather than directs the process. Mediation is becoming a more peaceful and internationally accepted solution in order to end conflict. Mediation can be used to resolve disputes of any magnitude.

Mediators use various techniques to open, or improve, dialogue and empathy between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. Much depends on the mediator's skill and training. As the practice gained popularity, training programs, certifications and licensing followed, producing trained, professional mediators committed to the discipline.

P.O. Box 6678
Arlington, VA 22206

P: 703-743-0414
F: 757-299-2277
E: [email protected]