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Elizabeth Schwartz, Esq.

Elizabeth Schwartz, in her 16th year of law practice, is one of Miami's best known advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. While her South Beach-based firm equally works with straight and gay clients in matters of family law, estate planning and probate, she has made a name for herself representing the LGBT community, with a focus on family formation (adoption, insemination, surrogacy) and dissolution matters. She lectures locally and nationally about the importance of LGBT couples protecting their loved ones through estate planning and contract (especially in the absence of true marriage rights.) Elizabeth was a contributor to the recently-published book "Making It Legal: A Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions," by Frederick Hertz, Esq.

Also a certified family mediator and a member of the Collaborative Family Law Institute, she treats the law as a therapeutic profession, facilitating, for example, relationship dissolution with minimal investment of emotional and financial resources. Elizabeth serves as an adoption intermediary helping make forever families of all kinds.

Elizabeth, a native of Miami Beach, received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993. She received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Miami in 1997. She served as pro-bono counsel in several cases that helped overturn Florida's uniquely bigoted 1977 ban forbidding gays and lesbians from adopting children and has been on the forefront of providing crucial legal protections for LGBT families.

For her years of service, she received the 2012 National Gay & Lesbian Task Force's prestigious Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award at the Task Force's annual Miami Recognition Dinner. Also in 2012, Elizabeth was tapped for membership into Iron Arrow, the highest honor attained at the University of Miami. In 2010, Elizabeth received the Women Worth Knowing Award from the City of Miami Beach Commission for Women and was named by the National LGBT Bar Association as one of the country's Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40. In 2008 she was honored with the "Valuing Our Families" Community Award, presented by Sunserve. In 2007, she received the Dade County Bar Association's Sookie Williams Award and the Aqua Foundation for Women Leadership Award. And in 2005, she received the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Community Award.

She is a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, serves as President of the Miami Beach Bar Association and is the Parliamentarian of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's Women's Philanthropy. Elizabeth is co-chair of the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers Association of South Florida and is the immediate past-chair of the City of Miami Beach's Human Rights Committee. Elizabeth is also a board member of Next @ 19th, which aims to move Jewish culture forward and is a founding member of the Aqua Foundation for Women, raising money by and for South Florida's lesbian community.

A lefty and a Scorpio, Elizabeth lives with her partner, journalist Lydia Martin, and their dog Buttercup, in downtown Miami's urban core.

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