Following her retirement from Lerch, Early & Brewer in 2022, Deborah Reiser now practices independently as a mediator during which, as a third party neutral, she assists parties in reaching negotiated — not litigated — resolutions.

In her more than 20 years at Lerch Early, Deborah practiced divorce law in Maryland and the District of Columbia. For 13 of those years, she chaired the firm’s Family and Divorce Law group, which has been named one of the Washington, D.C. area’s top tier law practices by US News & World Reports Best Lawyers.

An annual staple on awards lists with multiple “attorney of the year” and “top attorney” awards under her belt, Deborah has always excelled as a mediator. Bethesda Magazine wrote that “[a]fter 40 years in the family law business, no mediator is held in higher regard than Deborah Reiser” (Untying the Knot, Bethesda Magazine, July/August 2017).

Deborah’s accolades are many and include Best Lawyers in America naming Deborah the 2016 and 2020 “Lawyer of the Year” for Family Law in Washington, D.C. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant. She also was one of the earliest family lawyers to be made a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. Most recently, she was inducted into the Washingtonian Top Lawyers Hall of Fame.


  • Northeastern University School of Law (J.D., 1975)
  • Cornell University (B.A. in Government, 1972)


  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Honors and awards

  • Named to Bethesda Magazine’s Top Attorney List (2019, 2021)
  • Washingtonian Top Lawyers Hall of Fame
  • Named a Top Divorce Lawyer by Bethesda Magazine (2017)
  • Lawyer of the Year in Best Lawyers in America (2016, 2020)
  • America’s Top 100 Attorneys “Lifetime Achievement Member”
  • Washingtonian magazine “Top Divorce Lawyer” (2007-present)
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Family Law and Family Law Mediation (2002-present)
  • Ranked AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings
  • Listed in “Top 10 Lawyers in Washington, DC” by Washington Super Lawyers (2013-present)
  • Listed in “Top 10 Lawyers in Maryland” by Maryland Super Lawyers (2013-present)
  • Listed in “Top 50 Women Lawyers in Maryland” by Maryland Super Lawyers (2008-present)
  • Listed in “Top 50 Women Lawyers in Washington, DC” by Washington, DC Super Lawyers (2008-present)
  • Listed in “Maryland’s Top 100 Lawyers” by Maryland Super Lawyers (2007-present)
  • Listed in “Washington, DC’s Top 100 Lawyers” by Washington, DC Super Lawyers (2009-present)
  • Bethesda magazine “Top Divorce Lawyer” (2010)
  • Listed as “#2 Lawyer in Maryland,” “#1 Family Lawyer” by Maryland Super Lawyers (2013)

Professional memberships

  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Fellow; past President, Maryland Chapter)
  • American College of Trial Lawyers (Fellow, 2001-2019)
  • Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland (past Secretary, Executive Committee; past Chair, Judicial Selections Committee; past Chair, Family Law Section)
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association

Practice Areas

Divorce/Family Law

Lerch Early’s experienced family law attorneys help people resolve separation and divorce issues in Maryland and Washington, DC with the least possible impact on their emotions and their wallets.

News & insights

View All Insights