For over two decades Shiel Edlin has been one of Atlanta's - indeed, one of the nation's - top matrimonial attorneys. Powerfully intuitive, energetic and confident, Edlin is widely regarded as something of a force of nature, particularly in the courthouses of Greater Atlanta where he's well established as a formidable courtroom adversary. Now in his early 60s and in the prime of his career, Edlin is in great demand among members of the Atlanta elite who regularly face high-stakes, contentious divorce matters. The firm he founded with the late George Stern is now a 9-attorney boutique practice in Buckhead; it is one of the region's headquarters of divorce law.
A native of Cincinnati, Edlin grew up in Atlanta and attended Dykes High School. By his own estimation he was a charming but unfocused youth, even after college. "My parents were getting impatient." It was only after an aptitude test revealed his analytic and quantitative skills that he pursued law school. Others say Edlin caught a competitive fire as two brothers built successful business careers. "I decided to make law school my full-time job." He graduated at the top of his class at Mercer; still, his first job was an $11,000 per year state court clerkship. "I got all the cases no one else wanted. I was on the lowest rung, but it was valuable experience." In 1981, two years out of law school, he shared office space with Stern, 17 years Edlin's senior. Their partnership emerged from that, and they practiced law together - almost entirely divorce law - together until Stern passed away in 2014. A key figure in Edlin's career, Stern was, uniquely, both colleague and mentor, "a great lawyer and great influence on me."
Known for both charm and intensity, Edlin's true asset is his willingness to work tirelessly for his clients, who often have the region's most complex and high-stakes cases. "One case led to another - that's the way I built my practice." Other attorneys respect Edlin's sixth sense in the courtroom, his capacity to anticipate and detect opponent's strategies before they are even presented. He's built a record of trial successes on that reputation; indeed, it serves as a powerful deterrent, keeping his clients out of court.
Fit and trim, Edlin runs the Peachtree Road Race each year. Edlin and his wife, fifth generation Atlantan Margot Weiler, have two daughters. He is also a founder of his synagogue, the 'Or Hadash congregation.