Hal Mayerson has been one of Manhattan's leading practitioners of matrimonial law for over three decades. Wise, witty and progressive, Mayerson has provided steady, constructive leadership to a profession renowned for its contentiousness. In the process, his midtown practice, with fellow attorneys Alton Abramowitz and Leigh Baseheart Kahn, is one of the leading boutique firms in the city focusing on divorce law. And the firm is in every respect a reflection of Mayerson and his values. Mayerson today handles only the most difficult and complex divorce cases - and yet manages to try fewer than a half-dozen cases each year, a testament to his negotiating skills and ability to manage a case. "He's one of the most enlightened divorce lawyers I've worked with," says a rival. "He always sees the big picture." What's more, Mayerson "casts a wide net," partners say, as he is well known across the many social strata of New York City.
The Ontario native (he grew up in Brooklyn) hardly took a routine path to the law, and his early experiences - as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic and as a NYC Legal Aid criminal defense attorney - gave him perspective and sensitivity lacking in even some of the best lawyers. He was an early advocate for the inclusion of mental health professionals in the divorce process, and today he's a force on the policy level to "reduce the horrors of divorce," as he puts it. Peers say Mayerson, now the veteran of hundreds of cases, is one of the foremost authorities in the nation on mental health issues in divorce. He co-chairs the interdisciplinary committee on mental health & family law. After decades as a litigator, Mayerson believes that he focuses on family law because "that's where my skills are."
Today Mayerson's practice has ten attorneys, with three special counsels, including family law professor Martin Guggenheim, all contributing to the firm's intellectual culture. Himself divorced and now remarried to a New York City Public School teacher, he is the father of two grown children now in graduate school. Mayerson and his wife Rebecca live in Soho.