Now in her early 40s and entering her professional prime, Stephanie Hope Winegrad has emerged as one of Eastern Pennsylvania's leading young divorce lawyers. For starters, already in her career she's worked for and with no fewer than four of the premier divorce attorneys in the state. Thanks in part to that experience, she's built a reputation for steady and low-key competence and always advocates for what's best for her clients. She knows the family courts of Eastern Pennsylvania as well as most of the lawyers with her level of experience in the region. She is a partner now at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, whose 10-lawyer matrimonial law department is one of Philadelphia's largest and best known. In some respects Winegrad has had to live up to the burden of pedigree: She's the daughter of Robert Bacine, the well-known estate and trust lawyer based in Jenkintown, and the niece of Daniel E. Bacine, a founding partner of the regional firm Barrack, Rodos & Bacine and a successful class-action lawyer. Winegrad herself says the early influences of her parents (her mother taught for years in a Philadelphia elementary school) had a deep impact. They instilled in me a strong work ethic."
Growing up in Lafayette Hill she attended Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School ("I was a fairly shy kid. Things came easily to my younger brother, but I had to be disciplined and work hard.") Before heading to University of Pittsburgh, law school wasn't far from her mind; "with so many in my family working as practicing lawyers, it never seemed like a far-fetched idea." Indeed, she went straight to Villanova Law, and already knew many in the suburban Philadelphia legal community. While still in college she worked in the Montgomery County DA's office, where "many young lawyers began their careers. Several of them are in senior legal positions today. I was very fortunate to meet them early in their careers." She clerked for a year in the chambers of newly appointed Judge Calvin Drayer, Jr., whose Norristown court of common pleas heard primarily domestic relations cases. Her experience with Judge Drayer exposed her to matrimonial law. "I found it rewarding right away." She went on to work in the office of renowned Lansdale divorce lawyer Mark Dischell, "a perfect mentor for a new lawyer. He has great patience, and he included me in almost every family law case." By 2004 - after having her first child - she joined the practice of Bucks County matrimonial lawyer Jeffrey Williams, who'd built a family-law practice in Doylestown. Her four years there exposed her to complex, highly contested cases, where she gained valuable trial experience. When she was lured to the West Conshohocken office of Cozen O'Connor in 2008, Winegrad already was well known - and well liked - in legal circles in both counties, including courthouse personnel. Such relationships "really matter in aiding your clients' cases." Other lawyers say Winegrad has excellent people skills, is tactful and effective as an advocate. At Cozen she worked closely with yet another senior divorce lawyer - David Ladov - whose leadership in the state divorce bar and litigation are well known. When Ladov jumped to the Obermayer firm in 2013, Winegrad was part of that team, as a partner. Today Winegrad has earned a higher profile serving in the Family Law Sections of both the state and county bars, and most recently she became a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She's likely to be a positive representative of the Pennsylvania divorce bar for years to come.
Away from the office she enjoys spending time with her husband, Robert Winegrad, and their two daughters.