Principal Attorney and Mediator:
Mae Adkins, the principal and founder of Family First Legal, has been a practicing attorney in California since 2003, with a focus on working with individuals of all backgrounds who are engaged in family law and general civil litigation matters.
In early 2009, Ms. Adkins completed her mediator training in accordance with the California Dispute Resolution Programs Act and has since been mediating disputes of all types, including divorces and separations, child custody and visitation, premarital agreements, child guardianship matters, contractual breaches, unpaid debts, neighbors’ disputes, conflicts among roommates and complaints against police officers by citizens.
Ms. Adkins has extensively argued matters throughout various California Courts and administrative boards, both in trial and pre-trial hearings, and through appeals. She graduated cum laude and in the top 10% of her class from Hastings College of the Law in 2003, and has a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.F.A in Fine Art from the Ohio State University, where she graduated summa cum laude.
Ms. Adkins stands out from other attorneys in her approachability, in her caring, nonjudgmental attitude towards each client, and in the comfort and trust she instills. Ms. Adkins helps clients focus on solutions to reach strong and successful resolutions.
She is also a member of the California and San Francisco Bar Associations, and San Francisco’s Community Boards (the nation’s first and longest running neighborhood mediation program). Before becoming an enthusiastic mom of two boys, she served as a volunteer with Contra Costa County’s Conflict Resolution Program, sat on the Community Outreach & Education Committee of Community Boards, and was a member of Business Networking International (BNI).
Monica O. Espinosa
Ms. Espinosa has been a practicing attorney in California since 2006, focusing on family law since 2013. She joined Family First Legal in 2016 where she has devoted her practice exclusively to family law. She works on all areas of family law matters, including dissolutions, complex property division issues, child custody and support, and paternity issues. Ms. Espinosa’s extensive experience working with clients of all educational and cultural backgrounds gives her a keen ability to listen and communicate with compassion and sensitivity. She understands that family law matters are intensely personal and emotional and takes the time to listen to the concerns her clients raise and work with clients on a strategy to address those concerns in the most effective manner. Ms. Espinosa’s aim is to provide her clients with an understanding of the legal issues, collaborate to identify clients’ primary goals and desires for the family law case, and develop strategies to achieve their desired outcomes.
Ms. Espinosa’s motivation for becoming an attorney was to give an effective, strong voice to individuals engaged in legal disputes. Her passion for helping people and her commitment to social justice drove her to work in criminal defense for seven years at the Habeas Corpus Resource Center, where she represented indigent capital defendants who have been sentenced to death on their post-conviction appeals. This work gave her a unique perspective and a strong appreciation for compassionate and competent legal representation when families require assistance in achieving economic and family stability after family circumstances and arrangements change. In 2013, Ms. Espinosa shifted her practice to focus on family law matters. For over three years as a staff attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid, she gained extensive experience and knowledge around all aspects of family law matters, with a special focus on cases with a history of domestic violence. She provided advice and counsel to thousands of pro per litigants contemplating or in the midst of family law proceedings in all seven Bay Area counties.
Ms. Espinosa received her J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 2005, where she also served as executive editor on the Hasting Law Journal. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where she double-majored in Economics and Legal Studies. She is a member of the East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association.
Ms. Espinosa is fluent in Spanish.
Please enjoy Ms. Adkins’ on-air video, speaking on her work and the practice of family law with the gracious host, Maryam Turab, of “Conversations with Maryam” – a weekly program that airs on WBT-TV in Silicon Valley. WBT-TV is a wonderful community channel that brings local and South Asian (Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan) news, events, political discussions and current hot topics to the Silicon Valley community.