This South Bay native helps divorce clients take it one day at a time as they move toward an amicable resolution.
- Written byLaura L. Watts
- Photographed bySiri Berting
Emotions tend to run high during family law disputes. Hostile interactions between the former couple—elevated by their attorneys—are stereotypically the norm for this process. But not for family law attorney Victoria McLaughlin. In practice since 2013, she is passionate about facilitating peaceful resolutions to couples’ disputes.
Victoria grew up in the South Bay and attended UC Davis. She earned her law degree at the University of La Verne and spent years working at Los Angeles law firms and litigating cases. But this lifestyle wasn’t fulfilling her. So she hit the reset button on her life in 2020—and not only due to COVID-19!
Right before so many individuals and businesses pivoted out of necessity, Victoria decided to change her life, move back to the South Bay and start her own business—and it happened to be just a month before the pandemic hit. Strong and steady, this businesswoman didn’t let that distract her. She relied on the same peaceful approach that she brings to clients at her new practice, McLaughlin Family Law & Mediation, APC.
“I bring my personal energy and life philosophy to my cases,” Victoria shares. “That means my services are more zen and less hostile than traditional divorce litigators.”
Instead of instigating or fueling fights between the parties, Victoria tries to temper them—making the process as painless as possible while seeking a beneficial outcome for her clients. She provides a variety of family law services including mediation, divorce, and premarital, postmarital and cohabitation agreements. She has found that settling differences without litigation can mean finishing quicker and spending much less money.
“A divorce does not need to be a bad experience,” Victoria states. “Our firm provides a process in which all parties to a dispute are heard, understood and assisted in a peaceful manner.”
“My services are more zen and less hostile than traditional divorce litigators.”
She realizes that family law is a very personal space, so conversations with her clients are often a mix of professional and personal. Because emotions do run high when ending a marriage, she proposes ways to work through feelings when they can’t be removed from the equation.
“I like to be realistic with my clients about their expectations and the pros and cons of fighting,” she says. “I let people know what they’re entitled to under California law, so they can make rational, informed decisions. Ultimately, how a case proceeds depends on how the two sides involved conduct themselves.”
Victoria is actively involved in giving back to the legal community. She served as a member of the board of governors of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, where she was chair of the Young Lawyers Section. In that capacity, she mentored other rising young female attorneys and law students. She also hosted social events so young women in the L.A. legal community could socialize together (many worked at firms or on teams where there were no other women).
She served on the board of trustees of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) and spent many years on the executive committee of the LACBA Barristers Section, serving as its president-elect.
When she’s not working, Victoria maintains her tranquil outlook on life by running and practicing yoga daily. She also enjoys spending time with friends at wine tastings, game nights and a book club.
Her advice during this unprecedented time? Take the time to reset. “There is no more just going through the motions right now because the normal we once knew is gone. Let’s use it to our advantage to the extent we can.”
Over the coming months, Victoria hopes to continue growing her business and integrating into this tight-knit South Bay community—one peaceful step at a time.
Victoria McLaughlin, Esq. | McLaughlin Family Law & Mediation, APC