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South Florida Child Abuse Attorney Recognized for Commitment to Caring


Throughout her career, Stacie Schmerling, a lawyer and partner with Fort Lauderdale foster child abuse law firm Talenfeld Law, has pursued the child advocacy and protection. Now, Stacie has rightfully been recognized by one of South Florida’s leading legal and professional publications for her accomplishments.

The Daily Business Review recognized Stacie as a “Rising Star,” making her one of 40 Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach county civil practitioners and law firm partners who hold leadership or mentoring positions within their firms and have advocated for their clients. In Stacie’s case, those clients have included children physically abused, sexually abused, neglected, or injured while under the care of or known to be at risk by state social services organizations.

Her story in the DBR begins below. We applaud Stacie for her successes. Honestly, though, the praise she’s receiving from the DBR is something her partners, peers, and clients have realized for years.

Stacie Schmerling’s career path took her to Talenfeld Law, the first Florida firm to focus exclusively on the rights of at-risk children.

Schmerling was a case worker with the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services. Then she moved to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, where she spent 10 years as a child protective investigator and supervisor.
“Law school was something that I’d always wanted to do and it was never the right time,” she said. Finally in 2007 Schmerling quit her job and took the plunge. She graduated summa cum laude from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center in 2010.

While clerking at Colodny Fass her mentors were Howard Talenfeld and Tracey McPharlin.

“She taught me how to pay attention to detail in these kids’ cases,” said Schmerling, who explained how smoking guns can be hidden between redactions in voluminous documents.

After McPharlin died of cancer at 44, the younger woman dedicated herself to a legacy. She trained with the Tracey McPharlin Pro Bono Dependency Project to advocate for foster children.

Schmerling, who just turned 40, helped Talenfeld start his eponymous firm last year. Now there are four lawyers and that’s about right.

“We want to keep specializing in what we specialize in,” Schmerling said.

Read the entire story here.

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