Our Clients Say It Best: Smith Strong Law Firm Delivers Outstanding Legal Services
I am always grateful when clients write thank you notes and leave satisfied scores on legal rating websites. Of course, results vary and past performance does not provide any guarantee for future cases, or your case in particular. But I’d be personally leery of becoming involved with an attorney with less than positive reviews. Wouldn’t you?
These reviews were left on my public Avvo profile, emailed to our firm, or directly sent to us from this website.
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Family law client client raves that the Smith Strong team has gone "our of their way to help" through a difficult legal situation.
I have been with Smith Strong since the fall of 2017. Both Van Smith and Gabrielle Dennis have represented me. The entire team has been nothing but supportive and heavily involved from the beginning. This includes everything from reviewing my PSA, to re-writing my PSA, to scheduling and participating in "settlement" meetings, to going to court with me (numerous times, to dealing with an extremely difficult Opposing Counsel. Theresa Christopher (Theresa Reynolds) and Gabrielle Dennis have been nothing short of miracle workers, and have gone out of their way to help through very difficult, trying, and aggravating times. I would recommend Smith Strong to anyone who is going through or will going through a divorce, particularly a messy one!Melissa Cowan, family law client, 2018
The National Business Institute thanks Attorney Van Smith for his Fall 2018 presentation on family law and tax issues.
"Thanks, [Van], so much for all your hard work. The success of this seminar is a reflection of the dedication and time you put forth. We look forward to working with you again in the future. Best Wishes & Thank You!"National Business Institute team thanking attorney Van Smith for his preparation and presentation of CLE on family law and tax issues, 2018
Alex was always honest with me, did a great job of presenting options to me and helped me keep my eye on the big picture.
"Over the past several months (18), I worked with Alex Phillips and Kala Swenson through what has been a MESS of a situation. They both helped me immensely as we navigated several issues as it related to my family. Alex was always honest with me, did a great job of presenting options to me and helped me keep my eye on the big picture...we knew whatever the outcome, there would still be some ambiguity as the next few years play out, but he did the best he could with the information we had and could litigate. He knew that money was a HUGE concern. He and Kala were respectful with that and we communicated as needed, but they didn't send needless emails or do anything that wasn't prudent and necessary. They did a great job."Denise Heer, Chesterfield family law client, 2018
The Historic Richmond Foundation thanks Smith Strong for its gift, which supports their work of preserving the history, architecture, and culture of our great city.
Dear Van Smith, Thank you for your sponsorship to Historic Richmond for the 3rd Annual Celebrate the City Gala: A Night On Grace Street. Please note that we will be listing you as Smith Strong, PLC in our 2018 Annual Report. For over 75 years, Historic Richmond has shaped Richmond's historic neighborhoods and its future. With your generous gift, Historic Richmond will be able to continue its work to shape the future of Richmond by preserving our distinctive historic character, sparking revitalization and championing our important architectural legacy. We are committed to preserving the character of the city, energizing its neighborhoods and collaborating to keep Richmond interesting and authentic. Without our supporters, none of this is possible. On behalf of Historic Richmond thank you for joining us in the effort to shape the future! Many Thanks.Cyane Crump, Executive Director of Historic Richmond, September 2018
Van, however, took the time and has the patience to fully explain the legal procedures.
Having recently relocated to the Richmond area, we were in need of reviewing and updating our estate planning. We attended one of Van Smith's workshops and found his experience, knowledge, and professionalism along with his personal touch to be extremely helpful for us. Trying to understand the options available and navigate through the estate world can be stressful. Van, however, took the time and has the patience to fully explain the legal procedures, ensuring his clients have all the necessary information and knowledge to move forward. We are so glad we found Van Smith to help guide us.Tom and Patricia, Estate Planning Clients, greater Richmond, VA
He was able to effortlessly and clearly contextualize complex concepts which enabled us to visualize how each component of the overall plan works together for our benefit
In our mid-60s, my wife and I were anxious to update our 20-yr old wills/ trust documents. References from several of our reliable attorney, banker friends intersected at the office of Van Smith. Van prudently and professionally led us through an informative, detailed estate planning exercise that enabled us to create a customized, comprehensive strategy; meet our combined trust objectives; and construct an estate framework that can be updated as future circumstances warrant. We were favorably impressed with Van's knowledge, experience, and, especially, his gift of exceptional communication skills. In addition to thoughtfully and patiently addressing our questions, he was able to effortlessly and clearly contextualize complex concepts which enabled us to visualize how each component of the overall plan works together for our benefit. Van is friendly, engaging, and personable. It's been a joy to work with him and his expert legal team. We've found everyone at SmithStrong works with high energy, enthusiasm, courtesy, attentiveness, and timeliness.Robert and Bonnie J., age 60s, Estate Planning Clients, Henrico, Virginia
Better than expected outcomes with Van and his team during a difficult divorce and custody battle
I had the trifecta from hell: A custody battle, a divorce, and then a PSA enforcement of said divorce. All three were handled by Van and his team. I was never lacking in communication and they were always very thorough to explain my options. What was most impressive, was that during this time (and it was the better part of 3 years for all of this), several attorneys had life event changes and had to leave. I had two attorneys leave during my cases. I was afraid things would be jumbled when the next attorney took my case, but thanks to Van, transitions were smooth. He even took on my case himself to make up for events that were obviously beyond his control when the second attorney had to move. A third attorney was on my case then too, but Van had been personally overseeing everything from the start. The team always made sure to double review every drawn up document carefully with me. We had some air-tight agreements because of this. All three events had better than expected outcomes, and I give that credit to Van and his team for their legal skills, their presence in court, and very clever drafting of legal documents. A final note. While they're based in Richmond, they do have an office in Williamsburg (they know the judges here too).Daniel D., James City County, 39 years old, Divorce and Custody client, IT Specialist
Alex and Kala communicated with me every step of the way and always made sure that I was aware and knowledgeable of the process.
Alex Phillips and his team were true professionals with ensuring my needs were met during a challenging period in my family's life. Alex and Kala communicated with me every step of the way and always made sure that I was aware and knowledgeable of the process. I am extremely satisfied with the guidance and support that they offer.Chris A., Midlothian, Virginia, from Yelp.com
Experience, knowledge, and professionalism helpful during the process of reviewing and updating estate plan.
Having recently relocated to the Richmond area we were in need of reviewing and updating our estate planning. We attended one of Van Smith’s workshops and found his experience, knowledge, professionalism along with his personal touch to be extremely helpful for us. Trying to understand the options available and navigate through the estate world can be stressful. Van, however, took the time and has the patience to fully explain the legal procedures, ensuring his clients have all the necessary information and knowledge to move forward. We are so glad we found Van Smith to help guide us.Tom and Patricia Ringelstetter, age 65, Chesterfield estate planning clients
Thank you so very much for your special and personal attention to my situation [her Husband recently passed, and she came in for a will-based estate plan]. You have always been a special person to my [late Husband] Don and I and our meeting last week to get my estate plan in order just confirms to me your character.
Dear Van, Thank you so very much for your special and personal attention to my situation [her Husband recently passed, and she came in for a will-based estate plan]. You have always been a special person to my [late Husband] Don and I, and our meeting last week to get my estate plan in order just confirms to me your character. May God continue to pour out blessings on you, your family, and your business. I know He will!! God Bless, Donna M.Donna M., Chester, VA, age 74, Will-Based Estate Planning Client
Van Smith noted as "Paragon of all things Domestic Relations in Virginia," by 40-year veteran Williamsburg, VA attorney
Dear Van, We can find no case law or statute to guide us. Therefore, we seek advice from you, the PARAGON of all domestic relations matters!! Do you have a suggestion? Thx and best regards of the new year.40-year veteran Williamsburg, VA real estate attorney, Williamsburg, VA
From our very first meeting, Van, you put me at ease. The one single thought I had after that meeting was I was not alone. For the first time I felt as though it was AND you against the world. Over the next year, you provided sound advice and helped me to navigate to a solution for my divorce. Please know that not only your work matters, but so does the warmth and friendship you bring to every case. I am forever grateful.
12/26/2017 Dear Van, I hope all is well. I have often thought that you must have the worst job in the world. My divorce was the most horrible experience I have ever had, and you deal with that on a daily basis. I wanted to let you know how much your work means to the clients you serve. It was just over four years ago when I called your office for the first time. I had just been served with a notice to pay spousal support that was equal to my entire salary. I was living in Williamsburg by myself, with my friends and family a thousand miles away. I had embarrassing facts about my marriage that I had kept away from those same family and friends for 5 years. From our very first meeting, you put me at ease. The one single thought I had after that meeting was I was not alone. For the first time I felt as though it was AND you against the world. Over the next year, you provided sound advice and helped me to naviage a solution. I was able to relocate back home. Fast forward 4 years. I'm married with a six month old daughter. I come home to a happy home every night to a wife that I enjoy, and she enjoyes me. 4 years ago I was almost a million dollars in debt and today I'm 75% paid off. I have taken advantage of career opportunities that my ex wife forbid me to take and I'm now a leader in my field, community and state. I never thought that life could be like this and at my worst, thought that I had made every bad decision possible and would be sentenced to a life of misery. I sincerely think that leaving my ex-wife was the best decision I could have ever made. Hiring you was the second. Please know that not only does your work matter, but so does the warmth and friendship you bring to every case. I am forever grateful. Sincerely, Jason B., M.D.Jason B, M.D., Physician, 37 years old, Williamsburg, VA Divorce Client
Mostly I want to the thank you for understanding my long, drawn out divorce case and situation. Also, caregiving for a 94 year-old with 2 fractures at 2 different assisted living facilities has been exhausting but teaches you patience and love. We only have one set of parents. God bless you!
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with family and close friends who are like family. I enjoyed reading your newsletter. Keep them coming! Most I want to thank you for understanding my laon, drawn out divorce case. Caregiving for a 94 year-old with 2 fractures over 2 different assisted living facilities has been exhausting but teaches you peatience and love. We only have one set of parents. God bless you and here's to a new beginning for us all in 2018.Lisa C., age 54, Divorce & Estate Planning Client, I.T. Professional, Henrico, VA
I like the way you conduct yourself, Van Smith, Bulldog when needed, but with respect. You are fighting not only for me, but for my daughter.
May the Peace and Joy of Christmas be with You Always. Thank you Van for your support and legal advice. I like the way you conduct yourself, Bulldog when needed but with respect. For you and your family, have a Merry Christmas. Enclosed is a family Christmas card with me and my daughter. You are fighting not only for me, but for her. Thank You again and Merry Christmas. Yours, Bill S.Bill S., age 49, Father, Custody Client, Henrico County, VA
Reader raves that divorce and custody book helped her through a daunting process
"Divorce and Custody in Virginia written by H. Van Smith works as an excellent tutorial, guiding you through the anxious and daunting process of divorce and child custody in the state of Virginia. The book details the “what if’s”, detailing worse case scenarios. What if your ex-spouse is trying to get custody of the children? What if your ex-spouse is overtly hostile, inflammatory, deceitful, manipulative, even launching a campaign to make you look like a bad parent both in the eyes of your children and the law? Entering a divorce is difficult but going through a custody battle throws your life in a warzone. Smith’s book navigates you through this tenuous process with careful, thoughtful steps on what to expect. Mr. Smith’s “Marquis of Success” is garnered from his experience as one of Virginia’s most winning attorneys in family court law (as evidenced by client accounts in his book), granting you powerful skills that will help you maintain healthy relationships with your kids, fight unfair accusations, and uphold your rights as a parent." HUNDRED STAR REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amazon.com reviewElizabeth St. Michel, June 10, 2017