Adria Hillman

Karen BigmanBlog

Adria Hillman
Matrimonial/Family Law
Greater New York/Worldwide
212-593-5223  or

Adria’s mother had the foresight to encourage her three daughters to have their own careers. She never wanted her children to be dependent on anyone. Her older sisters chose Psychology and Medicine-Law seemed like a reasonable choice for Adria. Her mission was to help people-one at a time.

During law school, Adria worked in legal services. Among her cases, she worked on a class action for Medicaid and had the opportunity to represent people on welfare. After graduating, she knew that she could best serve those in need by first getting some good experience. Looking to work for a woman, she found a position at a firm that eventually lead to creating her own firm in the early 90’s. Her experiences in the early years of her practice (she became a member of the bar in 1971) included: small business, corporate law, copyright, litigation and the occasional divorce. She represented a 60 Minutes producer in a high-profile libel case and did other defendant’s libel litigation work for broadcasters.

In 1980, divorce laws in New York changed in favor of equitable distribution. Up until that point, women in long term marriages were only entitled to alimony. Adria co-authored an analysis of how the equitable distribution laws affected women. She went on to represent high-profile, high net worth individuals in their divorces. Adria became known as an expert in complex financial and custody divorce cases and has lectured on custody, trial techniques and employment compensation, private equity and hedge fund valuations in divorce.

While she continues her work mentoring victims of domestic violence, the majority of Adria’s cases are with high net worth individuals. Her practice includes cases of same-sex divorce and multi-domiciled individuals.

“It’s not about winning or losing in divorce” says Adria, “it’s about trying to prioritize what’s important, and making the process as non-intrusive and short as possible, especially when you have children.” She is honest with her clients and realistic. When children are involved, she tries to work on custody issues first. If necessary, she will have her clients engage a Parenting Coordinator or mental health professional to help.

Adria has been married for almost 50 years. She continues to practice Matrimonial Law because each case presents a unique challenge. Her practice helps her appreciate her own family and keeps her life in perspective.

In addition to running her own firm, Adria is a founding member of the New York Women’s Foundation, serving on its Advocacy committee, a member of its Executive committee and a Vice-President, and was appointed to the New York State Legislative Advisory Committee concerning the Estates, Powers and Trusts law, a New York City Task Force on Family Violence and a Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment. She is currently on the Executive Committee of the NYS Bar Association’s Family Law Section and is also a Co-chair of the Family Law Section’s Legislation Committee.