Elizabeth F. SchwartzMiami, Florida
Elizabeth Schwartz has been practicing law since 1997 and is one of Miami's best known advocates for the legal rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. While her South Beach-based firm equally works with straight and gay clients in matters of family law, estate planning and probate, she has made a name for herself representing the LGBT community, with a focus on family formation (adoption, insemination, surrogacy). She lectures locally and nationally about the importance of LGBT couples protecting their loved ones through estate planning, second parent adoption, and contract (especially in the absence of true marriage rights) and has been on the forefront of providing crucial legal protections for LGBT families. Elizabeth is a fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the Florida Adoption Council, and serves as an adoption intermediary helping make forever families of all kinds. In addition, Elizabeth is a fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, assisting intended parents, gestational carriers and egg and sperm donors with their legal needs.
Elizabeth is currently serving as pro bono counsel on the pending case challenging Florida's marriage ban brought by NCLR (the National Center for Lesbian Rights) on behalf of six same-sex couples seeking the right to marry and the Equality Florida Institute (Pareto v. Ruvin). She also served as pro bono counsel in several cases that helped overturn Florida's bigoted 1977 ban forbidding gays and lesbians from adopting children.
Also a certified family mediator and a member of the Collaborative Family Law Institute, she treats the law as a therapeutic profession, facilitating relationship dissolution with minimal investment of emotional and financial resources. A Miami Beach native, Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993 and her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Miami in 1997.
Elizabeth serves on the national board of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders). She is a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of NCLR, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. Elizabeth is co-chair of the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Lawyers Association and sits on the GLBT Projects Fund of the Miami Foundation and the Our Fund Program and Grants Committee. An active member of her synagogue, Temple Israel of Greater Miami, Elizabeth serves on their Narot Endowment Fund board.