Lisa Marie Vari
Lisa Marie Vari, a female divorce lawyer in Pittsburgh and family formation lawyer in Pennsylvania and Florida, has focused her legal efforts in the family law field for over twenty-five years. From 1996 to the present, Ms. Vari has been in private practice and has operated her family law firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and, since 2006, has also practiced family law in Miami, Florida.
Attorney Vari and her staff have represented over 2,000 family law clients in both Pennsylvania and Florida. As a skilled negotiator and contract attorney, most clients’ issues have been settled by way of out-of-court agreements or contracts during her 25 year career. However, Ms. Vari has personally litigated as trial counsel over 600 contested Family and Orphans’ Court issues when her clients’ interests and the best interests of minor children required such action.
Currently, Attorney Vari’s practice takes her across the state where she focuses her efforts on the issues which mean the most to her – issues involving children including child custody, grandparents’ rights, paternity, adoption and third-party reproduction cases involving the use of donated eggs, sperm or embryos and, on occasion, surrogates to assist an individual or couple to become parents. Ms. Vari also mentors her firm’s Associate Attorneys and support staff by overseeing all aspects of the firm’s family law cases including divorce, equitable distribution and support issues.
Attorney Lisa Marie Vari is one of the most highly regarded family law attorneys in Pennsylvania. PA Super Lawyer magazine has named her as Super Lawyer in the Family Law field since 2014 and as a top rated family law attorney in Pittsburgh, PA. Ms. Vari has also received a superb 10 rating and top ratings from Avvo in the overall attorney, divorce, family law, child custody and child support areas. Ms. Vari has also been honored by the Lead Counsel organization in the family law and divorce areas of law.
Ms. Vari’s clients have included individuals such as professional athletes and other high income and asset clients; an international recording artist; a record producer from California; persons holding professional degrees such as physician’s, accountants, and other lawyers; and many business owners. Ms. Vari has also represented hundreds of clients from middle class backgrounds such as hospital employees, police officers, automobile mechanics, and homemakers.
Attorney Vari is licensed to practice law in the trial courts in every county in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Vari has also successfully passed the Florida Bar Examination and is also admitted to practice law in the Florida courts system. Ms. Vari is also a trained Collaborative Family Lawyer and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator.
Ms. Vari is a member of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations, including the family law and military affairs sections of the organizations as well as a member of the Florida Bar. Attorney Vari is also a member of various organizations related to infertility and assisted reproduction issues including the ABA Assisted Reproductive Technologies Committee, the Legal Practices Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and is listed in the professional directory for RESOLVE, the National Fertility Association. Attorney Vari is an advocate for the legal rights of all families regardless of sexual orientation and a strong supporter of LGBT legal rights in Family and Orphans’ Court matters.
Ms. Vari has conducted seminars on family law topics for other attorneys, various police departments, schools, and for the general public. Ms. Vari has been quoted in several newspaper articles, law journals, and during television interviews relating to family law issues.
Prior to establishing her private practice, Attorney Vari received valuable experience working with various members of the Pennsylvania judiciary. From 1993 until 1995, she was a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Judge Max Baer when he was the Administrative Judge of Adult and Juvenile Sections of the Family Division, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. In that capacity, Ms. Vari assisted Judge Baer in establishing the Generations Program for Allegheny County child custody cases. She was also occasionally assigned to act as a Support Hearing Officer, a Partial Custody Hearing Officer, a coordinator for Protection from Abuse cases and as a Juvenile Delinquency Hearing Officer. The opportunity to observe and assist Judge Baer with trials and pre-trial conferences provided her with insight to the inner workings of the Family Court judiciary. In November of 2003, Judge Max Baer was elected a Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Attorney Vari had the privilege of interning with the late Honorable Justice Ralph Cappy of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court where she spent many hours in the library researching issues and writing draft opinions for Justice Cappy. This position was obtained by recommendation of Maureen Lally-Green who was Attorney Vari’s Legal Research & Writing professor at Duquesne. Professor (now Dean) Lally-Green was a member of Pennsylvania’s Superior Court for over a decade and a very valuable mentor during Attorney Vari’s graduate education.
At Duquesne Law School, Ms. Vari was a member of the Duquesne University Law Review, an honor bestowed only upon the top twenty percent of each law school class. Attorney Vari was also was a research assistant for one of the Law School’s professors, won the intraschool appellate tax moot court competition, was a member of the appellate moot court board, acted as a teaching assistant for the legal research and writing class offered to first year law students, was awarded a scholarship during her tenure at Duquesne, and worked in the law library for all four years of her graduate education. Ms. Vari completed her graduate education in the evening class while working full-time during the day for Pittsburgh area law firms.
Ms. Vari obtained her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh. Attorney Vari was on the Dean’s List every semester while attending Pitt and was a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society. While studying at the University of Pittsburgh, Ms. Vari served as an academic tutor for several student-athletes through the Athletic Department at Pitt. In fact, two of the fellow students that Ms. Vari tutored went on to professional athletic careers. Ms. Vari attended most of her undergraduate classes in the evening while working part-time or full-time during the day. Ms. Vari is a 1983 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School. During high school she was known by her maiden name, Lisa Pasqualini. Ms. Vari is divorced from her former husband.
In addition to her legal training, Ms. Vari attended classes and was awarded an IDC Staff Instructor’s rating in scuba diving by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). Ms. Vari is also licensed as a CPR instructor for adults and children and was certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
In her spare time, Ms. Vari enjoys keeping physically fit, is an avid downhill snow skier, scuba diver, kite boarder and boater. She enjoys traveling to National Parks as well as beach locations. Attorney Vari volunteers for various organizations that assist active duty military personnel with their legal issues. She also serves on a committee that raises funds to support the pediatric emergency department of a local hospital.
Areas of Practice
- Family Law
- Child Custody
- Grandparents’ Rights
- Equitable Distribution
- Child & Spousal Support
Certified Legal Specialties
- Collaborative Family Law, Miami, Florida
- Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator
- U.S. District Court Western District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Duquesne University School of Law, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- J.D. – 1993
- Honors: Winner of Intraschool Appellate Tax Moot Court Competition
- Honors: Member, Appellate Moot Court Board
- Honors: Awarded Scheib Memorial Scholarship
- Law Review: Duquesne University Law Review, Member
- University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- B.A. (Magna Cum Laude)
- Honors: Dean’s List
- Honors: Member, Golden Key National Honor Society
Honors and Awards
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
- Lead Counsel Family Law, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
- Avvo 10 rating for Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Allegheny County Bar Association, Family Law and Military Affairs Sections, Member
- Pennsylvania Bar Association, Family Law and Military Affairs Sections, Member
- American Bar Association, Family Law Section and Assisted Reproductive Technologies Committee
- Florida Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member
- Dade County Bar Association, Family Court Section
- Coral Gables Bar Association
- American Society of Reproductive Medicine, Legal Practices Group, Member
- RESOLVE, National Infertility Association, Member
Past Employment Positions
- Hon. Justice Ralph Cappy, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Intern
- Hon. Judge Max Baer, Adult and Juvenile Sections of the Family Division, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, Staff Attorney, 1993 – 1995
- Duquesne University School of Law, Legal Research & Writing Teaching Assistant; Research Assistant to Tenured Professor
- Law Clerk to Various Pittsburgh law firms
- University of Pittsburgh, Athletic Department, Academic Tutor
- Lisa Pasqualini