Leah McGowen

Leah McGowan



University of Michigan Law School J.D. 2007; Recipient of the 2006 Lee C. Bollinger Prize for excellence in the study of the First Amendment

University of Michigan B.A., English, with Distinction/Class & University Honors


California, 2015
Illinois, 2007 (inactive)


Northern California Rising Stars (2020)

Professional Experience

  • Law Clerk to Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (2012-2013)
  • Law Clerk to Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (2011-2012)
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (2011-2012)

Professional Activities

  • San Mateo County Bar Association
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association

Experienced in litigation, mediation and negotiation services for all family law matters, Leah McGowan offers guidance, support and advocacy to people during transitions in their lives. She uses her comprehensive foundation in litigation to put people in a position where they can reach resolutions that work best for their families.

Leah manages her clients’ cases by first identifying their unique needs and goals. She offers clients a realistic view of the process and challenges ahead, as well as proactive and customized ways to address those issues.

Family law affects people in fundamental and personal ways, so I feel privileged when people entrust me with their cases. I partner with clients to help them realize their agency and take their cases where they want them to go.

Leah’s interest in family law began with her work at the University of Michigan Law School’s Child Advocacy Law Clinic, where she served as a student attorney. After graduating from law school, she worked as a litigation associate at the Chicago office of Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP (now Locke Lord), where she represented corporations in complex commercial litigation. She then clerked for Magistrate Judges in the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of California before transitioning to Family Law.

Leah has a full range of civil litigation experience, including negotiation, discovery, depositions, motion practice and trial work. She offers clients her skills as a litigator and her practiced counsel on when to use motion practice to reach foundational agreements. Leah helps her clients find common ground and assists them in navigating the family law system to achieve family-centered outcomes.

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