Attorney Spotlight: Los Angeles

Stacy D. Phillips ●

This edition of Attorney Spotlight highlights one of my Los Angeles colleagues in Blank Rome’s Matrimonial & Family Law Group—Erica Swensson.

Erica Swensson
Of Counsel

Recently promoted to of counsel at the firm, Erica and I first met in 2007 when we found ourselves on opposing sides of a number of cases.

She impressed me so much that she later became my first hire at Blank Rome. It has been a delightful experience seeing my relationship with Erica transform from a worthy adversary to an amazing coworker and friend. Please enjoy learning more about her.

A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the Chapman University School of Law, Erica focuses her career on helping her clients face their matrimonial matters with dignity. Her goal is to help them minimize fear and anxiety about this difficult process. As an attorney, Erica helps her clients to be smart about where they put their litigation dollars while focusing on their future after divorce. Erica directs her clients to “fight the good fight,” while working to focus their litigation dollars and emotional energy away from fruitless minutiae. She approaches her cases from a practical, outcome-oriented perspective and encourages her clients to look beyond “winning,” as principle alone can be excessively expensive and often does not provide the vindication they seek.

When counseling clients, Erica believes that “the thing is not the thing.” Clients can easily get bogged down in small fights, not realizing that their impassioned dispute over who gets the couch, is really a proxy battle stemming from the grief of losing the relationship. Anger can make it easy for clients to focus too much energy on small matters, only to later wonder why the litigation was so costly. Erica is mindful of the cross-roads of emotion and litigation and works hard to steer her clients’ vision to the future and life beyond divorce.

Outside of work, Erica enjoys competitive offshore sailing. Erica was the only woman on a 13-person team manning “Second Wind,” a 65’ Swan. Her sailing regattas have taken her thousands of miles over the sea in shifts of three hours on/three hours off, round the clock. Erica and her team won first place in their division in the Transpacific Yachting Regatta from Long Beach to Hawaii in the summer of 2015. Second Wind made the 2,600 nautical mile journey in the winning time of 14 days, 8 hours. This intensive experience informed Erica’s approach and demeanor to practicing law. Competitive sailing—especially during powerful weather events—conditioned Erica to make important decisions, under intense pressure, with the information available in the moment. This acumen helps focus her and her clients on looking at the bigger picture, even when in the intensity of the moment.

Erica also enjoys spending time with her family. Her husband is the world’s most recorded professional Celtic multi-instrumentalist and the first-to-call studio musician for Celtic instruments in Los Angeles and throughout the world.