Attorney Spotlight: New York

Stacy D. Phillips ●

This edition of Attorney Spotlight highlights one of my honored New York City colleagues in Blank Rome’s Matrimonial & Family Law group—Marilyn B. Chinitz.

Marilyn B. Chinitz

A graduate of New York University and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University, Marilyn has more than 35 years of experience in family law and arrived at Blank Rome in 2007. Marilyn focuses her skills as a lawyer to empower her clients to rise above the personal difficulty that they face in matrimonial disputes, and to gain their own perspectives on what is important in their lives. 

Marilyn is my reliable “bookend” at the firm. We are both naturally very driven professionally but we both also care deeply about community and giving back. Ironically, even though we are on opposite ends of the country, we have occasionally been referred the same client with different matters at the same time or even the same client for one matter. Marilyn finds that she can sometimes represent clients who are the kings and queens of their world, be they hedge fund managers or founders of global businesses. Nevertheless, no matter their accomplishments, divorce and emotional pain are something else entirely, and Marilyn is prepared to guide them through the difficulties in life that may be alien to them. 

Marilyn is a lawyer who can inspire her clients to rise above, and that is a great gift. When a lawyer is strong and direct in their approach, clients will come to appreciate that positivity. People want to know that there is a termination date to the trauma they are going through, and they appreciate the insight Marilyn can provide them. 

If a client is faced with the challenge of facing a difficult or even narcissistic opponent, Marilyn knows the right way out of that situation. When facing such challenges, Marilyn advises her clients to stay “on track.” One cannot change a narcissist, as they never believe they can be wrong. This will ultimately be irrelevant, as the law will prove them wrong. A good lawyer does not engage with such a person, they engage with and forge ahead with facts. If a narcissist wants to slam you over the head with their ego, they can be slammed over the head with the law. Marilyn will remain consistent and focused for her clients from beginning to end.

Outside of her work, Marilyn is involved in many charities, including serving as a board member for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, which has honored her as a “Woman of Distinction in Law” for her efforts to provide awareness and improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by those diseases. This was a glorious event that I was honored to attend. Marilyn believes in community. The more exposure she has to people, the better she can serve her clients. She enjoys connecting people, be that in the medical field, or art, entertainment, anything at all. Because of the extent and enterprise of her experience, Marilyn can turn a client on to or into these worlds, and through charity she can help expand their horizons in life while at the same time doing good work for everyone.

As I do, Marilyn loves the work that she does and the impact she has had on her clients. Being involved with charitable organizations as well as spending time with family are invaluable in life both inside and outside of her career. The advice she can give to young lawyers is that if there is ever a question of “can I do it all” then the answer is most certainly “yes, you can do it all.”