Eileen Avila Family Law • tel: 650.692.1290 • fax: 650.692.1293 • eileen@eileenavilalaw.com

Over 30 years of experience, tailored to your personal needs

If you are like most people, a family law situation will be your first encounter with attorneys and the court process. No two family law cases are the same and unfortunately the legal system is complex, confusing and often demoralizing to contend with. As a Certified Family Law Specialist, in practice since 1982, my job is to offer help, guidance and strong legal representation at some of life's more difficult moments. My extensive experience working within the family law system is both professional and personal, as I've been through the process in my own divorce and in managing continuing issues with my son's special educational and developmental needs. Our goal, working together as client and attorney, is to make a successful transition from a time of difficulty to the start of a better life.

Professional Qualifications

Admitted to the State Bar of California, 1982

  • U.S. District Court, Northern California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • Certified Specialist in Family Law, California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Judge Pro-Tem, San Mateo County Superior Court     

University of San Francisco School of Law

  • J.D., 1982
  • Member, Law Review, School of Law

Pomona College, B.A., with distinction, 1977

Memberships and Affiliations

  • California State Bar, Family Law Section
  • San Mateo County Bar Association
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Collaborative Practice of San Mateo County
  • Member, CalParents
  • Member, SMCBA  Diversity Committee

Community Work

  • Voluntary Attorney One-Day Divorce Program & Status Conference for San Mateo County Superior Court
  • American Heart Association, fundraising volunteer
  • CORA (domestic violence center), fundraising volunteer
  • Family Law ADR Program
  • San Mateo County Fee Arbitration Panel 

Specialized Training

  • Mediation Certificate, UC Berkeley
  • Trial Practice, Hastings College Of Law
  • Attorney for Children Training
  • Collaborative Law Training


  • Super Lawyer, Family Law

Eileen Avila
Attorney at Law


Attorney Background

Eileen M. Coughlan Avila’s practice of law began in 1982. At first, she conducted general litigation and later managed case litigation for the federal government. After the birth of her son in 1993, Eileen decided to devote her practice solely to family law. She became a certified family law practitioner through the California Board of Legal Specialization in 2001. Her practice is now 100% devoted to family law and mediation.

Over time, Eileen has dedicated more of her practice to mediation and negotiation. She is a certified mediator through University of California Berkeley. In recent years, she has also extensively trained in collaborative law and makes use of this training whenever possible in her cases.

Eileen strives first and foremost to fully understand her client’s perspective. She provides rational advice based on the law. And she prides herself on being readily accessible to her clients. When a client is in crisis, she will be there. Eileen works well helping clients to form support networks, including interacting with other family members when appropriate and needed, helping to retain psychotherapists, CPAs, financial experts, vocational and custody evaluators, and other professionals as needed.

As a first generation American and having married into an Hispanic family, Eileen embraces cultural diversity and always works to be sensitive to a family’s culture. She is also sensitive to clients’ and their families’ psychological issues and disabilities when they arise.

Attorney Experience

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