About Candace Smyth

I am a heart-centered divorce coach and family mediator, who has learned through her own experience, based in Washington, D.C.

For more than 12 years, I was a community rights & advocacy attorney. The quest to eradicate injustice and to seek mutually accepted solutions to difficult legal issues have always been my focus, my fuel & my fire.

A defining moment in my life happened in 2007 when my own marriage ended when our daughter was not quite 2 years old.  I was devastated, a complete mess really.  I felt really alone and had no idea where to turn.  Unfortunately for all of us, our divorce took almost 3 years.  I hired an attorney that did not really make me feel like I was in control at all.  I spent a few thousand dollars, and I was still not anywhere closer to divorced.  We finally agreed to mediate, and it was one of the worst experiences ever.  I really did not feel the mediator listened to either of us.  Getting an agreement was more important than making sure the agreement would really work for us and that the two of us would be the best co-parents possible to our daughter walking out of there.  We had to figure it out on our own, and I am happy to say we did and we have.

But, it really should not be that way.

Just years before, I had practiced on the litigious, adversarial side of family law.  I knew how painful, difficult, adversarial the process could be.  In that role as attorney, I intuitively knew litigation was not the best legal option for negotiating issues between family members. I have never seen anyone walk away from a litigious, adversarial case better off in his or her life. The pain and overwhelm of divorce are only just beginning.  I believe that the ending should support the healing process, and this includes the legal ending.

To work through my own grief and ability to communicate with my ex-husband, I studied intuitive healing practices — including meditation, yoga & Ayurveda.  These healing modalities have kept me centered in my truth. it’s a joy to finally integrate my passions for nutrition, herbal remedies, yoga, and healing into my legal practice (seriously, why hasn’t anyone done this before?)

After going through my own situation, I began noticing that I wasn’t the only one experiencing divorce this way.  I realized that unless I created a different approach, everyone would be tied to the same adversarial system or unconscious mediation process as my family.

I see the legal system in family law as another player, but it should not be. I believe that pre-nuptials, separation agreements and divorces should be mediated or at the very least collaboratively processed.

I have since made a commitment to dedicate the rest of my professional life to helping couples with children go through the divorce process, healing along the way so they are better prepared to co-parent with love and effectiveness.  Today, I serve as an Attorney and Family Mediator in metro Washington, DC. I inspire and practice mindful mediation.  I also provide workshops across the country focusing on restorative yoga, Ayurveda analysis and practical support so that affirmative self-made decisive steps may be taken by attendees. I believe divorce is one of those pinnacle opportunities for personal growth & transformation.

If you’re seeking a divorce coach or family mediator in Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia with a holistic approach or an experienced mentor to support you through your own litigious or mediated divorce, I’d be honored to assist you.

In service,

Candace

 

If you are interested in the more traditional CV : 

Candace Beck Smyth

  • State Bar of Texas

    •  1999 to Present
  • District of Columbia Bar

    •  2001 to Present
  • State Bar of New Mexico

    •  2003 to Present

Education

American University, Washington College of Law

J.D Cum Laude

1996 – 1999

Internships and Law Student Work:

Ayuda, Inc. (VAWA applications)
Colorado Rural Legal Services, Migrant Farmworker Division
Catholic Legal Immigration Services – Denver, CO (Immigration Detention Monitor and Advocate)

Activities and Societies: Claire A. Cripe Award for Outstanding Student in Correctional Law,May 1999
WCL Alumni Scholarship Recipient, March 1999
Equal Justice Foundation Fellowship Recipient 1998, Co-Editor-in Chief of Journal of Gender,Social Policy & the Law, International Human Rights Law Clinic

University of Alabama

M.A, Latin American Studies (Social Anthropology)

1994 – 1996

Activities and Societies: M.A., Latin American Studies (Social Anthropology), with honors,May 1996 Alumni Fellowship and Full Scholarship Recipient, International Scholars Honorary

Auburn University

B.A, Political Science

1991 – 1994

Activities and Societies: Political Science, Magna Cum Laude, June 1994 (Minors, Spanish and Japanese)

Professional Experience

Attorney-Advisor at the Office of the Solicitor, Division of Indian Affairs

September 2006 – May 2010 (3 years 9 months) Washington, D.C.

Reviewed Indian tribes’ trust acquisition applications for gaming purposes and advised the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs regarding off-reservation fee-to-trust appplications, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance, and Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act (IGRA) compliance; managed litigation of Interior decisions to approve applications to take land into trust for tribes for gaming and non-gaming purposes.

Staff Attorney with Whitman-Walker Clinic Legal Services

 May 2004 – September 2006 (2 years 5 months) Washington, D.C.

Assisted clients with HIV, and gay, lesbian and transgender
clients in immigration; public benefits; health and disability insurance denials; employment discrimination; FMLA; and HIPAA matters.

Associate with Rubin Katz Law Firm, P.C.

 November 2003 – April 2004 in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Represented clients in estate planning and family law matters.

Assistant Public Defender at the New Mexico Public Defender Office

 January 2003 – November 2003 in Aztec and Farmington, New Mexico

Represented clients, mostly Navajo Indian, in misdemeanor, juvenile and felony matters; argued and chaired various criminal jury and bench trials

Associate at Howrey Simon Arnold & White, LLP

 October 2000 – January 2003 in the Global Litigation Group

Prepared litigation motions, discovery materials, first and second requests in Antitrust, False Claims Act, securities, and general litigation matters.

Judicial Law Clerk, U.S. District Court United States Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney

 August 1999 – August 2000 (1 year 1 month) Dallas, Texas

Prepared recommendations and orders in civil and criminal matters on behalf of the Court.