Brigitte Schmidt Bell, P.C.
Brigitte Bell has been a lawyer since 1979, a mediator since 1985, and has had her own firm concentrating on family law and dispute resolution issues since 1993. Her focus is resolving issues without relying on the courts, working instead to help clients solve their own problems–legal, financial, relationship, emotional–in ways that are respectful and private.
Brigitte fervently believes in mediation and Collaborative Law as non-adversarial, problem-solving approaches to divorce and family issues and is committed to practicing in ways that foster respect, self determination, and constructive resolutions. Previously, she put this belief into practice by heading up one of the first family law firms in Illinois in which all of the attorneys were also trained as mediators and Collaborative professionals committed to these approaches.
Brigitte has since wound down that practice and is now focused solely on these non-adversarial approaches, except that she continues to function as a Child Representative, Guardian ad Litem, and Parenting Coordinator in highly conflicted cases to try to bring down the tone. Brigitte believes Collaborative Law is a better way to address all family matters, including prenuptial agreement, divorce, and internal conflicts for families and never-married parents. In all these types of matters, the children’s welfare and best interests come first, finances are worked out between the clients with the help of a financial neutral, and the mental well-being of all the participants remains a priority during the process.
Brigitte is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of Chicago Law School. She was a founding Co-President of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, then Chair of the Excellence and Best Practices Committee, and then the Chair of Training and Education Committee for many years. She got her initial mediation training at the Center for Conflict Resolution in Chicago back when it was still Neighborhood Justice of Chicago. She served on the Board of Directors for 25 years and served as a trainer for them for many years. She has taught Dispute Resolution at both Layola Law School of Chicago and DePaul’s School for New Learning. She continues to serve on the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Council of the Illinois Bar Association and continues to volunteer her expertise and experience as a coach, facilitator, reviewer, evaluator, etc. for mediators and collaborative professionals in training at various institutions.