MEET OUR LEGAL TEAM
Our team of experienced family law attorneys and professionals are here to assist you.
Sonya Fischer has extensive experience as an advocate for vulnerable populations. Her activism stems from parenting a child with severe developmental disabilities. The institutional barriers she experienced as a young mother inspired her to speak up and create change for others.
A member of the Oregon State Bar since 2003, and selected as an Oregon Super Lawyers 2009, 2010 and 2011 “Rising Star,” Sonya brings compassion and first-hand legislative knowledge to the practice of law. She combines her legal expertise with her understanding of education and service delivery systems to create successful strategies for her clients. Sonya understands her clients' struggles and utilizes a collaborative approach while building a solid record to preserve her clients' rights.
Sonya began her advocacy efforts while attending Warner Pacific College where she organized parents of children with disabilities to secure important early intervention services. She was soon hired by Multnomah County, where she assisted the families of children with disabilities in accessing services and facilitated the planning and delivery of services for early childhood education, domestic violence and homeless youth.
In 1991, while completing her master's degree in Public Administration at Portland State University, Sonya began working as an intern for the late senator Frank Roberts, where she spearheaded new disability parking permit legislation. Sonya worked in Salem for 13 years.
While working with the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities, Sonya helped create a system of in-home supports for children with severe disabilities and facilitated the passage of legislation making it possible for children with disabilities to continue attending the same school when living temporarily outside their parents' home. As legislative staff to Senator Frank Shields, Sonya developed a package of early childhood legislation that resulted in a statewide childcare provider training program that incorporated the importance of healthy brain development for young children. Sonya most recently served as the Director for State and Legislative Federal Affairs for the Oregon Department of Human Services.
Sonya graduated from the Lewis & Clark Law School, where she was recognized for her leadership and contributions as both a Joyce Ann Harpole Scholar and a member of the Cornelius Honor Society. The Harpole award is a peer-nominated award given each year to a law student and a practicing lawyer who are notable for balancing a fulfilling life with the study or practice of law. Sonya was also recognized for winning the mock trial competition. While in law school, Sonya spearheaded a pro bono program for law students to assist families with their childrens' special education planning.
Sonya is a member of the Board of Governors of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, where she previously co-chaired the Family Law Section. She is past President of the Clackamas Women Lawyers. She is past Secretary of the Clackamas County Bar Association and chaired the Policy Committee for FACT: Family and Community Together. She served as a delegate for the Oregon State Bar. She is also involved with Oregon Women Lawyers, and The Arc of Multnomah County. Sonya is a member of the Governmental Affairs Committee for the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce. She was very active in her childrens' educations, previously serving on school foundation boards and budget committees as well as volunteering in the classroom.
Professional Associations and Memberships
Areas of Practice
Samantha brings almost two decades of experience practicing law in Oregon and is the rare native, third generation Oregonian. She grew up in Clackamas County and still lives here. Samantha is passionate about helping clients understand their legal situation, what their options are, and working with people to determine the best strategy to resolve their unique legal issue in a way that is right for them. Her practice focuses on all areas of domestic relations law, whether you need a lawyer in the courtroom or at the mediation table. She handles complex financial cases and difficult custody situations, as well as prenuptial agreements, restraining and stalking orders, and modification of support issues.
Samantha started her legal career as a deputy district attorney in Clackamas County, and practiced in civil litigation before focusing on domestic relations. She received her JD at University of Oregon and her MBA from the University of Utah. Her undergraduate degree is from Whitman College as a biochemistry major, and she graduated high school from Oregon Episcopal School (OES).
Outside the law, Samantha is active in civic engagements. She is active on the Alumni Council for OES, and is a past president of the Clackamas County Bar Association. She does pro bono representation of children in domestic relations cases.
In her spare time, Samantha enjoys being outdoors. Whether it is running, downhill skiing, or working outside in the yard, she loves everything Oregon has to offer. Her standard poodle, Quinn, likes being out as much as she does and is a regular companion on their adventures.
Brenda Winikka (Of Counsel) has teamed with Sonya in the practice of law for over four years. She graduated from Willamette University (B.A., history) and Lewis and Clark Law School. She was admitted to practice in Oregon in 2004. Brenda enjoys working through the procedural and relational challenges that come with practicing family law. An Oregon native, Brenda practices in Yamhill County out of her office in Newberg, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite things include family road trips, the view from the top of Chehalem Mountain and coffee crème brulee at the Garden View Restaurant in Silverton.
Brenda works to show compassion to her clients while achieving the best outcome possible. Recognizing that family law disputes do not have “winners” and “losers,” she works to bring resolution to conflict.
Legal Assistant & Paralegal
Christine Furrer supports, encourages and advocates for her clients so that they can find peace during difficult times or security in knowing that their family member with special needs will be financially cared for in the future.
She graduated from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College and then had her own practice in Lake Oswego where she handled personal injury matters and estate planning with a focus on Special Needs Trusts.
Christine is the mother of three beautiful children, one who has Autism and Angelman Syndrome. Given that she has spent years advocating for her daughter, she has a passion for helping individuals with disabilities and their families.
Christine joins our team after taking a few years hiatus from the law to focus on helping her children grow and to start a woodworking business making custom home and office furniture pieces.
During her personal time, Christine spends as much time as possible outdoors. She goes on adventures with her children, is a lifelong runner, biker, yogi, indoor cyclist, skier, hiker, mediocre golfer and hopefully a future angler.
She carries with her a sense of calm and an endless amount of patience while remaining quick-witted and strategic. She is a zealous advocate and will be a welcome addition to our firm.
Grace has been a paralegal for over 25 years. For the majority of that time, she has focused her work in the area of Family Law in Las Vegas, Nevada, and in the Portland Metropolitan area. She deals with all aspects of the discovery process, preparation for all court appearances, depositions, mediation, settlement conferences, and anywhere that she can be of assistance to her attorneys and clients. Grace is often a calming influence to clients, who are frequently overwhelmed with all of the requirements to produce documents and complete necessary court forms regarding income and expenses.
In her work as a paralegal, Grace approaches each case from the perspective of making the process as painless and straight-forward as possible for clients, while making certain that the attorney is ready for anything that may arise.
Grace is a divorced mother of two, and can appreciate how daunting and emotionally taxing the legal process can be for clients. Having this personal experience allows her to sympathize with and better serve the clients she works with. She is imminently graduating from Portland State University, with a double major of Business Management and Leadership and Psychology. Her ultimate goal is to complete a Ph.D. in Psychology to allow her to further her work in a setting that is complimentary to family law.
Cindy began her legal career at the age of 16 when she was offered the opportunity to work for the city attorney, Kulla & Ronneau. She has worked ever since in the legal field with a continuing passion for the field of Family Law. Prior to joining Fischer Family Law, PC, she worked for 10 years with a family law firm in Beaverton, Oregon. Cindy was with the firm from its foundation through its tremendous growth, using her knowledge and experience to build good rapport with the judges, their staff and other departments within the courthouse. Cindy is a seasoned legal assistant with a can-do attitude embodying the principles of compassion, empathy and understanding.