Founding Partner

Vanessa L. Hammer

Vanessa L. Hammer is a founding partner of Hammer Serna & Quinn, LLC and has devoted her practice exclusively to the area of Matrimonial/Family law. Prior to starting Hammer Serna & Quinn with her partners, Vanessa worked as an associate attorney with prominent boutique law firms in Chicago, Illinois and Houston, Texas.

Vanessa has proven success in representing a wide range of clients in all areas of family law including high-net-worth professionals, executives, and business owners. While Vanessa is a skilled trial lawyer with many years of litigation experience, she also encourages and utilizes, where appropriate, various forms of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and the collaborative/cooperative law processes in order to yield the best possible results for her clients.

Vanessa is a member of numerous associations, including: Illinois State Bar Association (Family Law Section, Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law and Military Affairs Committee), DuPage County Bar Association, State Bar of Texas (Family Law Section), and the Hispanic National Bar Association.

Vanessa is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). The AAML is comprised of the top matrimonial attorneys throughout the nation who are recognized as preeminent family law practitioners with the highest levels of knowledge, skill, and integrity. In order to be elected, each Fellow must successfully complete a rigorous selection process that includes national and state examinations, personal interviews, and professional and judicial recommendations.

Vanessa is fluent in Spanish and welcomes the opportunity to assist Spanish-speaking clients.

About Me

Vanessa has proven success in representing a wide range of
clients in all areas of family law including high-net-worth
professionals, executives, and business owners.

Financial Acumen to Serve High-Net- Worth Professionals

Vanessa has significant experience handling complex financial divorce cases including sophisticated family estate plans, valuation issues, and forensic tracing. Her wealth of experience allows her to handle unique compensation structures of business and financial sector executives, entrepreneurs, physicians, and other high-net-worth professionals.

Success with Contentious Child-Related Conflicts

In addition to her financial acumen, Vanessa has a significant record of success handling high-conflict contested allocation of parental responsibilities (custody), parenting time (visitation), and relocation cases. She has also prosecuted and defended matters involving international kidnapping and wrongful retention cases brought under the Hague Convention, in both state and federal court, as well as interstate child custody litigation under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA).

Parenting Coordinator and Co-Parenting Consulting

Whether you are contemplating divorce or whether you are in the throes of litigation, the legal process can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking when children are involved. Even when your family law matter has concluded and a judgment has been entered, the process of implementing your written parenting plan on a day to day basis can seem daunting.

As a divorced parent herself, Vanessa brings a unique perspective in order to assist families in learning how to navigate parenting issues before, during, and after the divorce process with an eye toward facilitating a peaceful and effective co-parenting relationship.

Mediation and Child Representation

In addition to her litigation practice, Vanessa is also a trained mediator and offers mediation services to help families resolve property and/or child related disputes. Vanessa also serves, at the discretion of the Court, as a Guardian Ad Litem/Child Representative in both Cook and DuPage counties.

Serving Clients in Illinois and Texas

Vanessa received her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and is licensed to practice in Illinois and Texas and in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois and Southern District of Texas. Vanessa is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mexican-American Studies.

Highly Regarded in the Field of Family Law

Vanessa’s ability to guide clients through divorce-related matters and effectively handle their unique circumstances has been widely recognized. She has been selected as:

  • Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Illinois Chapter)
  • Fellow, International Academy of Family Lawyers (USA Chapter)
  • Illinois Super Lawyer 2018- 2024
  • Best Lawyers, Selected 2019-2024
  • Emerging Lawyer 2017- 2019, Leading Lawyers Network
  • Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star 2017
  • Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2012-2013


Other Team Members

Get In Touch

Call or email Hammer Serna & Quinn, LLC today to schedule a consultation.