My family immigrated to the United States in 1978 when I was 8 years old. I still have childhood memories of life outside the United States. Some memories are pleasant, others are not. Growing up in the US under the watchful eye of hard working immigrants taught me to strive for success at every turn. I learned to fight for my beliefs, I learned perseverance and most of all I learned that I can define the direction of my achievements. These lessons helped me graduate toward the top of my class from Loyola School of Law, New Orleans in 1995.
My first position after law school was with a firm in down town Los Angeles, focusing on general civil litigation. In 1997 I moved to Northern California where I married my husband. After a few more years as an employee in the legal field, I decided to take some of my parents' lessons and strike out on my own.
My family background coupled with my experience in law and running a business provides my clients with an attorney who is strong, compassionate and has the resolve and determination to fight for her clients. As an attorney I have learned the law. But as a business owner, I have developed strategies to problem solve, negotiate and help my clients achieve their goals. When taking on a new matter, I work with my client to first determine the most effective course for the case. This includes defining the goals and objectives, but it also requires a careful analysis of my client's personality. Some clients are fighters and need an aggressive knight who battles for the client's beliefs. Other clients prefer a more collaborative approach and need an attorney who finds creative solutions outside the courtroom. Finally, I believe that as a good advocate I need to provide not only a "legal win" for the client, but a "win" that can actually translate to that client's real world.
In sum, I believe an attorney and her client share a bond that reaches a step beyond the law. It's no accident that attorney-client communication is privileged just as communication between doctors and religious leaders. Clients often share their confidences, their concerns and their fears. It's my job to tailor my representation for each client to independently match the needs of that individual. It is with these beliefs, convictions and human understanding, that I offer my services to my clients.
Mrs. Zakheim has been practicing law in California since 1996. Her areas of practice include family, immigration, estate planning and business. In the area of immigration her visa approval success rate is over 98%. Although there is no way to quantify success in family law cases (unfortunately almost all end in divorce) her typical client's have this to say about her:
"For me, the process of divorce was a confusing and often overwhelming experience. It was a relief to have Simona Zakheim representing me. Simona was a knowledgeable and reliable advocate for my interests. She was thorough, efficient and resourceful in reaching the best possible resolution for me." (Actual client 2010 case)
"Dear Simona, I want to thank you again for all of your help and expertise. I know your heart was really involved and I appreciate that more than anything." (Actual client 2009 case)
"Dear Simona, You have done a great job on my case. Thank you very much. I will recommend you to my friends." (Actual client 2008-2009 case)
"Simona, thank you for not only the thousands of dollars you saved me but for the countless hours of stress and heartache. Your guidance was invaluable." (Actual client 2007 case)
J.D., Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1995
B.A., California State University, Northridge
Professional Associations and Memberships
Contra Costa County Bar Association
California State Bar
American Immigration Lawyers Association
Tri-Valley Estate Planning Council