“If you’re gonna play in the major leagues, you’d better learn how to hit a fast ball.”
As a young lawyer, new to family law practice, I was given that advice by a senior partner. In the more than two decades since, I have followed it.
I do family law – divorce, modification, custody, support – I don’t do wills, collections or criminal defense.
Just because there are forms for “do it yourself divorce” at the courthouse it doesn’t mean that you should use them. And just because there is a form for figuring the presumed amount of child support available on the internet, that number is not necessarily appropriate in your case.
After all, just because your vehicle manual is available on the internet doesn’t mean that you should fix your own airbags.
Ted Williams was perhaps the greatest hitter ever to play the game, but a marginal manager.
Primary Practice Areas
Need A Family Law Attorney?
Our firm has over thirty years of combined experience in St. Louis for divorce and other family law matters. We are licensed in Missouri and practice in St. Louis County and in the city of St. Louis.
Our St. Louis family attorneys are experienced, knowledgeable, and trusting. We refuse to “tell you what you want to hear” simply to obtain or keep your business.
Leigh Joy Carson
Family Law Attorney
Leigh Joy Carson
Clients often choose Leigh Joy Carson as their family lawyer because of her reputation as an aggressive, experienced attorney who cares for her clients. Her approach also guides The Carson Law Firm, whose lawyers are committed to giving their clients sound legal advice rather than simply telling them what they would like to hear.
Carson explains, “Once clients know where they stand in the legal system, they can make informed decisions that allow them to move forward in life.”
Carson, a Chicago native, decided while attending the Saint Louis University School of Law that St. Louis was the place she’d like to call home. In 1986, after graduating, Carson accepted a prestigious clerkship with Judge Carl R. Gaertner of the Eastern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals.
“Judge Gaertner was an extraordinary jurist,” Carson recalls. “One of the most important lessons I learning during my two-year clerkship is that the law isn’t just about legal arguments — decisions affect people’s lives.”
After her clerkship ended, Carson joined Bryan Cave, the largest law firm in St. Louis, as an associate. There, she says, “they teach you how to provide clients excellent legal representation.”
Having laid down a strong foundation early in her legal career, Carson moved to Love Lacks & Paule, a boutique firm with a strong family law practice. Once exposed to the practice area of family law — her first such case involved registering a divorce in St. Louis that had been obtained in Japan — Carson knew that it was the field for her.
But Carson had inherited a strong entrepreneurial streak , and in 1995 she established her own firm in Clayton. In the 16 years since she has enjoyed a thriving practice, representing spouses and parents, as well as numerous children through guardian ad litem appointments.
Those varied legal experiences on all sides of family law cases give her clients a distinct advantage. “I understand the strengths and weaknesses of my client’s case,” Carson says. “Using that knowledge, I can guide them to the best outcome possible.”
In addition, her firm’s focus on family law matters — divorce, child support, child custody, adoptions, guardianships and other domestic matters — require Carson to be well versed in established law and on top of the latest decisions coming out of the Missouri courts and aware of new statutes being passed by the Missouri Legislature. Clients can relax in the knowledge that this is not someone who is just learning the law.
To promote her practice and give back to the profession, Carson regularly shares her experience at legal seminars and conferences for lawyers and judges. Her guest articles have appeared in numerous publications.
Carson is proud of her firm’s reputation for excellence. “After 20 years of practice focused primarily on family law, I know how to help my clients think their way out of a problem. I often meet people during some of the worst times of their lives and help them move ahead.”
Saint Louis University School of Law, juris doctor, cum laude, 1986
Ripon College, bachelor of arts, cum laude, 1983
Carson has spoken at continuing legal education seminars sponsored by:
University of Missouri–Kansas City
University of Missouri–Columbia
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
National Business Institute
Land of Lincoln Bar Foundation
Volunteer and Board Memberships
- Caring for Kids, past board member
St. Louis County courthouse accessibility ad hoc committee
Kids in the Middle, past board member
Friends of Heritage House, past board member
- Ellisville Parks Board, past member
Client Relations Manager
Location: St Louis
In the years she has worked at The Carson Law Firm, Client Relations Manager Pam Ohlendorf has been a beacon for clients and attorneys.
“When the attorneys are in court, I am here,” Ohlendorf notes. Interacting substantially with both the legal and personal elements of each case, Ohlendorf is an essential resource for clients.
A native St. Louisan, Ohlendorf attended high school at the Cor Jesu Academy. She went on to earn a degree in criminal justice from Saint Louis University.
After earning her degree, Ohlendorf worked for a variety of law firms in the St. Louis area, finishing off at Lewis & Rice, LC before leaving the workforce to raise her three children.
In 2009, Ohlendorf returned to the workforce with her debut at The Carson Law Firm. In this time, she has used her organizational savvy and efficiency to streamline the work of the attorneys, and to accelerate the satisfaction of the client’s needs.
- Saint Louis University, B.S. 1991
Prior Work History
- · Lewis, Rice & Fingersh
- · Morris & Levy
- · Roges, Howell & Haferkamp
Social Media Consultant
Tommy Karandjeff is a senior at Clayton High School and joined The Carson Law Firm in early 2020. Prior to his involvement with the Firm, Tommy managed Paws Up Clayton, a pet-sitting and dog walking business that served the residents of Clayton and is now well known by business professionals for his community outreach. Tommy is a fan of great books and quality espresso with equal passion, and when he isn’t developing an ad campaign you can find him at the nearest park, with his dog Roscoe, of course.
From Our Clients
We care about our clients, and do not see them as “cases.” We invite you to read some of the testimonials we have received from our clients.
“Carson Law Firm was trustworthy, knowledgeable, efficient and caring. They were very responsive to all of my many questions. This was an extremely stressful situation and they eased my worries every step of the way. I am truly grateful.
Choose this firm if you want to deal with fair and compassionate legal experts that will advocate for you.”
“Leigh and Pam helped me through a very hard time while reassuring me along the way that everything would work out in the end. They were empathetic with my situation and showed that they cared about me and my children. Thank you both for you time, energy and compassion.”
“Leigh and her assistant Pam , listened to my concerns and helped keep me calm during a difficult time. Everything was explained to me and they were always able to answer my questions. Leigh was always honest (blunt) and straight to the point which I appreciated. No One ever wants to see a divorce lawyer, but the Carson law firm helped me a great deal. Thank you!”
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