Esther “Essie” Lazarus

Associate Attorney

Esther “Essie” grew up in the Atlanta area. She started her legal studies close to home at Emory University School of Law, where she began making her mark in family law well before graduating. She was awarded family law-related internships with Atlanta Legal Aid: Domestic Relations Unit and the Honorable Jane Barwick, Superior Court of Fulton County: Family Division. She also earned an externship in a local metro family law firm before getting accepted to the Georgia State Bar.

Family law was a natural career path for Essie. “As a child whose parents went through a very public divorce in a small town in Georgia,” she said, “I appreciate the importance of minimizing the collateral damage that can be caused by the divorce process. My understanding of family law on both a personal and professional level has helped me realize the value of protecting a client’s privacy and rights.”

Essie is particularly interested in complex child custody cases and, raised by a single father, she sees herself as a father’s rights advocate. She also looks forward to working on same-sex cases.

Firm managing partner Mary Montgomery says that Essie is a perfect fit with SM&P’s mission to guide clients through the often murky waters of divorce, child custody, and other thorny legal issues involving families. “I don’t see her backing down from any challenge.”

“I joined this firm,” said Essie, “because I wanted to learn from the leading family law attorneys in the industry. The amount of experience and resilience found in a firm that has been around for thirty years makes it the very best place to start my career.”

When not solving clients’ problems, Essie likes to spend time with her nearby family, indulge in Golden Girls marathons, get her sweat on at her favorite workout facility, and walk the BeltLine with Edith, her eight-pound terrier mix rescue “with attitude.”


State of Georgia Bar, 2019


Atlanta Bar (Family Law and Child Protection)




Emory University School of Law

Atlanta, Georgia
Juris Doctorate, 2018

Elon University

Elon, North Carolina, 2014
Major: Economics