Chrystal Sommers Brand - Family Lawyer

About Us...

Chrystal Sommers Brand, J.D.

Chrystal Sommers Brand has been practicing law in Southeast Alaska for over 26 years, with an emphasis in family law for 22 years. Chrystal earned her B.A. from the University of Washington, and her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Willamette University Law School in 1983. While at Willamette Law School, Chrystal served as a Teaching Assistant in Legal Research and Writing, was an Associate Editor for the Willamette Law Review, worked as a law clerk first for the Alaska Attorney General's Office in Juneau, and subsequently for the law firm of Ziegler, Cloudy in Ketchikan. Chrystal was admitted to the Alaska Bar in 1983; she is admitted to practice before all courts in Alaska, including the Alaska Superior Courts, the Alaska Supreme Court, and the U.S. District Court, District of Alaska.

Chrystal opened her own family law specialty office in 2001. Prior to opening her own office, Chrystal was a partner with the law firm of Baxter Bruce Brand, P.C., in Juneau, Alaska, starting as an associate and, in less than three years, becoming a partner in 1990. Previously, Chrystal was associated with the law firm of Ziegler, Cloudy, King, Brown & Peterson from 1983-1987 in Ketchikan, Alaska.

She is a member of the Alaska Bar Association, Family Law Section, where she is a member of the Executive Council. Chrystal is a member of the American Bar Association, and a member in good standing of both the ABA Family Law Section and Senior Lawyers Section .

Chrystal has been a guest speaker at seminars for the Alaska Bar Association and for the American Bar Association on family law and law office management. During 2002-2004, she served on the Alaska Supreme Court's 90.3 Child Support Review Committee. Chrystal also is an Adjunct Professor on family law for the University of Alaska Southeast.

Jodi Van Kirk
Bookkeeper/Paralegal (on Contract)

Jodi Van Kirk has been working for Chrystal as a family law paralegal with an emphasis in child support matters since 2000. Jodi's previous paralegal experience is working with Alaska parents and the State of Alaska Child Support Services Division since 1993. Jodi has been working in the financial, bookkeeping, accounting field since 1985. She handles all of the day to day financial accounting and report preparation for the office, operating from her home office.

Jodi specializes in assisting Chrystal with child support matters -- child support calculations, obtaining child support discovery, calculating child support arrearages, assisting in CSSD child support proceedings, assisting in trial court child support proceedings, and child support enforcement issues.

As the firm's bookkeeper, Jodi handles all billing and related matters, accounts payable and receivable, so questions on those matters should be directed to her.

Shawn Damerval, CLA
Computer Technician/Paralegal (on Contract)

Shawn Damerval has over 12 years of experience as a paralegal and investigator in Juneau, Alaska. Shawn worked full-time for Chrystal for one year, and has worked on contract as a part-time paralegal and computer guru from her home office since 2002. Prior to working with Chrystal, Shawn worked as a paralegal and network administrator for 5 years for the law firm of Simpson, Tillinghast, Sorensen & Lorensen in Juneau, Alaska. She currently works full-time as an Investigator for the State of Alaska Department of Revenue.

Shawn graduated from the paralegal program at Charter College in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1995, and passed the National Association of Legal Assistantsí CLA (Certified Legal Assistant) examination in February 1996.

Shawn authored the Alaska chapter of West Publishing Companyís lobbying and campaign finance handbook for the years of handbook 1995 through 2000. She also was the presenter of a seminar on Legal Research on the Internet for the State Capital Law Firm Group.

Shawn primarily assists Chrystal with computer-related issues, but also will occasionally work with clients to prepare affidavits, court forms, and similar documents. She is also the law firmís Webmaster, and questions about this site can be directed to her.

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