Despina Hartofilis received her undergraduate degree from Fordham University and earned her Juris Doctor Degree from St. John's University School of Law. While at St. John's University School of Law, Despina was an active member of the Child Advocacy Clinic where she represented abused and neglected children, pursuant to an Appellate Division Student Practitioner order, in Queens and Nassau County Family Courts.
Despina was responsible for all aspects of representation including court appearances, client interviews, legal research, negotiations, fact investigation and trial preparation. Despina presented An Interdisciplinary Approach to Child Advocacy Clinic, to the Honorable Chief Justice Judith Kaye upon her completion of the clinic.
Despina completed an International Human Rights Externship at Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) where she interviewed and screened prospective clients, conducted research to support efforts in challenging courts' treatment of sexually exploited victims and served as a liaison between GEMS and members of criminal justice system.
Upon passing the New York and New Jersey State Bars, Despina began her career in family law at the Children's Law Center where she represented children in Kings County Family Court in:
Despina was featured in a media interview with Mel Berkowitz regarding child protective matters and representation of children in New York State Family Court where she discussed the importance of children having proper representation in Court. Despina also co-authored "Separate But Not Equal: A Call for the Merger of New York State Family and Supreme Courts," Columbia Journal of Law & Social Problems, Summer 2007.
“My family court case was very long and drawn out yet, Despina Hartofilis stayed diligent and always kept me well informed on status updates. She exceeded my expectations, showed me compassion and never made me feel like my case was just a docket number. I definitely recommend her!” ~ Celey Flores
Throughout her career, Despina has zealously represented her clients' interests in contested trials, worked collaboratively with appellate attorneys to undertake motion practice and teamed with social workers to best represent her clients. She takes this experience to work with her every day.
Despina later sought to expand her family law experience and joined a private family law firm which represented both high net worth clients and middle to low income clients. Despina worked closely with highly skilled matrimonial and family law attorneys and she learned to be a compassionate and accomplished attorney. Despina later began her own successful divorce and family law practice, which she owned for four years before forming HD Family Law Group. Despina has practiced solely in family and matrimonial law for eight years.
Despina was raised in a Greek-American family. She is fluent in speaking, reading, and writing Greek and remains actively involved in the Greek community. She was raised in Queens and now resides in Brooklyn. Despina coached youth basketball and enjoys sports, reading and traveling in her spare time.
15 Years of Combined Experience
Serving Families throughout All five Boroughs and NJ
New York Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠
Earned an Excellent Rating by Avvo
Offices in Brooklyn and Manhattan