Judith E. Turkel

Judith is one of the preeminent private practice attorneys in the area of non-traditional family law.  She is well known for representing clients in adoptions, donor and parenting agreements, and non-marital partnership contracts.  Judith has also developed a new area of practice in pre-marital contracts such as prenuptial agreements.  Her wills and estate practice includes drafting health care proxies and powers of attorney and focuses on the needs of lesbians, gay men, transgender people and others in unrecognized or non-traditional families. 

She also represents a number of small business clients who come to her for counsel on a range of general business matters.  Judith has experience in employment contract review, specifically for Not-for-Profit organizations.  She maintains an extensive real estate practice representing both buyers and sellers in cooperative, condominium and single and multi-family properties.  Judith also handles probate and estate administration

Community Service and Pro Bono Work

Judith combines her professional knowledge and personal dedication to social justice and change to assist organizations that are important to the New York LGBT community.   Her long history of community involvement began in the early 1980s when she was one of the founding Board members of the Lesbian and Gay Law Association of Greater New York (LeGaL).  She also served on the Board of Directors of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc from 1984 to 1990, including three years as Co-Chair.  Judith was Vice-President of the Board of the Paul Rapoport Foundation for three years from 1993 to1996. 

Judith helped lead a $13 million capital campaign for The Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center while she served as President of the Board of Directors from 1995 to 2000.  A dedicated advocate for the right to better resources and services for LGBT seniors in the 21st century, Judith joined Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) in 2005 as a member of the Board of Directors and now serves as the Board's Co-Chair.    

Judith has extensive experience as a lecturer and presenter in the area of non-traditional family law.  Her past experience includes:

  • New York County Lawyers Association:  Making it Legal 
  • New York State  Bar Association Civil Rights Committee Program on Practical Approaches to the Legal  Issues Facing Lesbians and Gay Men
  • Practicing Law Institute Program on Legal Issues Facing the Non-Traditional Family 
  • Progressive Family Agenda Conference
  • NYS Judicial Training Panel on Non-Traditional Family Law 
  • Lesbians at Law
  • LeGaL
  • Center Kids
  • Lesbian Cancer Initiative
  • Out Professionals
  • The New York Community Trust
  • Women on a Mission; LGBT Chamber of Commerce

Practice Areas

Residential Real Estate, Family Law, Wills and Estates, General Business Law, Employment Law, Collaborative Law

Bar Admissions

  • New York State
  • Southern District of New York
  • Eastern District of New York
  • New Jersey

Professional Affiliations

  • International Academy of Collaborative Practitioners
  • New York County Lawyer's Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Lesbian and Gay Law Association of Greater New York
  • LGBTQ Collaborative Law Group of New York City
  • National Family Law Council of National Center for Lesbian Rights

Honors and Awards

  • 2007- Laurie Linton Community Activist Award, Stonewall Community Foundation
  • 2001- Leadership Honors, Lesbian & Gay Community Services Center
  • 1995- Legacy Uncommon Woman
  • 1987- Bar Association for Human Rights of Greater New York (now LeGal) Community Service Award

Prior Experience

Judith worked for a small firm in the area of intellectual property before starting her own solo practice in 1983. She and Howard became partners in 1991. Turkel Forman & de la Vega was formed in 2005


  • Union College, Schenectady, New York- B.A. cum laude 1976
  • Pace University School of Law, White Plains, New York- J.D. 1981

Martindale Hubbell Profile- Judith E. Turkel

About Judith

Judith and her partner live with their cairn terriers in New York City and enjoy spending weekends in their upstate New York home and taking hiking trips to remote locations around the world.

NEW YORK, NY 10016

212-353-2200 fax 212-353-8828
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