Carolyn Martino, Esq., chair, Family Law Department at Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney.
PHOTOGRAPH AND VIDEO BY ETHAN KAMINSKY PRODUCTIONS
A love for the beach lured Carolyn Martino from New York to UCLA, “much to my parents’ horror,” she says. “I made them many promises about making sure that I continued to work hard and didn’t get distracted by the beautiful sand and sea. So I kept my promise and I got to stay. California became my home, and I love it here very much.”
Writing a thesis on Henry Matisse — an attorney before he was an artist — inspired Martino to opt for law school. Later, after working in civil defense and insurance firms, Martino changed course. “I don’t think that I chose family law,” she says. “I think family law chose me,” because she felt strongly connected with clients going through tough times and enjoyed providing helpful counsel.
Her mother’s retirement to Rancho Mirage drew her to the Coachella Valley, where she now chairs the family law department at SBEMP after merging with the multi-specialty firm following 15 years in solo practice. She’s also certified as minor’s counsel with the Superior Court of Riverside.
Her personal life is all about family as well: Her 15-year-old son just started at Xavier High School and her mom is still here in the desert.
When she’s not working, she’s a “huge sports fan.” Her son plays with a travel hockey club, and she co-founded the Coachella Valley Youth Hockey Organization. She notes the valley has grown and “very much become a place for young people. We’re seeing many more migrate from the coastal areas with year-round jobs here.”
VIDEO: Carolyn Martino chats about how she began as a Fine Arts major at UCLA, which proved useful in her law career.