Mary E. Schellhammer

Mary E. Schellhammer Family and Estate Law Attorney

Mary E. Schellhammer, a family and estate law attorney, is known and respected throughout Pennsylvania as a fierce and effective advocate for her clients. Experienced in litigation, negotiation, and collaborative law, Mary approaches each client as an individual, providing the best best representation for each unique situation.

Mary Schellhammer began her legal career in 1991. Early in her career, she served her community as an attorney with Legal Aid in Johnstown. It was during this time that she started to focus on family law practice. This included becoming an Arbitrator and Special Master in Divorce in both Somerset and Cambria Counties. Mary founded her firm in 2003. She focuses her practice on family law and estate planning and administration.

Mary has substantial litigation experience in both trial and appellate courts. As an experienced litigator, Mary is ready, willing and able to take each case to court, but understands that sometimes negotiating and settling is the best choice for her client and her client’s children. This is why she is trained in both the collaborative law process and mediation. Mary approaches each case with the understanding that it is critical to appreciate what is best for each of her clients, and she uses all of the tools at her disposal to act in her clients’ best interests.

A believer in giving back to her community, Mary is extensively involved in the Pennsylvania, Somerset and Cambria Bar Associations, where holds numerous leadership positions. She also volunteers with local organizations including the Humane and Historical Societies of Somerset County.

Recently, Mary moved her firm to a beautiful old building at 139 East Union Street in Somerset. Though it is a continuing process, she has restored this historic location to its former glory.

Court Admissions

Supreme Court of the United States of America

United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals   

United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania     

Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County, Pennsylvania                    

Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County, Pennsylvania

Education & Training

Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Masters in Education summa cum laude (1996).

University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Juris Doctorate (1991).

Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy History Minor (cum laude) (1988).

Mediation Training

Basic Divorce Mediation (40 hours)

Child Access Mediation (20 hours)

Collaborative Training

Pennsylvania Bar Institute Collaborative Practice Training (20 hours)

Professional Affiliations

Pennsylvania Bar Association

  • Member (1991-present)
  • House of Delegates Member (2001-present)
  • Zone Eight Governor (2007-2010, 2019 to present)
  • Board of Governor’s Liaison
    • Energy Law Section (2019-2020)
    • Family Law Section (2019-2020)
    • Children’s Rights Committee (2019-2020)
    • Real Property Trust and Probate  (2007-2008)
    • Corrections Committee (2007-2008)
  • Mid-Year Meeting Chair (2017)
  • Nominating Committee Member (2007-present)
  • Draft Committee (2011-present)
  • Long Range Planning Committee Member and Subcommittee Chair (2008-2010)
  • Finance Committee Member (2019-2020)
    • Finance Committee Ex-Officio Member (2008-2010)
  • Audit Committee Chair (2008-2010)
  • Bar Leadership Institute
    • Member (1997-2001)
    • Co-Chair (2010-2013)
    • Class (1997-1998)
  • Family Law Section Member (1995-present)
    • Immediate Past Chair (2016-2017)
    • Chair (2014-2015)
    • Chair-Elect (2013-2014)
    • Vice-Chair (2012-2013)
    • Second Vice-Chair (2011-2012)
    • Secretary (2010-2011)
    • Treasurer (2009-2010)
    • Finance Committee Chair (2010-2012)
    • 2008-2011: Family Law Section Program Committee Member (2008-2011)
      • Co-Chair (2010-2011)
    •  Nominating Committee Member (2009, 2015, 2017, 2018)
      • Chair (2017)
    • Board of Governors Liaison (2008-2010)
    • Rules Committee Member (2008-2010)
    •  Family Law Section Council Member (2006-2009)

Pennsylvania Bar Association

  • Solo and Small Firm Section (2007-present)
    • Chair-Elect (2020-2021)
    • Vice-Chair (2017-2020)
    • Treasurer (2015-2017)
    • Council (2014-present)
    • Co-Editor of Solo and Small Firm Section Newsletter (2016-present)
    • Nominating Committee (2015-present)
    • By-Laws Committee (2015)
  • Elder Law Committee Member (2018-present)
  • Criminal Justice Section Member (2007-present)
    • Chair (2011-2013)
    • Vice-Chair (2009-2011)
  • Foundation Life Fellow (2008)
  • Legal Services to the Public Committee Member (1998)

Somerset County Bar Association

  • Member (1996-present)
    • Secretary/Treasurer (2001-present)
    • Executive Committee Member (1999-present)
    • Family Law Adhoc Committee Member (2001-2004

Cambria County Bar Association

  • Member (1994-present)
  • Board of Managers (1998-2000)

Pennsylvania District Attorneys’ Association (2006-2012)       

Juvenile Prosecutor’s Network Member (2006-2012)

Pennsylvania Council of Mediators Member (2005-present)

Honors & Awards

  • PBA Special Recognition Award for Co-Creation of Program, “Starting Your Law Firm” presented at Widener University Commonwealth Law School (2019)
  • PBA President’s Award (2017)
  • PBA Achievement Award – Family Law Section (2008)
  • Striving Towards Excellent Award – Southern Alleghenies Legal Aid, Inc. (2000)

Community Activities

  • Humane Society of Somerset County Board Member (2019-present)
    • Treasurer (2020-present)
  • Outstanding Young Woman Cambria and Somerset Counties – Judge (2019, 2020)
  • Humane Society of Somerset County Volunteer (2018-present)
  • Somerset Historical & Genealogical Society Mountain Craft Days Volunteer Coordinator  (1998-present)
  • Somerset County Blind Center Advisory Board Member (2008-2011)
  • Somerset County Historical Society Member and Special event volunteer (1999-present)
  • Kidd’s Castle Daycare Board of Directors (1996-2002)
  • Boy Scout Explorer Leader (1996-1997)

Speaking Engagements

  • Widener Law School – Law Practice Management Semester Course in conjunction with PBA Solo and Small Firm Section (2020)
  • Widener Law School – Law Practice Management Course in conjunction with PBA Solo and Small Firm Section (2019)
  • PBA Solo Small Firm Conference – Simple Adoptions (2019)
  •  PBA Solo Small Firm Conference – Calculating Income In a Support Order (2019)
  • Widener Law School –  Taught Two Continuing  Legal Education Courses on  Professionalism and Law Practice Management (2019)
  •  Support 101-The Basics Representing the Child Client (2018)
  • Third Party Custody (2017)
  • Using Hot Topics in Civil Litigation (2016)
  • Using Custody Evaluation (2016)
  • Handling the High Maintenance Client (2015)
  • Do You Have a Leg to Stand on:  Third Party Standing in Family, Dependency and Orphans’ Courts (2015)
  • PBA Commission of Women in the Profession Fall Retreat Panel (2012)
  • Cross Exam at the Movies (2012)
  • MDJ Practice (2010)
  • Low Income/Asset Divorces (2010)
  • All in the Family (2009)
  • Divorce Over Fifty: The Modified Version (2009)
  •  Family Law Section Outreach Program: Family Law Section Updates (2008)
  • Venturing Into Foreign Territory: A Guide Map to Children and Youth for the Family Practitioner (2008)
  • The Use of Mediation in Family Law (2004)
  • Pro Bono Refresher (2004)