Deborah Luxenberg

Deborah Luxenberg, founding principal of Luxenberg & Johnson, PC, is one of Washington DC’s top family law and divorce attorneys, consistently earning superior ratings from clients and peers.  Her AVVO rating is “superb” and she has been awarded an AV “Preeminent” rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

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Luxenberg is known for her deep compassion for her clients, as well as her courage, tenacity and creativity in representing them.  Dubbed the “Lioness of Washington DC” by Washingtonian, the magazine featured her superb handling of a high profile case in, “Divorce: Washington Style.”


Deborah’s early work in family law established her as a leader in the fight to empower victims of domestic violence. Because of her work, domestic violence, long hidden, was brought to the fore and positive changes in law, policy and social attitude were initiated. Deborah coordinated the Women’s Defense Fund (WDF) Task Force on Abused Women (1975-1978), one of the first efforts to fight domestic violence in the Washington DC metropolitan area. She also served as a Consultant on the WDF’s Emergency Domestic Relations Project. For her groundbreaking and dedicated work, Deborah received the DC Bar’s Pro Bono Service Award (1986) and the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence Special Award (1987). In 2009, Deborah recieved the Council for Court Excellence’s Charles Horsky Award for her outstanding contributions to the council as the Chair of its Children in the Courts Committee from 2001 to 2009. She also served on the council’s Executive Committee from 2002 to 2009.

Recognized Expert

Recognized as an expert in family law, Deborah has testified before the U.S. Senate and made numerous television and radio appearances on the subject, including The Today Show, CNN (re: the Elian Gonzales case), Burden of Proof and National Public Radio.

Deborah’s expertise was also tapped by the law schools of American University, Catholic University, and the Institute of Law and Aging at George Washington University where she taught family law. Additionally, for over 15 years, the DC Bar and the Bar Association of DC have scheduled Deborah to teach family law to attorneys.

Focused on the Client

Deborah’s extensive legal experience informs her conclusion that when people walk in the door of an attorney’s office, they need an honest assessment of their options, solid legal advice and support if they are seeking help for difficult personal or family issues. While her client is her priority, Deborah never loses sight of the best interests of the family, especially the children. She has learned that negotiation, mediation, collaborative law and alternative dispute resolutions usually achieve the best results. For those cases that do go to trial, Deborah is an experienced litigator and is known  for her strong representation in the courtroom.


For 20 years, Deborah has been awarded an AV and Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell –the highest possible ranking by the most prestigious U.S. attorney rating service. In 2012 she was included in their Preeminent Women Attorneys listing. This rating can be viewed at

  • Deborah has been ranked yearly in the top tier in Washingtonian Magazine since 1995
  • Listed in Super Lawyers, DC Metro Area 2007 – 2011
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2007 – 2011
  • Listed in Bethesda Magazine’s 25 top divorce lawyers
  • Received the Council for Court Excellence Charles Horsky Award, 2009
  • Bar Association of DC Quality of Life Award, 2009
  • Coalition Against Domestic Violence Special Award-1987
  • D.C. Bar’s Pro Bono Service Award-1986

Teaching Experience:

American University in Family Law,

Catholic University in Family Law,

George Washington University in the Institute for Law and Aging

Continuing legal education in family law for the D.C. Bar

“Custody and Visitation” TV Show, Women’s Bar Association continuing legal education

“What They Don’t Teach You in Law School,” Bar Association of DC continuing legal education

Selected Media Interviews and Appearances:

The Today Show, Burden of Proof, National Public Radio, Evening Exchange, To The Contrary, News talk, Good Morning Washington, and CNN Live


Complete Resume


J.D. Catholic University of America, 1974

B.A. Case Western Reserve University, 1970


Pennsylvania Bar, 1974

District of Columbia Bar, 1975

Maryland Bar, 1982

Professional Affiliations, Memberships and Service


D.C. Bar and its Family Law Section

Fellow of the American Bar Association

Women’s Bar Association of D.C.

Women’s Bar Association of Maryland & Montgomery County

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Fellow

Member, Bar Association of DC

Foundation of the Bar Association of DC

DC Association of Collaborative Professionals


2002 – 2010  Board of Directors Member, Council for Court Excellence

2002 – 2009  Executive Committee Member, Council for Court Excellence;  Board of Directors Member, Council for Court Excellence.2001 – 2009 Chair, Children & Courts Committee, Council for Court Excellence.

2008  Judicial and Public Appointment Committee, Bar Association of DC

1994 – 2007  Chair, Domestic Relations Committee, Bar Association of DC

1999 – 2000  President, DC Chapter, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

1997 – 1998  President, Foundation of the Bar Association of DC

1996 – 1998  Vice President, D.C. Chapter, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

1994 – 1995  Secretary, D.C. Chapter, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

1988 – 1990  Chair, Family Law Section of the DC Bar

1983 – 1988  Family Law Section of the DC Bar

1975 – 1978  Chair, Task Force on Abused Women, Women’s Legal Defense Fund

Consultant, Emergency Domestic Relations Project, Women’s Legal Defense Fund

Member, Continuing Legal Education Committee, DC Bar