Cheryl A. Sena

Cheryl A. Sena

Sole Practitioner
San Francisco, California

Certified Family Law Specialist & Expert Mediator

Quite simply, there is no substitute for experience. Family Law Specialist Cheryl Sena has been practicing in San Francisco for over 30 years as a certified mediator and collaborative lawyer.

An extensive lecturer in family law, Sena has also become one of the nation’s foremost legal authorities on the rights of unmarried couples and the issue of same sex marriage.

In addition to her many honors and recognitions, Sena received the 2005, 2008-2017 “Northern California Super Lawyer Award”. With continuing attention focused on same sex marriage, Sena has become a regular TV and radio guest, and a respected resource for clients, the media and the public at large on this issue of growing importance.

Areas of Practice

  • 100% Family Law
  • Custody & Visitation
  • Mediation & Collaborative Law
  • Lesbian/Gay Family Law Issues

Litigation Percentage

  • 50% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Family Law, State Bar of California, Certified 2002, Recertified 2007 and 2012

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1984


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
    • J.D. - 1984
  • Staten Island, City University of New York (Formerly Richmond College), Staten Island, New York
    • B.A. - 1974
    • Major: Theatre Arts & Film

Published Works

  • Financial Discovery, Family Law, "Discovery Issues Raised by Use of Mediation and Collaborative Practice" (Co-Author), CEB


  • Boalt Hall: Moot Court Instructor, 1994 - 1996
  • Various Seminars on Lesbian and Gay Adoption, Partnership Protection for Lesbian and Gay Couples, Bay Area, 1990 - Present
  • Sexual Orientation Discrimination Seminar, BALIF, 1992
  • Stanford Law School: Protecting Our Families, 1999
  • Domestic Partnership, CEB Seminar, 2005
  • ALRP Seminar on Domestic Partners, 2005
  • Hastings, Domestic Partnership, 2007
  • Mediating Same Sex Dissolutions and Agreements, BASF, 2007
  • Domestic Partnerships, Lohman Seminar, 2007
  • Collaborative Law, 2001
  • Mediation Training, 2001
  • Intermediate Collaborative Training, 2002
  • Advanced Skills for Mediators, 2004
  • Mediation Training, 2006

Honors and Awards

  • Northern California Super Lawyers, 2005 and 2008-2017

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Member
  • American Civil Liberties Union, Member
  • Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, Member
  • SF Collaborative Practice Group, Member
  • National Lawyers’ Guild, Member
  • San Francisco Bar Association Family Law Section, Member
  • State Bar of California, Family Law Section, Member
  • Hastings College of the Law , Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Cullum & Sena, Partner/Attorney, 1987 - 2006

Pro Bono Activities

  • BALIF Board, 2004 - 2009


  • English
  • Top Women Attorneys 2017