Brandes S.G. Ash is as an Associate Attorney at the Burr Law Firm, PLLC, where she represents clients in various family law matters to include divorce, custody, child support, adoption, and parental right matters. In addition, Brandes is training in Collaborative Practice, a specialized out-of-court conflict resolution process in which divorcing persons focus on reaching mutually acceptable resolutions as opposed to litigation. She is licensed to practice law in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Brandes obtained her Juris Doctor degree, and Certificate in Family Law, from Howard University School of Law. Prior to attending law school, Brandes earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a minor in African American Studies, from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University.
While in law school, Brandes received a number of accolades to include ‘Public Interest Student of the Year.’ Among other activities, she also served as a founding member of the Howard Family Law Society, an organization in which she served as President and Community Service Chair. Under her leadership, the law school's first university-approved certificate program, in family law, was also established.
Upon graduating from Howard Law, Brandes served as the judicial law clerk to the Honorable Herman C. Dawson, in Prince George’s County Circuit Court. In this capacity, she also worked as the Director of Operations for the Rising S.T.A.R.S. Youth Scholarship Academy, a mentoring and academic preparatory program for youth with active cases in the Prince George’s County juvenile court system. In 2012, Brandes organized one of the most widely attended teen domestic violence summits in Prince George’s County, bringing out Maryland’s former Attorney General, Douglas “Doug” Gansler, and several Congressional members to speak to hundreds of teenagers and parents about the impact of teen dating violence.
After completing her clerkship, Brandes worked as a trial attorney in the Office of the Attorney General (‘OAG’) for the District of Columbia’s Child Support Services Division and an Adjunct Professor at Montgomery County Community College.
Equally committed to public service, Brandes is the outgoing (2015-2016) President of the Greater Washington Area Chapter of the National Bar Association’s Women Lawyers Division (‘GWAC’). She has also been an active member of the WBA. Brandes holds several leadership positions in the American Bar Association (‘ABA’), as well, where she is a member of the Young Lawyers Division and Family Law Section. In 2014, Brandes was one of five family law attorneys across the country to be awarded a two-year Family Law Section Diversity Fellowship. In fulfilling her fellowship duties, among other requirements, she authored and presented a CLE lecture about the legal implications of the Affordable Care Act at the 2015 ABA Family Law Section Spring Conference and led a community service initiative for homeless youth in Portland, Oregon. Recently, Brandes was appointed to her second term as the Family Law Section Liaison to the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, and Vice-Chair of the Family Law Section Child Support Committee. Brandes was also appointed to the Family Law Section Finance Committee.
Dedicated to her local bar, as well, Brandes is currently completing a three-year elected term on the D.C. Bar Family Law Section Steering Committee and was one of several applicants, from the D.C. Bar, to be selected for participation in the John Payton Leadership Academy, the Bar’s intensive leadership training program.
Brandes frequently volunteers at the Washington Center for Aging Services, the D.C. Bar Advice and Referral Clinic, and the Northern Virginia and Montgomery County Special Olympics. She has served as a Montgomery County, Maryland Election Judge and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
For her efforts, Brandes has received a number of awards to include the National Bar Association’s 40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocate Award in 2015. In 2014, she was one of one-hundred early to mid-career minority attorneys, in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, recognized by the organization, Lawyers of Color, for excelling in her many professional endeavors. In her spare time, Brandes frequently sings for special events, and enjoys reading and spending time with her loved ones.