Rachael M. Stanger,
Rachael M. Stanger was born in Iowa. She received a B.S. degree, cum laude, in Law, Politics, and Society with minors in Rhetoric and Communication Studies and Business from Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, in May 2009, and earned her law degree from Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, Florida, in December 2011, with a Certificate in Leadership. While at Drake, Rachael graduated from the Don V. Adam's Leadership Academy, where she was nominated as Outstanding Student Leader four years in a row, served on the leadership conference planning committee, and was a member of the Leaders and Luminaries as well as Senior Reflections. In addition, Rachael served on the executive board, as the Vice President of Panhellenic Relations and the Vice President of External Relations, of Kappa Alpha Theta, was the business manager of the Order of Omega, and held other leadership roles as well. At Stetson, Rachael was a three term class representative of the Calvin Kuenzel Student Bar Association and an active officer in several organizations. Rachael has been a member of the Florida Bar since May 2012.
Rachael received the Canakaris Family Law Inn of Court's 2014-2015 "Young Lawyer of the Year Award," an award for an attorney practicing fewer than seven years who has excelled in the practice of family law. She additionally received the "John C. Lenderman Award for Excellence in Family Law" from the Canakaris Family Law Inn of Court for the 2021-2022 year. In 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 she was named a Top Rated Family Law Attorney in St. Petersburg and Rising Star by Super Lawyers. This is an unpaid patented selection process through Thomson Reuters that includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations, to recognize outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
Rachael began her legal career working as an assistant for a general practitioner with a focus on juvenile law in 2007. From 2008-2009, she worked at Marks Law Firm as a law clerk, helping to establish their consumer protection program in addition to working with clients to file bankruptcy. Prior to law school, she also worked in legislation and politics, interning at the Iowa State Capital and with a presidential campaign. She also was the International Law and Policy intern for a non-profit advocacy and medical organization in London in 2010. Rachael was employed by Stetson Law School as a student assistant for the Elder Consumer Protection Program in 2010, and for the Communication Office in 2011. She gained additional legal experience clerking and later volunteering with the Community Law Program. She joined the Sarah M. Chaves Law Office in 2012.
Professionally, Rachael is an active member of several legal organizations, outside of her law school involvement. She is the current President of the Board of Trustees for the Community Law Program. Rachael is a member of the Canakaris Family Law Inn of Court, the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, the St. Petersburg Bar Association and its Family Law Section as well as the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar. She also has served on the executive committee of Canakaris and the St Pete Bar Family Law Section, and as a bar exam mentor for Stetson Law. She helped plan the conference "A Pair of ACES," to educate lawyers, judiciary, and community leaders about the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adverse Community Environments, two separate seminars on Guardian ad Litem for Civil Family Law Cases, and she performs pro bono service with local legal aid organizations.
Outside of her legal activities, Rachael remains engaged in her community. She is a 2018 graduate of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce's prestigious Leadership St. Pete Program and served on its planning committee, she registers local voters, and volunteers with and through her local alumnae chapter, the Junior League of Saint Petersburg, and her neighborhood association.