Our Team

Ellen at Cookman LawEllen Cookman

From an early age, Ellen Cookman has wanted to help people. Ellen comes from a family of lawyers and teachers. Her father, Bob Reinstein, is the former dean of Temple University Law School and fought in the Civil Rights movement. Her grandfather was a lawyer who worked as manager of a cannery for his aunt, Tillie Lewis. And her stepmother is an assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia.

After receiving her law degree at U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), and clerking for the Honorable Anthony J. Scirica, then-chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, Ellen returned to California and worked as a patent litigator at Morrison & Foerster in Palo Alto. Unable to find fulfillment in this area, she left her job and taught middle school math at Hope Technology School, a small private school in Palo Alto that practices full inclusion of typical and special needs kids. While teaching, Ellen attended a parent support group presentation given by an estate planning attorney on special needs trusts, which seemed like a great way to help people in need while utilizing her legal skills. Her husband also taught in special education for many years.

Ellen worked as an estate planning associate for six years at Lakin Spears LLP and at Gilfix & La Poll Associates, and then decided to start Cookman Law. She is passionate about helping families of all shapes and sizes plan for the future and utilize available resources. Read More…

Mary Loung

Mary Loung grew up in Dallas, TX and moved to the Bay Area in the early 2000s. Prior to her legal career, she was an elementary school teacher for the Millbrae School District for over 10 years. Mary graduated from the Golden Gate University School of Law at the top of her class, and was the Executive Comments Editor of Golden Gate University Law Review. She has published works in GGU’s Law Review and Environment Law Journal. She is currently working toward obtaining her L.L.M. (Masters of Law) in Estate Planning. Mary lives in the Bay Area with her husband and twin boys in a loving home she describes as organized chaos.

Ariel Smolinski – Office Manager

Receiving her MBA in entrepreneurial leadership from Chatham University in 2015, Ariel has had a diverse career in client development and business management. Native to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in her free time she loves spending time with friends and family by the sea. Ariel will begin the paralegal certificate program at DeAnza College in January.


Fees/Initial Consultation

We offer flat fees for estate planning and special needs planning clients who qualify. Otherwise, we charge hourly.

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