Professional Experience

Catherine Stafford completed her undergraduate education at IU in 1993, with a BA in English and a Medieval Certificate. She worked in a factory on the west side for a year, then went to the University of Minnesota Law School, serving as elected student body president in her third year and graduating in 1997. While still in Minnesota, she worked at University Student Legal Services and was Program Director for the Minnesota Justice Foundation.

In 1999, Catherine returned to Bloomington to be near her family. Since returning, she has been an attorney at Indiana Legal Services, Inc., taught legal writing at the IU Maurer School of Law, and founded Stafford Law Office, LLC, in 2004.  

Catherine is a Certified Family Law Specialist, as Certified by the Family Law Certification Board. She is a Registered Domestic Relations Mediator. She also frequently practices Collaborative Law, an out-of-court method of resolving family law disputes.   

In 2010-11, Catherine worked with a group of local attorneys and judges to update the Monroe County Local Family Law Rules, including updating the Financial Declaration into a computer-editable spreadsheet that helps streamline the production and exchange of financial and child-support information. 

Catherine participates actively in the Bloomington Association of Collaborative Professionals (BACP), a local practice group of attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals, working together to further the use of Collaborative Divorce as a means to help divorced families have better financial and mental health outcomes for the adults and children.

In 2014, Catherine became a member of the Board of Directors of the Monroe County Bar Association (MCBA) and serves as its Vice President in 2017. Her Vice-President project is helping to form practice area sections within the MCBA where attorneys can meet to discuss the law and talk informally.  As Secretary from 2014 through 2016, she worked to update the membership platform, web site, and technology for the association. She is an active member of the Monroe County Bench Bar Conference Planning Committee and has been for many years.

Catherine is also an Adjunct Professor at the IU Maurer School of Law, teaching a mediation seminar to upper level students and teaching "Modern Small Firm Practice" during the 2017 Wintersession. She is a member of the Ivy Tech Criminal Justice and Paralegal Studies Advisory Council.

A Judge Pro Tempore ("for the time being") is a person who serves as substitute judge when the sitting judge is unavailable.  Catherine has served as a Judge Pro Tempore frequently in Monroe County Courts, hearing and deciding paternity, child support, parenting time, custody, and small claims cases.

    Bar Admissions & Credentials

    • Collaborative Law, 2008
    • Registered Domestic Relations Mediator, 2005
    • State of Indiana, 1999
    • U.S. District Court for Northern Indiana, 1999
    • U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana, 1999
    • State of Minnesota, 1997 (now resigned as no longer living or practicing in Minnesota)

    Education

    • University of Minnesota Law School, J.D. 1997
      • Recipient, 1996 Minnesota Justice Foundation Outstanding Public Service Award
      • Participant, Wagner Labor Law Moot Court
      • Founder and Editor, The Public Interest Dimension
      • Law Council President, 1996 - 1997
    • Indiana University, Bloomington, B.A. in English, Medieval Certificate, 1993

    Professional Memberships

    • Monroe County Bar Association Vice President, 2017 - present
    • Monroe County Bar Association Secretary, 2014 - 2016
    • Indiana State Bar Association, 1999 - current
    • Monroe County Bar Association, 1999 - present
    • Bloomington Association of Collaborative Professionals (BACP), 2014 - present
    • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), 2008 - present
    • Minnesota State Bar Association Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee, 1997 - 1999
    • Hennepin County Bar Association Disability Sub-Committee, 1998 - 1999

    Presentations

    • MCBA Bench Bar Conference: Non Parent Custody, 2017
    • MCBA Bench Bar Conference: Law Office Management,  2016
    • BACP Cross Training: Legal Aspects of Divorce, 2016
    • School-to-Work Collaborative Info for Parents: Guardianships and Powers of Attorney, 2015
    • District 10 Continuing Mediation Training: Preparing Clients for Mediation & Drafting Agreements, 2015
    • Special Needs Trusts Presentation: Special Needs Trusts, 2013
    • Family Law Institute 2012: Financial Declarations, 2012
    • District 10 CLE Potpourri: Ethics, 2012
    • MCBA Bench Bar Conference: High Conflict Cases, 2011
    • MCBA Bench Bar Conference: Financial Declarations, 2011
    • MCBA Bench Bar Conference: Using Mediation to Reduce Conflict, 2010
    • MCBA Bench Bar Conference: Minimizing Conflict for Children in Family Law Cases, 2010
    • IAMFT Conference: Links between Attorneys and Therapists, 2010
    • Empowering Women in the Workplace: Empowering Women affected by Domestic Violence, 2010