Nina Shayan Depatie: The Empowering Journey

Meet Nina Shayan Depatie, the vanguard of a new generation of attorneys, challenging and reshaping the landscape of family law. In a profession often defined by tradition, Depatie, founder and principal attorney of Shayan Family Law, APC, brings a fresh, dynamic perspective that transcends the courtroom walls.

Recognized as belonging among the best in her field by her peers as well as by leading business publications, Depatie is a home-grown product of sunny Southern California whose lifelong dedication to assisting others steered her, first, toward a degree in psychology. She expresses her fondness for people, stating, “I love getting to know people, understanding them, and psychology seemed like a natural avenue to explore that.” 

Enrolling at the University of California, Santa Cruz turned out to be serendipitous for Depatie, providing a fortuitous blend of crossover studies. This unique academic environment allowed her to intertwine her passion for understanding the intricacies of human nature with courses that would eventually equip her to assist individuals facing life’s most formidable challenges. 

“They offered a lot of programs that overlapped with the law,” she says. “The one that really appealed to me was anthropology and the law. Each class delved into how different communities form different types of laws based on what’s important to them. For example, in certain communities or cultures, apologies carry more weight, while in others punishment or restitution are prioritized. 

Building off this experience, Depatie delved deeper into legal courses, specifically those centering on the dynamics of human interaction in society. At the same time, Depatie dedicated herself to public service, contributing to the major crimes unit at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office and volunteering with the Domestic Abuse Self Help (DASH) offices across various courthouses in Los Angeles County. It was during this period that she not only realized her aspiration to become an attorney but also identified her desire to specialize in family law. 

Graduating with a double major in legal studies and psychology, Depatie eagerly embarked on the next chapter of her educational journey at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. Not venturing too far from her roots, Depatie says it was no coincidence that she opted for Pepperdine. 

“It was important to me to stay in L.A. because I have a community here, my family lives here, and I wanted to continue to build and grow my relationships here,” she says. “I place great importance and value on relationships. That’s something that Pepperdine really emphasized, and that resonated with me.” 

The transition from taking a leap of faith to now growing a team happened faster than I could’ve dreamed.

Nina Shayan Depatie

Quickly upon starting her career, Depatie distinguished herself and rose to the rank of partner at a Los Angeles family law firm, where she not only refined her litigation and mediation prowess but also cultivated enduring friendships. While she looks back fondly at her formative professional years, Depatie gradually recognized that operating within the constraints of an established firm conflicted with her vision for a hands-on, client-centric approach. This realization became the catalyst for her decision to take a leap of faith and establish her own firm. 

“It was terrifying,” Depatie admits with a smile. “I loved the people I worked with and certainly didn’t want to lose those friendships. But I had to jump in the deep end and swim! Thankfully, I had plenty of support from my family, my friends, and my peers in the family law world. 

“What was really special was the support I received from my team at my previous firm, including its founding partner,” she adds. “It was so nice to see how many people were there to cheer me on. I had clients that followed me and who also referred their friends. I had fellow attorneys refer clients to me. It just felt like everyone rallied around and spread the word, so it made an otherwise terrifying move feel right. The transition from taking a leap of faith to now growing a team happened faster than I could’ve dreamed, but the real reward is being able to help clients during their own period of transition.” 


“Advocates for New Beginnings” is blazed across the landing page of Depatie’s website. This isn’t just a catchy phrase but how she truly views her mission. 

“For me, it’s always been important to have that personal connection with my clients,” she says. “By opening up Shayan Family Law, I felt like I could elevate my level of service and put processes in place to make sure that people have that one-on-one relationship with an attorney that is deeply invested in the outcomes of their case.”

Depatie’s services also extend beyond the traditional courtroom setting. “It’s no secret,” she adds, “litigation is a difficult thing emotionally and can last years. Some issues have to be litigated and I pride myself in my ability to advocate in front of a judge, but if you can resolve issues outside the courtroom, clients tend to come out ahead not just financially, but also emotionally. This is why it is important to understand your clients’ priorities and also to nurture good working relationships with opposing counsel. It’s also why Shayan Family Law also offers divorce mediation services.” 

Appreciating the value of efficient and equitable dispute resolution, Depatie has mediated numerous cases at Los Angeles County courthouses. 

Outside her practice, Depatie strives to give back to the community, building on her past experience as a law clerk Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law, which serves the victims of domestic violence and children living in need. 

“This is another reason I was interested in starting my own firm,” Depatie says, “there are many ways I feel I can contribute, including through volunteer positions. Because my time is my own to manage, I can become involved in a variety of ways.” 

Nina Shayan Depatie

When it comes to marriage dissolutions, there is a difference between the courtroom and real life. 

Depatie acknowledges the emotional challenges that often accompany family law matters and is committed to securing the best possible outcomes for her clients, both within and outside the courtroom. Understanding the uniqueness of each client and their individual circumstances, Depatie advocates for a highly personalized approach, tailoring her strategies to meet specific needs and exploring all avenues to achieve desired outcomes within the expected timelines. 

Depatie frequently refers to the concept of parallel universes. “When it comes to marriage dissolutions,” she explains, “there is a difference between the courtroom and real life. In the courtroom, there are a variety of strategies that can help clients gain leverage. However, I believe it’s my responsibility to help clients understand the benefits and risks that different strategies can have in their real, day-to-day lives. 

“For example, there are circumstances where a ‘no holds barred’ approach can break a stalemate with an uncompromising spouse, but if the client needs to co-parent children with that spouse for a decade to come, there may be other strategies capable of achieving similar results without having severe, detrimental impacts on the client’s ‘real life’ co-parenting relationship and, more importantly, on the children.” 


Depatie’s future is promising and filled with opportunities for growth. Recently, she was included in a distinguished list of top 10 divorce attorneys in Los Angeles and was the only attorney under 40 years old on the list. “That was amazing! But really though, I practice law for my clients, not accolades,” she quickly points out. 

As Shayan Family Law continues to expand, Depatie prioritizes hiring attorneys and paralegals who share her commitment to doing right by and for the client, and who embody her spirit of advocacy. “Our mission is simple – to support clients at every step on their journey to their new beginning. That’s why this firm exists, and it drives every hiring decision as well.” 

On a personal note, Depatie hints at potential expansions to the Depatie household as she and her husband plan for their future family. “People often ask me how I will be able to manage babies, my practice, as well as my volunteer work and involvement in various professional organizations,” she quips with a grin. “I’m not really worried. I’m a planner. I plan as much as I can possibly plan for, and for the things I can’t plan, I plan for help! I am fortunate to be surrounded by family, friends, and colleagues who are always there to support me.” 

Nina Shayan Depatie


Shayan Family
Law, APC
1925 Century Park E,
Suite 1700
Los Angeles, CA 90067
(310) 855-5555

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