Diana C. Schimmel

Meet Diana C. Schimmel, Philadelphia Family Law Attorney

Diana C. Schimmel is a partner of Petrelli Previtera Schimmel, LLC and chairs the firm’s adoption sub-practice group. In addition to guiding families through the adoption process, Diana focuses her practice on other areas of family law. She has represented couples and families in legal matters including divorce, custody, support, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, enforcement and modification of agreements, same sex rights, domestic violence, and paternity.

“Whether it’s the exciting process of adoption or a tense custody issue, a family law matter can be deeply emotional. I am aware of the support a person needs during these life-changing moments. You will never be shuttled to another attorney or support staff when working with my firm. You will receive personalized attention specific to your sensitive case needs.”

Diana earned her Juris Doctorate from the Widener University School of Law. As a law student, she was a member of the Student Bar Association as well as an associate staff member and then a senior staff member of Widener Law Journal. Diana earned her Bachelor of Arts in Government & International Politics with a minor in Dance from George Mason University.

Before establishing her own family law firm, Diana served as the interim law clerk to Judge Donna M. Woelpper in the Family Court of Philadelphia, Juvenile Dependency Branch. She also worked as a child advocate attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia in its Child Advocacy Unit. In that role, Diana honed her courtroom presence, represented numerous dependent children, and advocated for their needs and best interests. She opened Schimmel Family Law in 2013 and worked as a solo practitioner for almost four years before partnering with Melinda Previtera to establish Previtera & Schimmel. Ms. Schimmel has experience in mediation and is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

As a leading adoption lawyer in the area, Diana has been a featured guest writer on prominent adoption sites including Adoptions from the Heart. She also authored an e-book about the legal side of adoption, available here for free download.

In addition to her legal background, Diana is a member of the Nicholas A. Cipriani Family Law Inn of Court. She also volunteers with the Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program, The Montgomery Child Advocacy Project and The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research.

Ms. Schimmel is active in the legal community, and her outstanding legal work has earned her the recognition of her peers. She has been selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers’ annual Rising Stars List since 2015, and she was named a Lawyer on the Fast Track by The Legal Intelligencer. Diana was also listed as a Top Family Law Attorney by Philadelphia Life Magazine every year since 2014, and she was named Best Overall Advocate by the Widener Intensive Trial Advocacy Program.


  • Juris Doctor, Widener University School of Law
  • Bachelor of Arts in Government & International Politics, George Mason University


  • Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers Rising Stars List in 2015 to present
  • Named as a Lawyer on the Fast Track by The Legal Intelligencer in 2014
  • Voted a Top Family Law Attorney by Philadelphia Life Magazine in 2014 through 2017
  • Named Best Overall Advocate by the Widener Intensive Trial Advocacy Program in 2009

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

  • Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association – Family Law Section
  • Member, Philadelphia Bar Association – Family Law Section, Women in the Profession Committee
  • Member, Nicholas A. Cipriani Family Law Inn of Court
  • Co-Chair, The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research, Young Professionals Council
  • Member, Femfessionals Professional Women’s Networking Group

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey

What Clients Say About Us

I'm very blessed to be in a position to acquire Petrelli Law's services. I attended higher ed schooling and graduated, purchased a home, credit cards, stocks, honed crafts, took up hobbies, had surgeries performed on me by reputable docs, made friends - but when it's all said and done, contacting you will probably go down as the greatest investment of my life.-
It was great to have superb counsel in my corner while going through this life obstacle. Thank you so much for being there as my counsel, and a friend for referring me to divorce counseling. It was definitely a game-changer.-
Diana C. Schimmel is quite knowledgeable about family law and the emotional psychology it entails. She has a warm and kind way about her which eases the high anxiety of the client. Always smiling and positive, she is a pleasure to work with.-