Carolyn Vandyk is the founder and lead attorney at Vandyk Law. She was born and raised in the Bay Area, settling in Santa Rosa in 1996 to raise her family. Carolyn’s desire to become a lawyer was fueled by her desire to help people navigate the court system through difficult times. She had witnessed legal injustice on several occasions and vowed to make a difference in the legal community by placing the needs of her clients above all else.
While going through law school, Carolyn worked as a certified law clerk with the Sonoma County Office of the Public Defender. Carolyn graduated cum laude and earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Empire College School of Law here in Santa Rosa. After working for a boutique law firm, Carolyn opened her own practice in Santa Rosa specializing in family law and criminal defense. Carolyn and attorney (of counsel) Mark Retana together have over 40 years of combined courtroom experience in Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino, and Lake Counties in criminal and family law.
Carolyn has extensive experience in handling child custody cases, divorce settlements, parental rights, child support, and alimony as well as visitation arrangements, spousal support, and restraining orders. With attorney (of counsel) Mark Retana, Carolyn also has experience with misdemeanor and felony offenses such as DUI, domestic violence, sex and drug crimes, theft, and probation violations. Furthermore, Carolyn has experience in pre-trial investigation, motions, discovery, negotiations, and plea bargaining. In a recent family law case, Carolyn (as the trial attorney) and Constance Burtnett (as the appellate attorney), addressed
an issue that had never before been brought before the courts. Not only did they win the case for their client, but the courts established a new law as a result.
Carolyn’s philosophy in practicing law is to help her clients keep full control throughout the process and to avoid the court system whenever possible. This ultimately leads to the most efficient, cost-effective, and successful outcome for her clients.
Carolyn is a member of the Sonoma County Bar Association and the National Association of Professional Women.