Meet The Team
Attorney Sandy Wakim
Attorney Sandy Wakim first joined the Law Office of Patricia Van C. Haren as a law clerk the summer before her third year of law school, received her Juris Doctor (JD) from Whittier Law School and was admitted to the California State Bar in 2018. During law school, she served as a member of the Trial Advocacy Honors Board, Alternative Dispute Resolution Board and as president and vice president of the Whittier Law School Chapter of the St. Thomas More Society of Orange County for two years. She has experience in family law, immigration law and criminal law and credits her knowledge in those fields to the time spent as a law clerk for both the private and public sector. Working at the Law Office of Patricia C. Van Haren has reinforced her passion for advocating for justice and that being a fearless advocate is a non-negotiable aspect of this field.
Tammy Herrada is our Law Firm Administrator, Operations Manager and Client Specialist.
Tammy has over 26+ years’ experience working in multiple legal fields and has been everything from a sales associate to owner and operator of her own company. It all started in 1990, working as a sales associate for a small Pharmacy by day and an Insurance company by night, in a small community shopping center in Malaga Cove Plaza, Palos Verdes. She became exposed to a new legal world, reading medical and legal journals, the latest legal regulations on pharmaceuticals and insurance companies thus realizing she liked all that legal “mumbo jumbo” and wanted to become part of that world. So in 1991, she decided to make it happen and landed a job that lasted over 20+ years working for a Court Appointed Receiver / Conservator for the State of California Courts. She began her legal endeavor receiving her first clerical certificate as a legal assistant preparing court forms and filings and worked her way up from there. Over the years, she enjoyed the variety of different legal fields that the Receiver / Conservator got to dabble in and fell in love accounting. So she sought an accounting certificate to further her successes in understanding accounting and bookkeeping practices earning her new positions within the company. Eventually, during those years she became what is called “A Girl Friday” to the owner – becoming a recognized asset to the company in all of its facets maneuvering everywhere without having a “title or job description” to limit her. The most celebrated achievements in her career include working with the Department of Corporations and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for the State of California assisting with forensic accounting to regain 100’s of Million Dollar back to the People of the State of California during various Receiverships and Conservatorships. Thus, it became a natural progression for her to then pursue opening her own company which she did becoming very successful over the years.
The need to put all of her attention into the Law Offices of Patricia C. Van Haren became very important in 2011 and Ms. Herrada was asked to assist with the firm more hands on. Therefore, Tammy’s journey with the Law Office of Patricia C. Van Haren began in the procurement of our foundation by putting the law office on the map in early 2012 in Torrance, California. Our office was welcomed and presented by the City of Torrance Chamber of Commerce, Elected Officials, Friends and Family in our first “Ribbon Cutting Ceremony”. The roots of Patricia C. Van Haren were deeply established already in the community, amongst fellow attorneys and the courtrooms throughout Los Angeles County making her presence easily established and welcomed by all. Tammy’s next challenge was to take Patricia C. Van Haren to the next level and voyage to Orange County. It became the next critical step into our newly growing practice as clients began demanding more territory coverage. In 2013, it was no longer an option but a must to spread our wings to cover both Los Angeles and Orange County thus establishing our second office in Irvine, California. Tammy has created a pathway for the business to flourish wherever the legal expertise of Patricia C. Van Haren goes and is excited to explore and expand further into other counties with the assistance of Atty. Walkim and our team. (Update we have begun expanding into San Diego County and Riverside County and are accepting limited cases only by approval.)
Patricia and Tammy
Patricia & Tammy became instant lifelong friends meeting during the upbringing of their respective children: Jennie, Austin & Kimmie (Patricia’s) and Richie & Brandon (Tammy’s) while the children attended school in the Torrance Unified School District. Tammy has been married to Richard Herrada for over 25+ years and lives in Torrance operating our satellite location where she originally met Patricia C. Van Haren. Patricia relocated in 2013 to Irvine so to open our second office and has enjoyed meeting new people, making new friendships and growing the practice. Combined they have thousands of volunteer hours within the community, schools and social networking groups. They have enjoyed assisting, coaching, mentoring and volunteering with Adventures In Art, Music Appreciation, Disaster Preparedness, PTA, FIRST Robotics, Sports, Dance, Cancer Walks and Special Needs Seminars, just to name a few. They have been full-time working mothers and have successfully raised a combined total of five (5) children all graduating High School with three (3) successfully graduating from college at: Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, UC Davis & University of San Francisco, one (1) still attending Rensselear Polytechnic Institute and one (1) attending nursing school. The latest news is that Jennie has decided to move to the UK to gain an Engineering PHd, Austin has moved to Arizona to gain a Medical PHd and Richie was promoted at MUFG and transferred to the Big Apple – New York City. Patricia & Tammy look forward to the continued years of their friendship and the growing of their families.
Atty. Van Haren
Attorney Patrica Van Haren’s Pages
Attorney Patricia Van Haren’s Background
Family Law and Estate Planning Attorney Patricia C. Van Haren has been a practicing attorney since May of 2011. Prior to attending law school, Patricia was a family law and estate planning paralgel for approximately 20 years. In that time she acted as a Paralegal for several attorneys. For several years before becoming an attorney, she assisted couples through uncontested divorces as a paralegal and document preparation assistance. After establishing her own practice, she used all of her skills and knowledge to develop her family law, estate planning and wealth management practice.
Ms. Van Haren raised her three children as a single mother while working and attending law school at nights and on weekends. Ms. Van Haren is the parent of a special needs child and understands the struggles and additional resources that families with special needs children require.
After graduating law school, Ms. Van Haren established her first office and opened her doors as a sole practitioner. The focus of her practice is to assist families in their life transitions and growth. Our office prides itself on being able to establish personal connections with our clients. When working at law firms, Ms. Van Haren realized that very often the attorney knew little about the client or the family that they were working with. Ms. Van Haren wanted to practice differently. She understands that the key to being a trusted counselor and adviser and the key to achieving the clients objectives is to know the client on a personal level.
Ms. Van Haren focuses solely on family law and estate planning matters ranging from paternity actions, divorces, child custody & visitation, child and spousal support and property division. She also focuses on guardianships, conservatorship wealth planning, estate planning and adoptions. Ms. Van Haren is also a member of Wealth Counsel, Elder Counsel, Academy of Special Needs Planners and various bar associations throughout Southern California.
Our office handles contested and uncontested divorces, paternity and custody matters, mediations, wills and trusts, special needs trusts, guardianship, conservatorship matters, wealth management and estate planning as well as family law litigation. We have offices in Torrance and Irvine and handle cases throughout Southern and Central Los Angeles County and all of Orange County.