“I am a trial attorney focusing in family law matters and civil litigation.”
Hilary Peery Vesell is a trial attorney focusing in family law matters and civil litigation. She has a BA in psychology and MA in clinical psychology both from Columbia University. Hilary received her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.
Hilary has written several articles that were published in the Pennsylvania Lawyer and Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly along with other legal publications. These articles are on the topics of mental illness in the legal system, co-parenting in custody cases, prenuptial agreements, parental alienation, and child sexual abuse allegations in custody cases. They can be found in their entirely on Veselllaw.com.
Hilary was selected by the Judges of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas to sit on the 2019-2020 Arbitration Board. She is admitted to practice in all Pennsylvania courts including the United States Federal District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. She is admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States and was appointed to the House of Delegates for the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Hilary is a member of the Dauphin County Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice and the American Association for Justice. She is also a member of the family law sections of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Dauphin County Bar Association.
While studying at Columbia University, Hilary worked at Jacob, Medinger, & Finnegan, a corporate law firm representing an array of international clients. There Hilary helped prepare cases for trial. In New York City, Hilary also obtained an internship at Smith Barney, gaining experience with financial markets. After completing her undergraduate work at Columbia University, Hilary returned to Pennsylvania to work at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, participating in two research studies conducted on the Children’s Inpatient Unit. These studies were later published in the Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research and General Hospital Psychiatry. At the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hilary also administered a neuropsychological screening battery for a National Institutes of Health grant in the sleep lab and worked on a grant awarded to the Behavioral Sciences Department researching long-term effects of drug use. Hilary then returned to Columbia University where she earned a Master’s Degree in clinical psychology.
After graduate school, Hilary moved to Florida where she specialized in working with children and families in a clinical setting while studying for her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law. At Women in Distress of Broward County, Hilary provided counseling, crisis intervention, victim information, resources, and rights to clients who were the victims of domestic violence. Hilary also worked at the Child Protection Team of Broward County conducting psychological assessments and forensic interviews with children and their families aimed at providing community intervention and resources to families in crisis. In continuing her work with children and families, Hilary also volunteered at the Mental Health Association of Broward County conducting self-esteem programs for children in the public school system.
Hilary later joined the clinical staff of the Children’s Psychiatric Center in Dade County. There she conducted therapy with children and families and simultaneously worked in the Miami-Dade public schools providing mental health counseling to children. Hilary was responsible for assessing and evaluating children in order to develop treatment plans to help these children succeed within their school, family, and social settings. At the Children’s Psychiatric Center, Hilary received extensive training in legal and ethical issues of working with children and families, behavioral techniques of working with children and their families, family assessment, assessment and diagnosis of children, bonding and attachment, therapy with abused children, and effects of domestic violence on children. As a result of her work in psychology, Hilary received licensure as a mental health counselor.
In 2002, Hilary received a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami, School of Law. While in law school Hilary contributed to the Children and Youth Law Clinic representing children in dependency hearings. At the Children and Youth Law Clinic, Hilary evaluated psychological reports of clients for witness preparation and trial, combining her training in law and psychology. During law school, continuing her commitment to help families in need, Hilary worked at Legal Aid of Broward County as a certified legal intern advocating for the rights of both children and families unable to afford an attorney. Hilary also participated in a practicum in the Family Court Self-Help Project at the Dade County Courthouse assisting pro se litigants. There Hilary was again responsible for helping individuals who could not afford to hire their own attorney file pleadings in family law matters involving marital dissolution, child support, and child custody.
Following law school, Hilary worked for the Florida House of Representatives drafting laws targeted at protecting the rights of women, children, and families. Hilary later worked as an attorney for the Guardian Ad Litem Program at the Broward County Courthouse representing the legal rights of dependent children at the juvenile detention center and in foster homes.
After her training, Hilary returned to Pennsylvania in May of 2009. Upon her return, she worked for the law firm of Howett, Kissinger, & Holst in Harrisburg where she gained valuable experience in all aspects of Pennsylvania family law. Already a member of the Florida Bar since 2003, Hilary joined the Pennsylvania Bar in 2010. Since 2015, Hilary has worked in her own practice in her hometown of Hershey, PA.
In her community, Hilary serves on the South Hanover Township Zoning Hearing Board and on the Manada Conservancy Board, the local Dauphin County land trust. She is a volunteer for the Dauphin County Orphans’ Court Guardianship Pro Bono Monitor Program and is a trustee for Ben and Tim Day. Hilary also supports the Hershey Food Bank, the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area, and the Dauphin County Bar Foundation We Care About Children Campaign.