Attorney Biography

Karlise Yvette Grier is the managing attorney of Grier Law Office, P.C., an Atlanta law firm that concentrates in the areas of adoption law, divorce law, and family law.  Ms. Grier is an experienced trial attorney and child-welfare lawyer.  During her legal career, Ms. Grier has litigated hundreds of cases and participated in several reported cases, including her most recent appellate victory of Frazier v. Frazier, 280 Ga. 687, 631 S.E.2d 666 (2006), a divorce case in which the Supreme Court of Georgia affirmed the judgment Ms. Grier obtained for her client after a trial of the case.

Ms. Grier has several years of complex litigation experience.   She has tried contested matters - involving issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, division of marital property, and termination of parental rights - before both judges and juries in Georgia's superior, state, and juvenile courts.  She has extensive experience in resolving contested divorce matters. Ms. Grier is also an experienced domestic adoption attorney and has successfully represented clients in interstate adoptions, private/independent adoptions, step-parent adoptions, relative adoptions, and agency adoptions.

Ms. Grier was appointed to serve as a part-time Magistrate Court judge in Fulton County in May 2006, and she has previously served as a Judicial Officer in the Fulton County Superior Court Family Division.  From March 2000 until June 2005, Ms. Grier served as a Judge Pro Hac Vice in the former City Court of Atlanta (“Traffic Court”).

After completing law school, Ms. Grier began her legal career as a commercial litigation associate at Kilpatrick & Cody (now known as Kilpatrick Townsend). Thereafter, Ms. Grier served as an Assistant Solicitor General for the State Court of Fulton County, where she prosecuted individuals for misdemeanor criminal offenses, including family violence cases. After leaving the Solicitor General's office, Ms. Grier became Of Counsel to the law firm of William R. Jenkins & Associates, where she represented the Fulton County Department of Family and Children Services in the Juvenile Court of Fulton County, in deprivation and termination of parental rights proceedings. The cases she litigated often involved issues of severe child abuse and neglect, including medical neglect, sexual molestation, and permanent physical injuries.  Ms. Grier opened her own law firm in February 2000, and established Grier Law Office, P.C. in 2004.

Ms. Grier’s professional activities are numerous.  Ms. Grier is a Fellow in the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and a Barrister in the Charles Longstreet Weltner Family Law Inn of Court.  From April 2010, through March 2011, Ms. Grier participated in a one-year long fellowship as a Fellow for the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Committee on Justice for Children’s Cold Case project.  As one of 11 fellows, Ms. Grier reviewed cases of children who have been in foster care for an extended period of time, recommended alternative legal options and devised policy recommendations for change that included new proposed legislation on the use of psychotropic medications for children in foster care. In July 2011, Ms. Grier was also Certified as a Child Welfare Law Specialist by the National Association of Counsel for Children and the American Bar Association. 

Ms. Grier served as the President of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys ("GABWA") in 2001. Ms. Grier was appointed to the State Bar of Georgia's Board of Governors in September 2000, where she continues to represent the Atlanta Circuit in Post 30.  She also currently sits as a trustee on the Board of Trustees for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia.  Ms. Grier was a co-founder of the Civil Pro Bono-Family Law Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating incarcerated mothers about their rights and responsibilities as parents.  During her tenure as President of GABWA, Ms. Grier served on a volunteer basis as the Founding Director of GABWA's Sister-to-Sister Mentoring Project, a Fulton County Juvenile Court program for at-risk girls.  She currently serves on the boards of youthSpark (formerly known as the Fulton County Juvenile Justice Fund) and the Fulton County Child Attorney’s Office.  She was the founding Chair of the GABWA’s Family Law Section.  Ms. Grier also serves as the Vice Chair of the State Bar of Georgia’s Child Protection and Advocacy Section.  She is the Vice President for Voter Services for the League of Women Voters of Atlanta-Fulton County. 

Ms. Grier has also donated her time to ensure the safety of Georgia children through her involvement in legislative advocacy.  For example, for over six years, Ms. Grier helped the Georgia Association of Licensed Adoption Agencies ("GALAA") to pass new Georgia legislation, SB 172 (2011), which requires home studies for adoptive parents in certain circumstances before a child may come to live with the parents. Before SB 172 became law, in some cases, more scrutiny was given to a person adopting a pet than to a person adopting a child. Ms. Grier, and others, helped GALAA to research, draft, and revise the bill throughout the six-year process of getting it passed. In 2011, Ms. Grier offered testimony in the house judiciary committee in support of the hotly contested bill. The Governor signed the bill in May 2011, and it is now law.

In 2012, Ms. Grier served as an At-Large Delegate from Georgia to the Democratic National Convention.  Ms. Grier is one of several attorneys on the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Special Masters Panel, and when requested she hears and makes recommendations to the Supreme Court regarding attorney disciplinary matters pending before the Court.  Ms. Grier is a member of the 2015 Class of Leadership Atlanta.  She also currently serves as a member of the 2014 Fulton County Superior Court Family Division Task Force.

Ms. Grier received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College in 1986, and her law degree from the Emory University School of Law in 1992. She was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in that same year.