Max Ruthenberg-Marshall is a legal innovator and the founder of Porchlight. She chose family law because she has always been fascinated by family relationships—blood, legal, and chosen. Max enjoys helping people structure and restructure their families. She feels honored to be invited into intimate parts of clients’ lives and to help them move forward.
Max founded Porchlight to fulfill her vision of how to best serve family law clients. Through her experience, she has seen that the traditional approach to family law is not actually the best. Max takes a client-centered approach to law and has built a firm that does so as well.
Experienced and Compassionate
Max has a strong background in family law. Before she started her own firm, she worked for a well-known family law firm in Atlanta. She has handled a wide variety of complex and unique family law issues. She has significant experience, both in the courtroom and in settling cases amicably.
Max believes an attorney-client relationship begins with compassion. She seeks to understand first and then plan legal strategies. Meeting clients’ needs–both practical and emotional–is one of Max’s top priorities.
Max has diverse legal experience supporting her approach to family law. During law school, she volunteered with a legal helpline for victims of domestic violence. Currently, Max serves as a court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). In that role, she protects children in contested custody cases. Max is also a registered domestic mediator. Her mediation training helps her analyze cases from all sides and craft solutions. Max’s variety of experience is invaluable in giving her a unique perspective on how to best help her clients.
Dedicated to Serving the Community
Max takes great pride in being involved in the community. She teaches the Family Law Workshop in several metro Atlanta counties. In that role, she provides vital information to people representing themselves in the legal system.
She also volunteers with Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) and DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (DVLF). Both programs help those who cannot afford legal services. Most of her work through these programs focuses on:
- Serving victims of domestic violence
- Assisting with name changes to match gender identities; and
- Helping families gain legal relationships with children in their care.
Max also participates in Swim Across America. This program raises money for cancer research and treatment. Max got involved in the program when her dad was diagnosed with cancer. She has done the one-mile and 1/2-mile open water swims.
Getting to Know Max Personally
The love for the law runs in Max’s family. Both Max’s parents and one of her brothers are also lawyers. She grew up in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. Max started learning about managing family conflict by simply being the oldest of five siblings.
Max loves a physical challenge and completed one 5k per month in 2018. She is also an active swimmer and competes on an adult swim team. Max enjoys reading and participates in two book clubs. She has also taken two solo cross-country trips. Max is a firm believer in overall wellness so that she come back refreshed to work for her clients.
Max currently lives in Decatur with her partner, Kevin, and their two cats, Lorna and Freyja.
The George Washington University Law School, J.D.
The University of Maryland, B.A.
California (Inactive status)
Georgia Trend Legal Elite – 2017, 2018
Super Lawyers Rising Star – 2019
National Academy of Family Law Attorneys – Top Ten Under 40 – 2019
GAWL Committee of the Year – 2018
Atlanta Bar Association
DeKalb Bar Association
Stonewall Bar Association
Georgia Association for Women Lawyers
Lawyers Club of Atlanta
National Association of Women Business Owners
Out Georgia Business Alliance
Decatur Business Association