Eleanor B. Alter

Eleanor B. Alter
Eleanor Desk


Eleanor B. Alter brings a wealth of experience to Alter, Wolff & Foley LLP, having been repeatedly recognized as one of the nation’s top family law attorneys. Eleanor has represented high profile clients, as well as numerous business owners, attorneys and professionals, and their spouses. She has also acted as an expert witness as to New York law and as co-counsel with attorneys in other jurisdictions and has argued appeals in the various judicial departments of New York State.

Prior to co-founding Alter, Wolff & Foley LLP, for nineteen years Eleanor was a partner at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP, where she was the head of the family and matrimonial law group. Prior to joining Kasowitz, she was a partner at Rosenman & Colin LLP (now Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP) for fifteen years. Previously, she was a partner at Marshall, Bratter, Greene, Allison & Tucker LLP for eight years and an associate for six years. After being admitted to practice in New York in 1965, she started her legal career in the Office of the General Counsel of the Insurance Department for the State of New York.

Eleanor entered Harvard Law School in 1961 and graduated from Columbia Law School with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1964. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, from The University of Michigan in 1960.

Eleanor is a frequent lecturer on the full spectrum of family law topics, to attorneys and others, both nationwide and internationally. She served as an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law from 1983-87 and a Ulysses S. Schwartz fellow at the University of Chicago School of Law in 1988. She also taught, as a visiting professor, at the University of Chicago Law School from 1990-93. Eleanor was also a member of the Board of Editors for the New York Law Journal from 1987-2015 and has contributed articles to various legal journals.

Eleanor belongs to the American Law Institute, the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the New York State Bar Association, and the New York City Bar Association (where she was previously on various committees, including the Executive Committee). At the invitation of the New York State Court of Appeals, she has proudly served as a trustee (1983-2013) and Chairman (1985-2010) of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection of the State of New York.

Eleanor is the daughter of Hon. Charles David Breitel and Jeanne (Hollander) Breitel and has two sons, Richard Zabel and David Zabel. Eleanor lives in New York City with her husband, Dr. Allan Lans. She is an avid reader (she loves a good mystery, biography, or books about historic events) and enjoys cooking for her friends and family, especially at her home in the mountains of Haines Falls, NY.