Judge Lori K. Serratelli earned her Bachelors of Arts in English at the University of Vermont in 1975 and received her Juris Doctorate from Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio in 1978. She served on Law Review and co-authored a Comment on child support issues.
After beginning a solo practice in 1978 in Harrisburg, emphasizing family law and employment discrimination, her husband, Steven J. Schiffman joined her in 1980 to form the partnership of Serratelli & Schiffman which grew over the decades to Serratelli, Schiffman & Brown, PC., a 12 member law firm, including their son Andrew, emphasizing a wide spectrum of civil law practices.
Over her 38 years in private practice, Judge Serratelli litigated extensively in the area of family law in the county courts throughout Central Pennsylvania and in the area of employment discrimination in the three Federal District Courts. She has handled appeals to the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme Courts and to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. She is also admitted to the United States Supreme Court.
Judge Serratelli has been involved in the Harrisburg community in a variety of charitable and advocacy non-profit organizations. She currently serves on the board of PA CASA, the statewide organization supporting Court Appointed Special Advocates for children who are abused or neglected. She served herself as a volunteer CASA in Cumberland County from 2010 until joining the PA CASA Board in 2014. She received the 27th Annual YWCA Tribute to Women of Excellence Award on March 16, 2016 from the Greater Harrisburg YWCA recognizing her lifetime commitment to end racism and work on behalf of women’s right to equality legally, socially and economically. She has been committed to pro bono legal service throughout her legal career. During law school , she volunteered to represent indigent individuals seeking welfare assistance through the appeals process.
Judge Serratelli has been committed to the mediation process to resolve disputes, saving parties from the high financial and emotional cost of litigation. She worked in the ABA pilot project, The Night Prosecutor Program, at Capital University Law School, in which she mediated neighborhood disputes. Following law school, as an attorney, she was trained in mediating personal injury cases and successfully mediated those matters for several years. She is also a trained family law mediator. She served as a volunteer mediator for the Susquehanna Township Human Rights Commission, after helping to draft the local Human Rights ordinance. As an attorney, she represented clients in numerous mediations through the Federal Court and with private mediators.
On June 13, 2016, Governor Wolf honored Judge Serratelli by nominating her to fill a vacancy on the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas. The nomination was unanimously approved on a bipartisan basis by the Pennsylvania Senate. She was sworn in as Judge on July 15, 2016 to serve an appointment through January 1, 2018.
Judge Serratelli serves in the Family Law Court, and hears Civil and Orphan Court matters as well. She serves on the Self Help Center Committee, oversees the Hon. Todd A. Hoover Pro Bono Guardian Monitor Program, presides over Naturalization Court and is working on forming a steering committee to bring a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program to Dauphin County court to train volunteer CASAs to assist the court on cases involving dependent children facing abuse or neglect.
The Judge married Steven Schiffman, in June 1978 and joined him in Harrisburg, PA which has been their adopted home since that time. There, she and her husband raised their two sons. Joshua S. Schiffman who earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering and is married to Dr. Mira M. Hidajat, who earned her Ph.D. in Demography and Sociology. Andrew T. Schiffman, is an attorney admitted to practice in California and Pennsylvania.