Our Team

Danielle G. Van Ess, J.D.

Attorney & Counselor at Law

Attorney Danielle G. Van Ess founded DGVE law in Hingham in September of 2008 with a vision for a new kind of law firm based on a philosophy of compassionately providing high quality, holistic legal services in a friendly and relaxed manner, in a comfortable setting, and in an environmentally conscientious way.

Danielle enjoys the privilege of working with people of all ages, in all stages of life, from all types of families, through enthusiastic referrals from clients and professional colleagues to their friends, family members, and clients.

As a wife and the mother of four daughters (currently in 4 schools: elementary, middle, high school, and college!) Danielle understands the time constraints and pressing legal needs of young families. With the experience she has from going through the estate planning process with her husband for their own family, Danielle is able to guide her clients with patience and compassion.

As a sister whose younger brother died way too soon, Danielle also knows the pain of loss of an immediate family member and what it takes to wrap up that loved one’s final affairs while grieving. Danielle is able to use both her personal perspective and her professional experience to guide her clients through the process to make a difficult time easier.

A natural teacher, Danielle strives to educate and empower all of her clients providing an uplifting and fulfilling experience throughout the process of working together. She enjoys the counseling that is so much a part of her law practice and wants her clients to feel comfortable contacting her with whatever questions or concerns they have. She is grateful for the lasting relationships she has developed with the client members of our extended DGVE law family who know they can turn to her for assistance whenever the need arises.

Originally from Swampscott on the North Shore, Danielle earned her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with honors from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. After earning her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Boston University School of Law in May of 2001, Danielle earned her license to and was sworn into the practice of law. She then spent 7 years working as a lawyer for national, nonprofit organizations. In 2007, Danielle decided to shift practice areas and pursue her dream of starting her own law firm. Twenty years after graduating law school, in the Fall of 2021, Danielle returned to Boston University School of Law to pursue her Legal Master’s degree (LL.M.) in Taxation, with a concentration in trusts and estates, to better serve our clients.

An Officer and Director of the Massachusetts Forum of Estate Planning Attorneys since 2012, Danielle helps to design and contribute to continuing legal education programs for estate planning lawyers throughout Massachusetts and New England. Danielle is grateful for that extended network of collaborative practitioners, with whom she regularly shares ideas and best practices to better serve all our clients.

Danielle is also proud to serve on the Board of Directors of the Hingham Cemetery since early 2019, contributing to the local arts scene through the Ames Chapel series and helping to preserve the unique history of that beautiful, living space we are fortunate to have just a block from our offices on South Street in downtown Hingham Square.

Amber L. Alves


Amber joined DGVE law as our Paralegal in June 2019 and has been working closely with Danielle ever since to deliver top-quality professional legal services for all our clients. Following clients’ meetings with Danielle, Amber is responsible for the initial drafting of clients’ estate planning legal documents and court filings. She assists Danielle in advising clients regarding the practical use of their or their loved one’s legal documents and helps Danielle guide clients through the probate and trust and estate administration processes. Amber also serves as Notary Public.

A lifelong resident of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Amber earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Plymouth State University (New Hampshire), studying one year abroad at American College in Dublin, Ireland. Prior to joining DGVE law, Amber worked for another local law firm concentrating in the areas of estate planning, real estate, probate, and trust and estate administration.

With her years of experience and professionalism, Amber calmly ensures that all our clients’ important legal documents are ready for thorough review and real-life service as needed. Amber can read Danielle’s scribbly notes and now often also her mind. Amber has a soft heart, a strong spirit, a host of funny sayings, an adorable sneeze, and (related) a gorgeous cat with a fabulous name.