From the President

The 2019 - 2020 bar year luncheon series kicked off to a great start with our first luncheon on September 25, “Running For Office,” with guest speakers Sen. Jennifer McClellan, Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant and Del. Dawn Adams.  Not only did these elected officials talk about their initial motivations for running, the difference between campaigning and governing, and what lessons they’ve learned while in office, they shared firsthand how they balance full-time jobs, families and the duties that come with serving in the legislature. The conversation was transparent and genuine, providing unique perspectives into the real lives of the women who represent us.  We are grateful they took time out of their busy campaigns to join us, and we wish them all the best in November.

And speaking of November……

Election day is just around the corner on Tuesday, November 5.  With all 140 seats of the Virginia legislature up for election, it’s an important time to make your voice heard by taking time to vote.

Also, another critical deadline is also just around the corner. October 31 marks the deadline for 2019 continuing legal education credits. If you’re still short on credits, or if you want to start banking CLE credits for 2020, we hope you’ll join us on October 9 for Joyvan Malbon-Griffin’s presentation,Malpractice Claims and What your Firm Can Do to Prevent Them, which has been approved for 1 CLE Ethics credit

Last but certainly not least, I want to offer a big ‘thank you’ to our members and sponsors who make these luncheons possible.  Our sponsors, and our members, are the backbone of this organization, and without their support, the luncheons and other amazing educational and networking opportunities that MRWBA provides wouldn’t be possible. Thank you.


Michele Satterlund


Don't Forget to Submit Your Nominations: 2019 Woman of Achievement Award

Since 1994, MRWBA has been honored to annually recognize an outstanding Woman of Achievement in the Central Virginia legal community, and now it’s time to submit your nominations for this year’s award! With this annual recognition, MRWBA promotes the stature of women in the community and recognizes those women who exemplify legal professionalism.

Each nominee shall:

  1. be a member of the Virginia State Bar;
  2. have earned the respect of the community at large for her professional and/or civic contributions;
  3. have made significant contributions to the legal profession and to the community;
  4. have at least five (5) years of professional experience as an attorney;
  5. have performed charitable work, pro bono legal services and/or any other activities of note that serve to promote the purposes of the MRWBA. It is not required that a recipient of the MRWBA Women of Achievement Award be involved in charitable activities;
  6. have provided assistance to other women attorneys, particularly as a mentor;
  7. have demonstrated leadership skills; and
  8. each recipient must be a member of the Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association.

For the complete criteria and requirements, or to see the complete list of past honorees, click here

Nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. on October 25th.


MRWBA Upcoming Programs

Registration is now open for ALL of MRWBA's lunch programs for the 2019-2020 bar year. 

Coming up we have:

Malpractice Claims and What Your Firm Can Do to Prevent Them, Wednesday, October 9th. MRWBA member Joyvan Malbon-Griffin with Minnesota Lawyers Mutual will look at the common ethical pitfalls and traps and examine real-life scenarios and resources to prevent malpractice.

Approved for 1 CLE Ethics Credit.

Thanks to this month's Platinum Sponsor: 


  Thanks to this month's Gold Sponsor:

Becoming a Judge, Wednesday, November 6th. Hear directly from the local judiciary, as well as staff to the legislative Courts Committee on what it takes to become a judge as they discuss the process and what steps you can take if you are thinking about a career in the judiciary.

Holiday Luncheon and Annual Woman of Achievement Award, Wednesday, December 11th. Join us as we recognize one outstanding member for the 2019 Woman of Achievement award during this traditional holiday luncheon.

Visit the Events page of our website to register for these or any of the upcoming sessions.


Honors and Awards

MRWBA member Frances Goldman (pictured at left) is being honored at the Richmond Chapter of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities' 57th Annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner on October 28th. The Humanitarian Award is "presented to those individuals who have demonstrated a personal commitment to the promotion of respect and understanding of people of diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds." For more information or to register, click here.

MRWBA and MRWBA member Julie McConnell are being recognized for their sustained pro bono efforts in the Richmond community at the Virginia State Bar's Pro Bono Conference in Harrisonburg on October 16th. For details or to register, click here.

We are delighted to recognize the following four MRWBA members who were selected for the 2019 class of “Virginia Lawyers Weekly” Leaders in the Law.  The recognition is well-deserved.

  • Melanie A. Friend, CowanGates
  • Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, ACLU of Virginia
  • Elizabeth Hanes, Consumer Litigation Associates
  • Hon. Jayne A. Pemberton, Chesterfield County J & DR Court

MRWBA past President Stephanie Grana (pictured at right) has been awarded the 2019 Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (VADA) and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association  (VTLA) Civility and Professionalism Award.   This award is given by each association to a member of the other who exhibits the highest degree of civility and professionalism in dealing with litigation opponents. 

MRWBA President Michele Satterlund has been named as a 2019 Government Relations Trailblazer by The National Law Journal.  This honor recognizes Michele’s leadership in both federal and state government affairs. Satterlund is a senior vice president at McGuireWoods Consulting  and a partner at  McGuireWoods, LLP.

Don't forget to submit your nominees for the following awards:


September Luncheon Recap

On September 25, MRWBA kicked off our 2019-2020 luncheon series with a panel entitled “Running For Office.”  Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (at center, above), Senator Jennifer McClellan (at right, above), and Delegate Dawn Adams (at left above) participated in a panel moderated by board member Alexis Fisher-Rizk. They shared their experiences about what it took to run for, and win, a seat in the Virginia legislature. Thank you to all three legislators for participating in our first luncheon of this year! 


For past issues of our newsletter, click here.

New Members

  • Logan Childress, Student, University of Richmond School of Law
  • Brittany Eastman, Student, University of South Carolina School of Law
  • Rebecca Imholt, Family Law Associates of Richmond, PC
  • Sarah Mikowski, Hirschler
  • Marissa Michell, Henrico County Attorney's Office
  • Laura Musick, Greene Hurlocker
  • Whitney Nelson, Isler Dare
  • Jess O'Connell, Student, University of Richmond School of Law
  • Ashley Peterson, McGuireWoods, LLP
  • Kelly St. Clair, Kelly B. St. Clair, Esq., PCLC
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Our October Platinum Sponsor: Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance

Founded by lawyers in 1982, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company (MLM) provides risk management services, including lawyers professional liability insurance, in 15 states. A long time sponsor of the MRWBA, MLM is an efficient, accountable and permanent practice management resource, exemplified by an AM Best rating of A- (excellent), and a consistent dividend return for the past 30 years. To learn more about how MLM can protect your practice call Joyvan Malbon-Griffin, Esq. at 612.344.4364 or go to our website at


Job Opportunities

Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) is the statewide support nonprofit for local legal aid offices in Virginia. VPLC’s Center for Healthy Communities is searching for an Elder Law Attorney. Responsibilities include: 

  • Providing technical assistance and training to legal aid advocates, long-term care ombudsman, and other advocates around the state on elder law issues, including Medicaid/Medicare health coverage, long-term care services, Social Security, guardianship, and adult protective services
  • Advocating for the rights of the elderly and rights of residents of long-term care facilities before the Virginia General Assembly and state agencies 
  • Providing education for elderly Virginians, families, and residents of long-term care facilities on elder law and long-term care rights

Qualifications: Virginia State Bar members preferred or be willing to become a Virginia State Bar member. Three years of relevant legal experience preferred. 
Also, VPLC is seeking a Project Coordinator for LA VIDA. The grant-funded program entitled Legal Assistance to Victim-Immigrants of Domestic Abuse (LA VIDA), assists certain low-income immigrant victims of domestic/sexual violence or trafficking in applying for visas for which they are eligible. The LA VIDA Project Coordinator is a full-time position and will, among other duties:

  • Provide administrative support for the two LA VIDA Attorneys, including management of tasks, case coordination, document preparation, including immigration forms, scheduling and other administrative tasks, as needed.
  • Administer intakes of potential clients; provide both initial screening and outreach or referrals; work with clients in the process of collecting documents and organizing them in physical and digital files; assist the client in the process of writing his/her personal statement.
  • Effectively communicate with clients and service providers in both English and Spanish and be comfortable using Language Line to communicate with clients in other foreign languages.
We value legal aid or similar public interest experience, and employees whose experience demonstrates their passion for using the law to help others and increase access to justice for all. 
For more information:


    Member News 

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    Sponsorship Opportunities Still Available

    Limited sponsorship opportunities with the Metropolitan Richmond Women's Bar Association are still available. View our sponsorship opportunities

    This year, we are offering two levels of sponsorship. Platinum sponsors will be highlighted throughout the bar year, including on the main page of our website, at all MRWBA events, and in all member communications. We will continue to offer Gold sponsorships for luncheons and other events. If you have any questions, contact Amy Smith, Communications Co-Chair, by phone at (804-489-5500).


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