MRWBA News Update               June 1, 2022

New Board Took Office at Annual Meeting

During the Annual Business Meeting on May 25th, members were asked to approve the slate of Officers that had been developed for the 2022-2023 Bar Year:

  • President: Sherry Fox, Fox Family Formation
  • Immediate Past President: Mollie Barton, Stiles Ewing Powers
  • President Elect/JCE Chair: Mary Hunt, Family Law Associates of Richmond
  • Vice President: Lucy Davis, Lucy Davis Law, PLLC (nominated from the floor)
  • Secretary: Lucy Davis, Lucy Davis Law, PLLC
  • Treasurer: Amy Smith, IslerDare PC

Additional Directors/ Committee Chairs are:

  • Awards Chair: Krista Samuels
  • Communications: TBD
  • Diversity & Inclusion: Misty Whitehead
  • Legislative Chair: Co-Chairs;  Claire Gastanaga and Tara Brown
  • Membership Chair: TBD
  • Mentorship Chair: Danielle Matie
  • Programs Co-Chairs: Danielle Matie and Angela MacFarlane
  • Sponsorship: Katherine Groover

Nominations will be accepted from the floor.


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    2022 Woman of Achievement Honorees Named

    Congratulations to both of our 2022 Woman of Achievement Award winners, Judge Rondelle Herman of the Henrico Circuit Court and Susheela Varky of the Virginia Poverty Law Center (pictured below left and right, with Awards Chair Blaire O'Brien, center). Their achievements were celebrated when MRWBA gathered at Willow Oaks Country Club on May 25th.


    MRWBA 2022 Year in Review

    • We started the year with 1076 contacts in the database, and are ending the year with 1199 contacts.
    • Between 33 and 47% of recipients opened each issue of the news update, with between 5 and 16.8% of those people  clicking through to an item on the website.
    • Cash position at beginning of fiscal year: $25,284.56. Cash position as of May 24th, 2022: $26,521.81.
    • We hosted a successful in-person Legislative Luncheon on Wednesday, April 20.  We had a total of 38 registrants and offered one hour of CLE credit. Three female legislators attended: Senator Jennifer McClellan, Delegate Betsy Carr, and Delegate Carrie Coyner. The program was moderated by Juan Conde, formerly of WRIC 8 News.
    • We started the year with 248 active memberships and are concluding the year with 256 active memberships.
    • A new membership category was added for those individuals working in public service with a reduced dues rate. By year-end, 26 individuals were members in this category.
    • We shared 98 job openings with the members over the course of the year. Between 2 and 16% of the members receiving the e-mails (5 - 44 individuals) clicked through to the website to see at least one detailed posting.
    • We had another successful year for mentorship with 113 UR Law students paired with about 80 of our MRWBA members.  We also had about 25 new lawyers who requested mentors and were able to get a MRWBA member as a mentor this year.
    • We secured a $4,000 grant from ALPS Insurance Agency, which we will use this year to support mentor development and networking opportunities. 
    • In October, a panel of five nonprofit representatives from Boys to Men Mentoring, Girls to Women, John Marshall Center for Constitutional History and Civics, Recover Hope, Forward Foundation, and Virginia Poverty Law Center addressed our membership to share information about what they do and how we can get involved.
    • In lieu of our usual December awards ceremony, our holiday luncheon was a welcomed opportunity to reconnect with colleagues; we were joined by local pianist Tommy Witten.
    • At February’s Diversity on the Bench webinar, Judges Rondelle Herman, Randall Johnson, Jr., Linda Lambert, Jacqueline McClenney, Vanessa Jones and Devika Davis discussed the challenges still facing members of the bar as well as ways that we can continue to support diversity in the legal profession.
    • Registration for programs ranged from 31 to 61 individuals and included a look at six area nonprofits and how our members can get involved to support them, a holiday luncheon with pianist Tommy Witten that allowed us a chance to reconnect with each other and a look at diversity on the bench.
    • Having discontinued the publication of the Domestic Relations Pamphlet, we have funds that were donated to support the project that we have begun to share with non-profits in the Richmond area who do important domestic relations legal work. The first grant of $5,000 was provided to Central Virginia Legal Aid Society at the December 1 luncheon. Two additional $5,000 grants will be made in the 2022-23 fiscal year, based upon a selection process that is currently being developed.
    • Sponsor fees raised $9,467.00 this fiscal year from 13 sponsors. This was $3,500.00 less than budget, largely due to ongoing uncertainties surrounding COVID and in-person meetings at the beginning of the year. The spring events had all sponsorships sold.


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