MRWBA News Update           February 2024

Welcome New (& Returning) Members!

    • Sydney Albrecht, Scholley Law Firm, PC
    • Beth Browning
    • Jennifer Guiliano, Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office
    • Zakyrah Hundley
    • Danielle Kent, Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen
    • K. Lorraine Lord, Supreme Court of Virginia
    • Margaret Ransone, Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office
    • Michaela Ross


          Not a Member of MRWBA?

          Join Now!

          Student memberships are complimentary!


          Virtual Public Defender Job Fair Friday

          The Indigent Defense Commission is hosting a virtual job fair and all third-year law students, court-appointed counsel, and licensed attorneys who are passionate about criminal defense/public interest are invited to attend. Starting salaries for entry level positions are $73,500 and up!

          The job fair will be this Friday, February 23rd.

          Pre-register now to secure an interview!


          Join us for Coffee!

          Take a few minutes on Thursday, February 29th to join us and other MRWBA members at a coffee shop to be determined for a quick chance to connect while enjoying a morning cup of joe. We'll be at Stir Crazy Cafe from 8:00 - 9 a.m., so stop by and take a few minutes to relax before meeting the day. 

          There is no fee to attend this event, but advance registration is requested.


          Save the Date: Unlawful Detainer Expungement Clinic April 17, 2024

          MRWBA will be hosting Central Virginia Legal Aid Society’s April 17, 2024, Unlawful Detainer Expungement Clinic. More details will follow. For now, if you are interested in volunteering, please mark this date on your calendar. If you have questions, you may contact Kendall R. von Michalofski (


          New Pro Bono Newsletter

          In 2024, MRWBA will begin to distribute a regular newsletter containing information about pro bono opportunities in the Greater Richmond Area. If you would like to receive this newsletter, please email Kendall R. von Michalofski ( to indicate your interest. You may also contact Kendall with information about pro bono opportunities for inclusion in the newsletter.


          Register Now for the Legislative Update Breakfast!

          Join MRWBA for breakfast at Willow Oaks Country Club on April 24th as we welcome a panel of Virginia Legislators to answer your questions about General Assembly action, or lack thereof, on issues of importance to our members.

          Submit your questions for our moderator, Juan Conde, to ask our panelists.

          Register now!


          MRWBA Seeks Gold Sponsors!

          MRWBA’s events are possible thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. These sponsorships provide an opportunity to promote your brand to a demographic of well-educated, professional women with an average salary of more than $101,126 per year. E-mail with questions.



          From the President

          Dear Members, Colleagues, and Friends,

          Between the snow, school delays and early closings, multiple varieties of germs and sicknesses going around, and general post-holiday malaise, January seemed to have lasted about 82 days this year.  However, we did it!  We made it to February, and March is in sight!  I hope this message finds everyone in good health and excited for a great year ahead in 2024. 

          In February we are celebrating Black History Month.  In honor of Black History Month, our bar association celebrates our diverse membership.  I encourage members to work on your firm’s diversity pipeline by building relationships with diversity-focused organizations and legal associations and creating internship and mentorship programs focused on diverse talent, support locally owned black businesses, learn more about African American lawyers who have helped shape jurisprudence in the United States and/or explore the ABA’s 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge © for more ideas and educational opportunities. 

          I also wanted to take a moment to reflect on the passing of trailblazer, retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.  Members have shared with me their memories of her visit with MRWBA in 2009 on the 35th anniversary of its founding in 1974. Debra Prillaman shared with me that she remembered “how quietly impressive she was, persevering during the same year of her husband's death.” Our website  History describes the event as follows:

          "The MRWBA celebrates its 35th Anniversary with a kick-off reception with the Honorable Sandra Day O'Connor, Associate Justice (Retired) of the Supreme Court of the United States, and a luncheon with the Honorable Cleo E. Powell, Judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia. 2009."

          Justice O’Connor truly paved the way for women in the legal field.  While she was the first, we now have four women currently on the Supreme Court of the United States and this representation means so much to so many women in the legal community.

          We are very excited about the slate of programming we have coming up in the back half of our bar year.  Be on the lookout for invitations to our upcoming Mentorship luncheon in March, our Legislative Breakfast in April and our Business Meeting and Women of Achievement Award Ceremony in May.

          Keep up to speed on our great slate of programs and events being offered this bar year from luncheon programs, mentorship events and membership events.  Please note that our events calendar is live and we will continue to update, so mark your calendars now.

          Mary Hunt
          MRWBA President


          Do You Know an Amazing Mentor? Submit Your Nomination for the Phoebe P. Hall Mentorship Award

          The Phoebe P.  Hall Mentorship Award was established by the Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association in 2019 in memory of founding member Phoebe P. Hall to honor outstanding mentors. Phoebe had a career as a distinguished Virginia attorney and Rector of Virginia Commonwealth University. She was a pioneer in Virginia law when she co-founded Hall & Hall, PLC in 1969 with her late husband, Franklin P. Hall, former leader of the Virginia General Assembly, and was the winner of MRWBA’s Women of Achievement Award in 2006. She was inducted into the inaugural class of the Virginia Lawyers Weekly Hall of Fame in 2018. Over the years she served as a mentor and friend to many young attorneys, and we are pleased to honor her legacy with this award. 

          While there is no official form to complete, nominations should be submitted in writing on or before March 1, 2024. Click here for criteria and complete details.

          Past Winners

          • Julie McConnell (2023)
          • Miriam Airington-Fisher (2022)
          • Jacquelyn Stone and Carole Yeatts (2021)
          • Phoebe P. Hall (2020)

          MRWBA Member Spotlight

          This month’s spotlighted MRWBA member is Kyara Rivera Rivera, a 3L at University of Richmond School of Law. 

          Where were you born?

          I was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

          Tell us a little about yourself.  Spouse? Children? Pets?

          I have lived in Virginia since I was 2. I attended Christopher Newport University for undergrad, and I moved to Richmond shortly after my college graduation. I have really enjoyed the food scene that Richmond has to offer, as well as the trails and hikes nearby which I frequent with my 2.5 year old Boxer pup.

          What type of law do you practice?

          I will be beginning my career, after graduation this year, at Troutman Pepper in Richmond, VA, as an Associate in the Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) practice group.

          How long have you been a member of MRWBA?

          I joined MRWBA the fall semester of my 1L year in 2021.

          What have you enjoyed most about your time in MRWBA?

          I have enjoyed getting to meet so many female attorneys in the Richmond area. Having the opportunity to speak with so many different experienced female attorneys allowed me to gain a better insight into their legal practice, which allowed me to further determine what type of law I wanted to practice.

          Do you have a favorite movie or television quote?

          “You have one chance, one life. And what you do with it is up to you.” -Peyton Sawyer (One Tree Hill)

          This quote was my senior quote in high school, and I still try to live by it as much as possible. I am a firm believer in taking advantage of every new opportunity and experience and creating new memories as much as possible!

          What is at the top of your bucket list?

          Skydiving! I have always wanted to do it, and I am hoping I can fulfill this dream in the next year or two.

          What is your favorite travel spot?

          Puerto Rico! It doubles as a vacation spot and a family reunion spot, since I still have a lot of family on the island!


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