CHAPTERS: Prince William
News & Information
VWAA's mission to assist women attorneys in developing their practices and achieving their potential is implemented in part, by periodic networking events such as our membership drive wine tasting. Our chapter sponsors the ciruit court clerks' reception in September. We are interested and involved in the legislative process and had a legislative breakfast at a member's office.
Our Chapter offers Continuing Legal Education.
Membership is open to all lawyers. First year lawyers and judges are free.
2015 Prince William County Chapter VWAA Justicia Award Recipient
Our 2015 Justicia Award recipient is Lisa Johnson-Firth of Immigrants First, PLLC. As an immigration and human rights attorney, Lisa has an amazing history of supporting female victims of illicit trafficking, but perhaps the most persuasive support for her nomination comes from her work in immigration detention facilities during the 2014 influx. She self-financed a trip to the Artesia, New Mexico immigration detention center for herself, her associate attorney, and her intern to spend a week volunteering representation to the women and young children behind bars waiting for their immigration hearings. The stories of the suffering she personally saw are heart-wrenching - I strongly suggest you ask her about them at some point - but her willingness to fight for these mothers and children is an outstanding example of legal compassion at work.
Lisa presently owns her own law firm, Immigrants First, in the heart of Old Town Manassas. A large part of her law practice is assisting women who have suffered extreme violence and getting them legal status in the U.S. as well as access to other resources. She began immigration law through representing women subject to domestic violence and gender-based persecution, such as domestic violence, honor killings, female genital mutilation, rape, and forced abortion.
Lisa also teaches at Georgetown University Law Center a class on Immigrant Women and Human Rights, has served on the Board of ACTs/Turning Points and does all their immigration- related trainings, and is presently on the Greater Prince William Human Trafficking Task Force. Her prior legal work includes serving as the director of legal services at Tahirih Justice Center, a non-profit that specialized only in womens human rights issues, as well as serving as the legal director at Break the Chain Campaign of the Institute for Policy Studies in DC to work with women who had been trafficked into the U.S.
The Prince William chapter held meetings in January, February and April.
In February, the Justicia Award was presented to Kris Spittler at the annual bench-bar dinner dance. She was nominated and selected as one of the founding members of our chapter and someone who is considered among the legal elite in her field.
In January, we agreed to sponsor the VWAA conference to be held on April 12 and 13, 2013.
The March 22, 2012 lunch function at Carmello's in Prince William was attended by Michael HuYoung & Manny Capsalis, both of whom talked about the Diversity Conference. The price was reasonable, the food wonderful, and the company a pleasure! VWAA is a member of the conference. Please see www.dcvsb.org for more information
A Continuing Legal Education Seminar was presented on September 19, 2011 at Waterford at Fair Oaks. Maryse Allen spoke on the topics of Death & Divorce and Ethics.
Judge Barbara Milano Keenan spoke at the chapter luncheon on June 29, 2011 on the topic of educating the public about the legal system.
On June 23, 2011, we held our Annual Meeting at Joan Boardmans' home.
On May 26, 2011, a General Meeting and Election of Officers was held and Compton & Duling.
On April 28, 2011 a 2 1/2 hour CLE on education issues and advocacy was held.
In March, two women legislators, one from the City of Manassas and one from Prince William County, spoke about current topics and their involvement in the process.
Our Chapter presented the Justicia award at the Bar Dinner Dance in January. This award is given to a person who has demonstrated leadership and a commitment to justice and the women of Prince William County with a a generosity of spirit and skills.
In January, Circuit Court Judges Mary Grace O'Brien and William Hamblen talked about the changes they have seen.