Welcome to the Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association!


I am pleased and honored to serve as the President of the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association. Serving on the board of this organization has been one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things I have done in my legal career. I have been fortunate to meet some amazingly strong and talented women who have inspired me in my professional and personal life. I have benefited from the experiences of other women in our organization and have felt supported and encouraged by our members.

My theme is “empowering women.”   To empower is “to make someone stronger and more confident especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.” This seems fitting as our organization’s mission is “to support and enhance the professional development of women in the legal profession through education and networking opportunities.”

As women and members of the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association, we can empower women by encouraging them to take on leadership roles in their places of employment, in our community, and in politics. We can and do encourage and empower each other to step up, be our best selves, and be a source of strength and support for others. The MRWBA does this through our mentorship program where we match mentors to younger attorneys in our association and law students. We empower others by producing and publishing the Domestic Relations Pamphlet that is distributed to law firms, courts, women’s shelters, and non-profits to provide legal information to people who may not otherwise be able to obtain the information. The MRWBA empowers its members by providing continuing legal education opportunities to expand our legal knowledge and expertise, and by providing networking opportunities to learn about the practice areas of other attorneys and share our experiences. It is important to remember our experiences matter and they are each unique and that sharing them with others does empower women to make diverse choices in their personal lives and careers.

I am excited for the upcoming bar year and the opportunities our bar will provide to its members for networking, for education through CLEs, and our programs. I hope we will inspire, enrich, and empower you to continue to make a difference in the lives of your clients, your families, and your communities.

Melissa S. VanZile, Esquire

President 2016-2017

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