The "VTLA Member Spotlight" is an opportunity to turn the spotlight on a member making an impact in the Association and the profession. These members exemplify the mission of VTLA and we are thrilled they're part of the VTLA Family! If you are interested in being highlighted or nominating a colleague, please contact Courtney Hammack: chammack@vtla.com or 804.343.1143 ext. 316.

Member Spotlight Archive
2018 - Brian Gillette, Bridget Long, John Rasmussen, Norman Thomas, Brielle Hunt, Bryan Slaughter, Damon Pendleton, Kyle McNew
2017 - Joanna Suyes, Eva Juncker, Tom Curcio, Amy Griggs, Andy Reinhardt, Lisa O'Donnell, Lee Livingston, Tillman Breckenridge, Mark Dix
2016 - Amy Whitelaw, Kevin Duffan, Tom Albro, Molly Garrett, Cory Ford
2015 - Jonathan Wren, Lauren Ellerman, Gobind Sethi, Rob Dean, Julie Gerock, Brody Reid


Seth C. Weston
September 2019

Seth C. Weston
Law Office of Seth C. Weston, PLC
Roanoke, VA

What kind of law do you practice?
Mostly criminal and family law

Where were you born?
New Jersey

Best book you have ever read?
Lord of the Rings

What's your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving, spending it with family and having good food

How many years have you been a VTLA member?
10

What is the greatest benefit you've received from being a VTLA member?
Access to the listserves

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Will to Succeed

What is a talent you wish you had?
Reading my wife's mind

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Steak and potatoes

Music on your current playlist?
Pretty much any classic rock

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 16?
Don't sweat the small stuff

Who is your hero?
Ronald Reagan

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)?
Ice cream

If money wasn't an issue, what would your dream job be?
Hunting and fishing

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been to?
Bora Bora

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I was a DC Police Officer for about 12 years.

 


Melissa Ray
August 2019

Melissa Grace Ray
Nichols Zauzig
Woodbridge

What kind of law do you practice?
Medical malpractice

Where were you born?
Seattle, WA

Favorite social media account or app?
This probably makes me sound older than I am, but I am not on social media. Despite years of harassment to join, I have stayed strong (or maybe out of touch?). I do use Pinterest though, so I guess that is my favorite.


What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)? 
Watching trashy TV like the Bachelor or Bachelorette, I know, I know, it is all orchestrated and predictable but it is so entertaining and literally requires zero brain power. My other guilty pleasure in the Summer is eating S'mores - they are so good!

If money wasn't an issue, what would your dream job be?
Definitely an event planner! I love to plan, entertain and see people around me have a great time, plus, I am meticulous with the details. If not that, my second choice would be to work in a cheese and wine shop - I love both!
 
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pasta, preferable in Italy.

Let's talk about summer...what's your favorite summer vacation spot?
My younger self would have said Dewey Beach at the Starboard. Now, it's spending 4th of July back home on Bainbridge Island, WA with my family - going to the parade, lighting fireworks off on the beach, and making s'mores on the fire. There are usually about 25 of us and it is so much fun.

You have the entire summer off...no trials to prep for, no court dates, etc. How would you spend your summer?
Travelling in the South Pacific going from one beautiful beach to the next with a frozen drink in hand! Hopefully this fantasy includes unlimited money also so I can afford it.

Favorite summer memories as a kid?
Setting up the slip'n slide in the backyard and hanging out with my friends at the neighborhood pool.

What is a talent you wish you had?
Classical ballet dancing - I was a ballet dancer until high school but never good enough to truly be a ballerina. I enjoy going to the ballet at the Kennedy Center to see all of the amazing talent.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
This is a hard one - I enjoy travelling and want to travel everywhere! My top three destinations right now are Bora Bora, Spain, and Greece...the last one may be crossed off the list in September - fingers crossed!

 

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I lived in Tunis, Tunisia for the first 10 months of my life and spent a lot of time travelling in Asia and Europe before my family moved back to the U.S. As a baby, I visited Paris, Rome, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, & Bangkok. Unfortunately, I don't remember any of it! But, that is probably where I got my travel bug from. 

Music on your current playlist?
Depends on the playlist - it ranges from 90's hip hop and R&B to The Chainsmokers, Cheat Codes, and Meghan Trainor, But it's all mostly music that I can dance to!

How many years have you been a VTLA member?
15
 
What is the greatest benefit you've received from being a VTLA member?
I can't limit it to just one, the two greatest benefits I have received by being a VTLA member are being able to tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience that other members are generously willing to share, and friendship.
 

Dominique Young
July 2019

Dominique L. Young
Lawrence Queen
Richmond

What kind of law do you practice?
I practice all things labor and employment law, except Worker's Compensation. I'll leave that to my other world-changing colleagues.

Where were you born?
I was born in New Haven, CT. But, I can't tell you one thing about that place, so Virginia Beach is home!


What do you think is the biggest challenge facing young lawyers today?
I would say getting an opportunity and access to resources that voluntary bar organizations have. This would only be second to learning how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Favorite social media account or app?
Instagram! I love a good boomie (or boomerang)!

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 16?
IT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA TO TRY AND BACK YOUR MOM'S NEW CAR OUT OF THE GARAGE WHILE SHE'S ON A WORK TRIP. That will save you all of your summer job money and lectures.
 

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)? 
I am a bravo and E! fan. I think I watch way too many of the shows on those networks. TV binging and some Gelati Celesti is where you can find me on a stress-free Friday night. Followed by Saturday and Sunday brunch! 

If money wasn't an issue, what would your dream job be?
I would plan parties and events. I love any kind of theme, and will make a party theme for everything. Just ask my Goddaughter. I planned a whole “Young, Wild, and Three” (Months) party within 24 hours.
 
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
There's no way I can answer this. I can't even meal prep because I can't eat the same thing for a week!

What is a talent you wish you had?
Singing (Well)-- I sing unashamedly all the time in the car, but if I could actually sing well... I would be passing demo tapes out at all VTLA events.
 

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
I would definitely say visiting Eastern Asian countries would be an awesome trip.

Who is your hero?

My little sister, Gabby. Gabby has the poise of my mom. The fun wittiness of my Dad. And the heart of gold. She lives the most unapologetic life ever and to only be 25, she’s killing it. 

What's your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas! First, the biblical significance to my faith. But then I am also a fan of all things extra, grand, glittery, and festive, and you are sure to get that every Christmas holiday season. This past year I had a 6ft pink Christmas tree in my office. 

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I think VTLA members would be most surprised to know that I played the violin for ten years and went on tour with the Virginia Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2004 during the Athens Olympics. 

Music on your current playlist?
Beyonce, OF COURSE! I also have Cardi B, Drake, Ella Mai, Bruno Mars, Migos, Lizzo, Arianna Grande, and anything else they play in my weekly dance class!

How many years have you been a VTLA member?
2

What is the greatest benefit you've received from being a VTLA member?
Being in VTLA, I have been afforded the opportunity to network with some of the most experienced trial lawyers in Richmond. This is an invaluable resource as a young litigator. It is important to me to know that I have support through my connections in VTLA.

Best book you have ever read?
There are a lot of books that I love, but the one I read almost every year is "Who Moved My Cheese" by Spencer Johnson.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Legally Dom: It actually is hard, but everything can be accomplished with a good laugh and strong cup of coffee.
 

Jason Konvicka
June 2019


Jason Konvicka
Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen
Richmond

What kind of law do you practice?
I have specialized in plaintiff's personal injury for my entire career. I love what I do and can't imagine doing anything else. I am currently working on cases involved tractor trailer crashes, medical malpractice, dangerous products, premises liability, and mass torts.  

Where were you born?
Houston, Texas


What do you think is the biggest challenge facing young lawyers today?
Getting into the courtroom (particularly jury trial experience) is one of the greatest challenges facing young lawyers today.

Favorite social media account or app?
Instagram is the only social media I am on, and my interest runs hot and cold.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 16?
Don't sweat the small stuff, relax, don't be afraid to take risks, and travel more.

 

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)? 
Gelato and a movie that I have seen countless times, after everyone else is asleep
.

If money wasn't an issue, what would your dream job be?
Chef on a Caribbean island
 
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Tough question, but probably a steak, roasted vegetables, and a great bottle of wine.

If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
Superman has a pretty nice setup.
 

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
Bali, Tahiti, Maldives

Who is your hero?
Martin Luther King would certainly be on the short list.

What's your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving for the food, time with family, and Dallas Cowboys football. The weather is typically pretty nice that time of year as well.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I thought about going to culinary school before applying to law school, and I've been to about 50 Grateful Dead shows over the years.

Music on your current playlist?

My taste in music is pretty diverse. My current playlist includes jam bands (Phish, Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic), new wave (REM, The Smiths), grunge (Nirvana, Pearl Jam), classic rock (too many to list), and rap.

How many years have you been a VTLA member?
24

What is the greatest benefit you've received from being a VTLA member?
While VTLA's CLE is second to none, the friendships that I have formed over the years would be the greatest benefit I have received from being a VTLA member.

 

Joel McClellan
March 2019


Joel R. McClellan
Marks & Harrison
Richmond

What kind of law do you practice?
General Personal Injury  

Where were you born?
Indianapolis, Indiana. Moved to Richmond in the Summer before 6th grade.


What do you think is the biggest challenge facing young lawyers today?
I believe, the biggest challenge directly facing most young lawyers today is the tremendous amount of student loan debt.

Music on your current playlist?
90s Hip Hop (car)
Acoustic Covers (desk)

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 16?
I would tell myself to travel more and see the world. I was fortunate to do some backpacking in Europe after college, but I wish I had done more before law school.
 
What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)? 
Golf and eating Sour Patch Kids. My dentist says I have a serious sweet tooth. I also have a small passion for golf.
 
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chicken wings and Caesar salad

Best book you have ever read?
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson


How many years have you been a VTLA member?
5


What is the greatest benefit you've received from being a VTLA member?
Aside from obvious benefits of the interactive listserve and CLE programs, the greatest benefits for me have been the relationships I have built with colleagues and networking opportunities.

Do you have any pets?
Yes, a golden retriever named Libbie