2020 Legal Elite — Young Lawyer Profile
Michael D. Pierce, Vandeventer Black LLP, Norfolk
Title: Labor and employment associate
Other legal specialties: Commercial and civil litigation, professional liability defense
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Christopher Newport University; law degree, Regent University
Spouse: Teneisha C. Pierce
Children: Micah E. Sharp-Pierce; David L. Pierce; Arianna C.A. Pierce; Ian A. Pierce; and Jaxon I.A. Pierce
First job as a lawyer: Judicial law clerk for the Newport News Circuit Court
Fan of: God, education, Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. Dubois
Hobbies or pastimes: Meditation; running or jogging; hunting; and reading
Career mentors: Judge Raymond A. Jackson, Judge David F. Pugh, Judge Gary Mills, W. Marcus Scriven, Darius K. Davenport
How did you become president of the South Hampton Roads Bar Association so early in your career?
I learned about the South Hampton Roads Bar Association during law school. All my professors stressed the importance of bar association service. Eventually, the mantle of leadership was passed to me and I am doing my best to wear it well.
Where do you see your career headed?
I do not know whether a young Oliver Hill ever saw himself winning historic civil rights cases later in life. Or whether Dr. King and Malcolm X realized in the beginning that they were on the paths to becoming prolific and controversial figures. My goal is to be the best attorney I can be.
In what ways were starting law school later in life advantageous?
I was more focused on my studies and avoided the social distractions. Even obtaining and working through internships seemed easier because I had already held a professional job prior to law school. I’d like to think that all humans get better with age, so I definitely think starting law school later can make you a better lawyer.
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