Our firm is a Northern Virginia law firm with broad experience in providing solutions to the legal issues you face.
Sometimes life gets too complicated to handle without legal counsel. That's where we come in. We practice law to help you solve problems. Because for us, it's about more than just the law. It's about you. Our firm spans all major specialties and all sides of the law so no matter what life throws at you, you can turn to us for knowledgeable guidance and support. Our expertise includes family law, business and corporate law, business and civil litigation, criminal defense, estate planning, probate and estate administration, estate litigation, personal injury, employment law, bankruptcy and real estate law.
500 Montgomery St.
Alexandria VA 22314
616 N. Washington St.
No one starts divorce proceedings because things are going well. They've gone from bad to worse. They've reached the 'I need a lawyer' stage. It's a rough time. We understand.
Our family law team provides the experienced legal judgment you need when making difficult decisions concerning your property rights and your children. We inform you about all of your legal options whether those options involve the courtroom or the negotiating table. We're practical, savvy, tenacious, and focused on solving problems. We are your number one legal champion on your side, all the way.
Our firm brings years of experience in employment law and EEOC litigation, and advocates for clients under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and other federal and state protections.
We understand that employment disputes can be emotionally, financially and professionally draining. Our sensible and practical approach to employment law emphasizes resolution and results and minimizes the hard feelings created in the confrontation and assertion of rights. We help you stand up for your rights whether you are a worker or an employer. We strive to return individuals to dignified, productive work while protecting their right to privacy. And we help employers do right by their employees while minimizing the company's exposure to risk. Our employment law attorneys represent individuals as well as businesses throughout Alexandria, Fairfax, and Northern Virginia.
We're long-time leaders in Alexandria and Fairfax's legal community. And every one of us shows his or her commitment to Northern Virginia, including Alexandria and Fairfax by getting personally involved in local causes and programs important to us individually. It's just who we are.
We're practical and realistic. We help you stay focused on your priorities. If we can keep you out of court, we will. If litigation is the right option, we put our experience and strategic approach to work in pursuit of the best outcome for you.
Andrea Downing is an associate at Wade, Grimes, Friedman, Meinken & Leischner, PLLC, practicing employment law. Ms. Downing represents clients with employment law issues in federal and state courts, as well as in the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Merit Systems Protection Board. She also works with employers to prevent and remedy employment law claims that they may face. Ms. Downing actively litigates employment law claims, including those under:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act;
The Equal Pay Act;
Title IX of the Education Amendments;
Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act;
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act;
The Family and Medical Leave Act;
The Fair Labor Standards Act;
The Whistleblower Protection Act;
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act;
The False Claims Act; and
Common law wrongful discharge theories.
Before joining Wade, Grimes, Friedman, Meinken & Leischner PLLC, Ms. Downing worked for a boutique employment law firm, first as a law clerk during law school, then as an associate after graduation. Ms. Downing received her J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. While at George Mason, she participated in the Moot Court Board, the Trial Advocacy Association, and the Law and Mental Illness Legal Clinic. Ms. Downing grew up in rural upstate New York and moved to the Washington metropolitan area after graduating from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh with her B.A. Ms. Downing loves plants and gardening, agritourism, and exploring small and locally owned businesses.
George Mason University School of Law
Doctor of Jurisprudence, 2009
Carolyn Grimes is a partner in the firm, practicing in all areas of family law including divorce, spousal support, child custody, child support, equitable distribution, retirement issues, and prenuptial agreements, among other areas. She practices in all of the Circuit and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts in Northern Virginia and has argued before the Court of Appeals. She has lectured on family law topics ranging from custody to retirement issues, including military, federal, civilian and Foreign Service retirement issues, for various organizations in the Commonwealth. In addition to traditional litigation, Ms. Grimes practices law in the collaborative law model. She is also a mediator herself.
Named a Top Attorney in 2015 from Washingtonian Magazine, Ms. Grimes actively serves the community as well. She was the 2009 and 2006 President of the Board of Directors for Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV), has served on its Board for many years and has performed many hours of pro bono work for the organization. She is a Past President of the Alexandria Bar Association, for which she has co-chaired the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee and chaired the "Beat the Odds" Program, a scholarship program for youths who have overcome adversity. She also participated in the American Bar Association program offering legal assistance to victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks. She is currently serving her second term on Bar Council for the Virginia State Bar and has been a panel chair for the Virginia State Bar Fee Dispute Program as well.
Collaborative law is a process of alternative dispute resolution designed to keep the parties out of court. Counsel who have been trained in the collaborative law process and other professionals, such as financial professionals and custody experts, engage in a series of meetings with the clients designed to develop creative solutions to the issues in a divorce and agree on peaceful, practical solutions. Ms. Grimes has been trained in the collaborative model since 2006 and practices in this model as well as more traditional settlement or litigation models. She is also a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP).
Ms. Grimes is also a mediator and can act as the neutral mediator for both parties. Mediation is also an alternative dispute resolution process designed to have parties agree outside of court proceedings. If you are interested in using Ms. Grimes as a mediator, please contact our office. One party may initiate the contact to set up the appointment but as a mediator, she needs to meet with both parties together for the mediation process.
George Mason University School of Law
Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1991
Jessica L. Leischner is partner with Wade, Grimes, Friedman, Meinken & Leischner, PLLC. As an accomplished family law attorney and litigator serving Northern Virginia, Ms. Leischner represents clients in Fairfax County, Alexandria City, Arlington County, Loudoun County, Stafford County, and Prince William County. Ms. Leischner's practice is exclusively in the area of family law, including divorce, child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, equitable distribution, settlement agreements, property rights, post-divorce disputes and other family law matters. With the proximity to Washington, D.C., Ms. Leischner has extensive experience in cases involving federal government employees, military personnel, Foreign Service employees, including complex retirement issues. Ms. Leischner has widespread experience in litigation, as well as the negotiation and settlement of cases.
Dedicated to volunteering her time and legal skills to help low-income clients, Ms. Leischner takes on pro bono cases through Legal Services of Northern Virginia, helping clients on a volunteer basis with matters related to domestic violence, divorce, child custody, child support and other family law issues.
Ms. Leischner is the Treasurer of the Alexandria Bar Association Board, as well as a member of several other professional organizations. She mentors youth who have received the Alexandria Bar Foundation's "Beat the Odds" scholarships, which are designed to help young people who have overcome adversity and gone on to pursue higher education.
Creighton University School of Law
Doctor of Jurisprudence, 2007
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