MARY G. COMMANDER has been engaged in the practice of law in Norfolk, Virginia and surrounding areas since 1981. She is well-known and respected in the Hampton Roads area for her proficiency in all matters of Family Law and her diligent and no-nonsense approach in court. Ms. Commander is a certified Norfolk Master Gardener Volunteer and actively involved in the rescue of former racing greyhounds (with two of her own at home).
Mary Commander’s Education & Experience:
She is a magna cum laude graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where she served for three years as an elected member of the University Senate. In 1981, she graduated with honors from University of Richmond School of Law in Richmond, Virginia. During law school, she was a member of the Law Review Staff (chosen based on grades and a writing competition), Moot Court Board (chosen based on brief writing and oral argument competition) and McNeill Law Society (honorary academic society). She also had articles selected for publication in the University of Richmond Law Review.
Following graduation, Ms. Commander served a one year judicial clerkship (1981-82) with The Honorable John A. MacKenzie, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk, Virginia.
For 18 years, Ms Commander served as an Administrative Hearing Officer for the State of Virginia in addition to her regular practice. She conducted hearings and decided cases involving employee grievances and terminations.
For 7 years, Ms. Commander served as a substitute judge sitting in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts and General District Courts throughout the Hampton Roads area on a regular basis.
Mary Commander’s Professional Memberships:
- American Bar Association (Family Law Section)
- Virginia State Bar (Family Law Section)
- Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (Family Law Section)
- Family Law Association of Hampton Roads
- Virginia Women Attorneys Association (past local president)
- Norfolk – Portsmouth Bar Association
- Virginia State Bar Board of Governors of the Family Law Section (Secretary)
- Virginia State Bar Board of Governors of the Senior Lawyers Section
- Board of Trustees of the National Center for Family Law, University of Richmond School of Law
- Board of the Intercollegiate Foundation of Old Dominion University & Citizens Advisory Council to the Norfolk Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court (Former Chairperson)
- Elected member of the Virginia State Bar Council, the entity that governs lawyers in Virginia.
- Board of the Community Mediation Center (former member)
- Mt. Trashmore YMCA in Virginia Beach Board
Mary Commander’s Achievements:
- Certified by the Supreme Court of Virginia as a Guardian ad Litem for children and as a Guardian ad Litem for incapacitated persons
- Certified by the Supreme Court of Virginia as a Mediator in family cases in all Virginia courts
- Martindale-Hubbell rated her an AV (highest)
- AVVO rated her a 10 (highest)
- The Better Business Bureau rated her an A+
- Cooperating Attorney with the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Had articles published in the University of Richmond Law review in 1981 and 1991
- Had an article published in the Virginia Family Law Quarterly in 2015
Where Mary Commander is Admitted & Qualified to Practice:
- The United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- The United States Tax Court
- United States Court of Federal Claims
- All Virginia courts