“Each time a [wo]man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, [s]he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.”
– Robert Kennedy
Marcia Olivia Wright Payne, Esq. is armed with talent, sharp intellect, and excellent resolution skills. A native of Arlington, Virginia. She is a 2000 graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. During her undergraduate studies, Attorney Payne attended the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Upon graduating from Spelman, Attorney Payne enrolled at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in Washington, DC.
During her law school tenure Attorney Payne competed with the Columbus School of Law’s Moot Court National Trials Team, and served as a student attorney in both the General Practice Clinic of the Columbus Community Legal Services and the Domestic Violence Clinic at AYUDA, Inc. She also interned with the Honorable Natalia Coombs-Greene, Associate Judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In 2003, Attorney Payne received the Cardinal Hickey Award, Columbus School of Law’s highest honor for outstanding service to the community. It is this commitment to service and passion for people that has shaped Attorney Payne’s approach to the practice of law over the last more than sixteen years. Attorney Paynne earned a Juris Doctor from the Columbus School of Law in May, 2003.
Attorney Payne is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar. She has been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Virginia and all inferior courts, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and all inferior courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Prior to forming WLA and its predecessor entities, Attorney Payne was an Associate at a firm where she litigated highly complex civil, criminal and family law matters in state and federal court. She was also a court appointed Guardian ad litem in Abuse & Neglect, Custody, Infant Settlement, and Juvenile Delinquency matters. In addition to the foregoing areas of practice, Attorney Payne spent a good portion of her career working with arts and entertainment professionals. She was an Assistant General Counsel and Director of Public Relations at a global arts, business consulting, and media firm. Attorney Payne negotiated a wide range of complex agreements in the areas of radio, music, film, literary, and visual arts.
Attorney Payne is still very active in her community. She is dedicated to mentoring youth in the Northern Virginia, District of Columbia and Maryland areas through a Rites of Passage program. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., former member of the Board of Directors of the Northern Virginia Delta Education and Community Service Foundation, and a former Commissioner with the Arlington County Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Attorney Payne is an impeccable cook, and she loves outdoor adventure sports, traveling, writing and performing spoken word.