Meet Professor Danielle Wingfield

November 2, 2022
Prof. Wingfield returns to her alma mater to teach Virginia civil rights history and education law.

What led you to Richmond Law? 

As an alumna of Richmond Law, I was initially drawn here because it offered a law clinic in the area of my desired focus. Aside from that, I was impressed with the supportive culture of the institution. As a Richmond Law faculty member, I was drawn here because I felt I was coming home. Here, I have been free to develop a seminar on Virginia’s civil rights history. Richmond Law is a place where the best in faculty and students is allowed to shine through.  I can’t imagine a better place to be. 

How would you describe your career path to this point? 

As a law student, I worked at the Richmond Law Family Law Clinic. After passing the bar, I practiced family and education law at a private firm. I also received my Ph.D. from the University of Virginia’s School of Education, concentrating on the legal history of education. After completing my law and doctorate degrees, I was favored to be a postdoctoral fellow at the UVA Center for Race and Public Education in the South and UVA Law School’s Center for Race and Law. Most recently, I was a visiting assistant professor of law at Gonzaga Law’s Center for Civil and Human Rights before accepting my position as a faculty member at Richmond Law.  

What has surprised you about Richmond Law? 

I have been thoroughly impressed with the faculty's collegiality and passion for scholarship and student preparation. Richmond Law’s commitment to producing exceptional legal advocates is one of the hallmarks of this school. The school is leaning in all the right directions; this is a powerful commendation for an institution that has been producing lawyers for more than a century.  

What advice would you give to current students? 

I would encourage current students to take advantage of the many resources available. Get to know professors. Take advantage of clinics and externships; practical experience is one of the most important elements of preparation in the field of law. Further, I would encourage students to grow their networks.  

One of the most incredible things about this school is that it has opportunities for pursuing virtually any type of legal interest. I have always been fascinated by the role of law in society. I have been profoundly blessed to be able to pursue my interests in a variety of ways. Richmond Law played a valuable role in my maturation as a legal scholar and advocate. The best advice I could give is to follow your calling, no matter what, and use the resources at Richmond to help you do so. 

What career advice would you give to graduating students? 

All students should know they have unlimited potential with a Richmond Law degree. I know of alums who have advanced into every sector of the law, including practice at local and federal levels, public policy, and academia. I have had opportunities domestically and internationally, which were directly linked to having been a student at Richmond Law. Our graduates are well-prepared to tackle anything that may come their way. I would say stay in touch with colleagues and professors, as they will be invaluable resources along the way. 

What would you recommend that students do outside of law school?  

It is important for students to make time for whatever brings them joy. Students will be doing critical work but finding time for oneself is essential. Aside from intentionally doing things that make them happy, students should develop a self-care routine that includes rejuvenating activities. I cannot stress enough how vital self-care will be to their emotional, physical and spiritual well-being moving forward.  

Anything else you’d like to add? 

As lawyers, we are advocates and representatives for our clients. It is hard work, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. You are fortunate to be surrounded by people at Richmond who are also committed to doing incredible work as lawyers and who are also here to help you find your calling.