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Peter Matthew Whelan

Employment and labor Attorney at Washington, DC

5.0   3 reviews

also known as Pete Whelan, Peter Whelan

  • State Years
    Dist. of Columbia - DC 14 years
    Virginia - VA 15 years
  • Licensed for 14 years
    State DC
    Acquired 2010
    Good Standing No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 15 years
    State VA
    Acquired 2008
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Peter

Learn Peter’s areas of practice.

I am a founding partner with the Washington, D.C. employment law firm District Employment Law PLLC, and have achieved favorable outcomes for numerous private-sector and federal employee clients in a wide range of employment-related litigation, including individual discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, whistleblower retaliation, and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) cases, as well as in severance negotiations and contractual disputes. 


I chose to become an employment law attorney, and chose to represent employees facing discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation, because I know how important your career is to your life and to your family. I have the skills, passion, and practical experience to guide you honestly and carefully through the confusing maze of options available to those seeking to fight for their rights in the workplace. I listen carefully to your needs and your unique situation, and will devise a strategy tailored to those needs.


Prior to starting District Employment Law, I worked as an employment lawyer with Bernabei & Kabat, PLLC for over thirteen years. I also worked in the litigation group at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, where I focused on employment law, helped represent high-profile clients in trial and appellate litigation, and represented clients pro bono in political asylum and landlord-tenant matters.


I graduated magna cum laude from the George Mason University School of Law, and served as a Research Editor for the George Mason Law Review and as a Writing Fellow in the Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis program. As a member of the Moot Court Board, I and two classmates won the Domenick L. Gabrielli National Family Law Moot Court Competition. Prior to law school, I taught U.S. History at an Alexandria, Virginia middle school. I graduated magna cum laude from the College of William & Mary with a B.A. in American Studies.


District Employment Law PLLC
1101 Connecticut Ave. NW
Suite 450
Washington, DC, 20036

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5.0 / 5.0
  3 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Anya | April 28, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Great listener, strategic advisor
Peter was excellent in clarifying for me the applicable statues around my concern with equal pay, including to which party the burden of evidence would fall, and specific things I could consider in making decisions to move forward. Great listener, and offered me well targeted communication strategies.
Posted by Hondo | February 12, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Knowledgeable and Dedicated
Peter Whelan has an amazing knowledge of the law and of the legal process. The legal briefs he has written has surpassed anything I have seen during two decades of a career which required me constantly working with many other attorneys. Pete is a warm and caring person who provides the highest level of legal representation. He is diligent and will absolutely worked tirelessly on the behalf of his clients. Pete will address any question or concern almost immediately. He is totally professional and polite to everyone in legal proceedings, yet absolutely tenacious on behalf of his clients. Even after all my years of dealing with the legal process; it has been absolutely educational watching him work. I could never fully describe the appreciation I have for Pete’s efforts. The dedication and devotion Pete Whelan has shown will never be forgotten. During this arduous process Pete has provided flawless guidance through the entire legal system and has always given the very best legal advice. In the darkest hours you will be comforted with the knowledge that you are being represented by Pete Whelan. W. Hondo Hunter
Read less
Posted by anonymous | May 3, 2015
Highly recommended!
Pete Whelan worked with David Wachtel (reviewed separately) to represent me in an employment discrimination case. I really enjoyed working with Pete and would recommend him highly. Right off the bat, I was struck by Pete's demeanor and "bed side manner." I think he's incredibly well suited to employment law. Legal issues with an employer, I've learned, can get surprisingly personal and nasty. If you're someone who places your identity in your professional life, this is an incredibly painful experience. Pete never sugar coated, but managed to take some of the "sting" out of the worst moments in my case. I also appreciated how well Pete communicated with me during a long, drawn-out negotiation. He explained things clearly and I left every call feeling like I had been empowered to make an informed decision. As an employee going up against an employer, I felt like David going up against Goliath. Working with Pete helped me level the playing field and led to a fair outcome.
Read less


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Contact for Details


AVVO RATING 8.6 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Founding Partner
  • District Employment Law PLLC
  • 2023 - Present
  • Partner
  • Bernabei & Kabat, PLLC
  • 2016 - 2023
  • Senior Associate
  • Bernabei & Wachtel, PLLC
  • 2009 - 2016
  • Associate
  • Sutherland Asbill & Brennan
  • 2007 - 2009
  • Summer Associate
  • Sutherland Asbill & Brennan
  • 2006 - 2006
View all work experience


  • George Mason University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • N/A
  • College of William and Mary
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • N/A

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Disability discrimination litigation
  • Substantial settlement following discovery in federal court litigation


  • Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
  • National Employment Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Domenick L. Gabrielli National Family Law Moot Court Competition
  • Albany Law School
  • N/A

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (13)
Endorse Peter
Employment and labor Attorney | Jul 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Employment and labor Attorney | Apr 27
Relationship: Other
"Peter is a rock solid employment and labor lawyer. I highly recommend him. A very tough lawyer, but also a very nice guy."
Employment and labor Attorney | Apr 23
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have worked with Peter Whelan on a complex employment case for several years. He is highly intelligent, tough and tenacious. I recommend him highly to anyone in need of strong representation in an employment matter."
Employment and labor Attorney | Apr 10
Relationship: Supervised lawyer
"I supervised Pete for 6 years. From the start, he was an excellent writer, thoughtful, and articulate. Over time, he became the determined, resourceful and resilient advocate he is today. He will provide outstanding representation."
Employment and labor Attorney | Apr 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Peter is an experienced, practical lawyer who you would enjoy working with. He's responsive and he'll tell it you to you straight. I'd highly recommend that if you think you may have a case related to your employment situation that you give him a call."
Employment and labor Attorney | Feb 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Peter is a talented employment law attorney who connects well with this clients. I highly endorse and recommend Peter!"
View more endorsements
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Employment and labor
Employment and labor
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Employment and labor
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