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About me

Stephen Wills Murphy brings a level of rigor and sophistication to all of his cases, from drafting simple wills and tax-driven trusts; to handling complex divorce, estate, and property disputes; to forming LLCs and other business entities; to drafting and litigating non-compete agreements.


Steve also maintains a site on 20 Frequently Asked Questions on Estate Planning & Probate in Virginia, and the Trusts, Estates & Property Blog, an estate planning blog.  His recent posts include the following:



He frequently lectures and publishes on a wide range of legal topics related to estate planning and business law.  He is also Adjunct Professor of Law at the Washington & Lee University School of Law, and he also teaches Business Law at Piedmont Virginia Community College, where he takes a practical, nuts-and-bolts approach to forming a business, enforcing contracts, resolving disputes, and managing liability.


Practice areas


  1. Estate Planning: 30%
    6 years
  2. Real Estate: 20%
  3. Trusts: 20%
    6 years
  4. Probate: 20%
    6 years
  5. Elder Law: 10%
    6 years



Fixed (sometimes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

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Contact info

McGuireWoods LLP

Court Square Building
310 Fourth St, N.E., Suite 300
Charlottesville, VA, 22902


VAAuthorized to practice law201003/31/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Rising StarSuperLawyers2013
Rising StarSuper Lawyers2012
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
LecturerUniversity Of Virginia School Of Law2013 - Present
AssociateMcGuireWoods LLP2013 - Present
Adjunct ProfessorWashington & Lee University School Of Law2011 - Present
Adjunct ProfessorPiedmont Virginia Community College2011 - 2012
AssociateSt. John, Bowling, Lawrence & Quagliana LLP2010 - 2013
Law ClerkSt. John, Bowling, Lawrence & Quagliana LLP2008 - 2010
Association namePosition nameDuration
Virginia State BarN/A2010 - Present
Thomas Jefferson American Inn of CourtN/A2008 - Present
Virginia Law ReviewEditorial Board2008 - 2010
Publication nameTitleDate
Trusts & EstatesMandatory Arbitration Clauses in Trusts2013
South Carolina Law ReviewThe Rule of Lenity and Hybrid Statutes: WEC Carolina Energy Solutions LLC v. Miller, 687 F.3d 199 (4th Cir. 2012)2013
South Carolina Law ReviewQualified Immunity, Mistaken Shootings, and the Persistent Importance of Perspective2012
Ohio State Journal of Dispute ResolutionEnforceable Arbitration Clauses in Wills and Trusts: A Critique2011
Harvard Law & Policy Review (Online)The Confrontation Clause and the Ongoing Fight to Limit Melendez-Diaz2010
Virginia Law ReviewJudicial Review of Arbitration Awards Under State Law2010
Virginia Law Review in BriefThe Confrontation Clause and the High Stakes of the Court's Consideration of Briscoe v. Virginia2010
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Virginia School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2010
University of Virginia School of LawReligious StudiesPhD - Doctorate2008
Cambridge UniversityTheologyOther - Masters2002
University of Maryland School of LawHistoryBA - Bachelor of Arts2001
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
CLE Program on Trusts & EstatesRecent Developments in Trusts & Estates2014
"Transition to Retirement: Creating a Plan for Success"Estate and Incapacity Planning at Retirement2014
"Leaving a Legacy"Three Common Mistakes in Estate Planning2013
Course, "Leaving a Legacy"Estate Planning2012
Law & ReligionFirst Amendment: Religion Clauses2011
Law & the ArtsEstate Planning Issues for Artists2010
Law and the ArtsEstate Planning for Artists2009