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About me

Ms. Howell’s practice focuses on counseling clients on routine and complex employment law issues, including compliance and litigation avoidance; negotiating and litigating employment and contract-based disputes in federal and state courts; representing clients through alternative dispute processes; and composing and defending employment-related agreements, including restrictive covenants.


Prior to founding Howell Law Group, PLLC, Ms. Howell worked for national and regional law firms where she negotiated, mediated and litigated Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, FLSA, USERRA and various other employment and contract-based disputes in forums including federal and state court, as well as before the EEOC, the U.S. DOL, Va DOLI, VEC and VDH.


Ms. Howell was named a “Rising Star” by Virginia SuperLawyers magazine in 2011 and 2012, and is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest ranking available. She was also named a "Famous Former" in 2012 by the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast.


Ms. Howell is currently a member of the Virginia and Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Associations, and is Executive Officer of the Chesapeake Bar Association. She is President of the South Hampton Roads Alumni Chapter of Christopher Newport University. Ms. Howell sits on the CNU Educational Foundation, where she has also served as a professor in the Government Department. Ms. Howell is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.


Ms. Howell received her B.S. degree from Christopher Newport University, where she graduated magna cum laude in 1998. She earned her J.D. from the College of William & Mary School of Law in 2002.


Honors and Awards

  • Virginia SuperLawyers “Rising Star”, 2011 and 2012

  • Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast "Famous Former" 2012

  • AV Peer-Review Rated by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell


Practice areas


  1. Employment: 90%
    14 years
  2. Litigation: 10%
    14 years



Fixed (sometimes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Brian J Gillette

    Melissa is a William & Mary Law School graduate who takes seriously the school's philosophy of the citizen lawyer. Jefferson believed that aspiring lawyers should be taught in a university setting and that they should be trained not simply to be excellent legal craftsmen, but also good citizens and leaders of their communities, states, and nations. Melissa is a skilled professional as well as a leader in her profession and community. I endorse her.


    Brian Gillette Social security Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Robert Louis Wegman

    I endorse this lawyer. Melissa is the person to whom I refer Employment/Labor cases. She is an expert in her field. I have absolute confidence in her advice. On a personal note, she is one of the nicest persons you would ever want to meet.


    Robert Wegman Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

Contact info

Howell Law Group, PLLC

999 Waterside Drive
Suite 2525
Norfolk, VA, 23510


VAAuthorized to practice law200210/09/2009
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Top Litigation Lawyer Under 40American Society of Legal Advocates2013
Washington D.C. Women Leaders in the LawAmerican Lawyer Media2013
AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2013
Top Forty Under 40Inside Business2013
"Famous Former" 2012Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast2012
“Rising Star”Virginia SuperLawyers2012
“Rising Star”Virginia SuperLawyers2011
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerHowell Law Group, PLLC2013 - Present
AttorneyJackson Lewis2009 - 2013
Association namePosition nameDuration
Chesapeake Bar AssociationTreasurer2012 - Present
Virginia State BarMemberN/A
American Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Rotary InternationalN/AN/A
Federal Bar AssociationAttorney MemberN/A
National Association Of Women Business OwnersBoard MemberN/A
Commercial Real Estate WomenN/AN/A
Publication nameTitleDate
Inside BizTop Issues in Employment Law2012
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2002
Christopher Newport UniversityN/ABS - Bachelor of Science1998
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
2013 CPA ConferenceEmployment Law Update2013
Peninsula SHRMManaging Employee Leave2012
NAWBO SEVAEmployment Law Update2012
BB&T BenefitsConducting Workplace Investigations2012
BB&T BenefitsSocial Media2011
What to Expect from the Obama AdministrationNew Sheriff in Town2010
VariousAnnual Supreme Court Update, Various Employment Law updates2010