Martha JP McQuade

Martha McQuade has practiced exclusively in the field of family law for over 20 years. She is listed in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys, Best Lawyers in America, Virginia Super Lawyers and Washingtonian Magazine's "Top Lawyers" in the District of Columbia metropolitan area. A creative problem solver and experienced negotiator, she settles the vast majority of her cases and is known for her skill in drafting prenuptial, cohabitation, separation and other types of agreements. She cautions, however, that litigation is often a necessary parallel track and that well prepared litigation is the best insurance for resolving a case before trial.

Ms. McQuade handles all aspects of family law including child and spousal support, custody and distribution of property. With a direct approach, she counsels clients from all walks of life including those with complex and significant assets as well as those of more modest means. Business owners and executives, professional athletes, doctors and lawyers, lobbyists, teachers, technicians, government employees, military members and stay-at-home parents are among her clients.

Beginning with the first interview with a potential client, her approach is to listen, educate and begin to develop an individualized plan and strategy which serves as a guide throughout the case. Her goal is always to represent her clients with the highest degree of legal skill and ability, professionalism and ethics. In that process, she requires the full cooperation and assistance of her clients in preparing and presenting their cases.

Ms. McQuade has served on the Fairfax Bar CLE Committee, the Virginia State Bar Bench-Bar Committee and the Virginia Supreme Court Judicial Education Committee. She is a Past President of both the Virginia Commission on Women and Minorities in the Legal System and the Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia. She is also a Past Chair of the Virginia State Bar Lawyer Disciplinary Board and also of the District of Columbia Bar Rules/Regulations/Board Procedures Committee.

Ms. McQuade has been honored throughout her education and career for both her professional leadership and volunteer contributions to her community. She served on the Van Vleck Moot Court Honor Board while in law school; was chosen as one of Ten Outstanding Young Women of America shortly after graduation; received the Gerald B. Roemer Community Service Award in 1999 and the Frederick B. Abramson Award for Bar Leadership in 2000; was honored as a "Star of the Bar" in 2004; and was presented the Virginia State Bar Diversity Conference’s Clarence M. Dunnaville Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 for her work in fostering, encouraging and facilitating diversity and inclusion in the bar, the judiciary and the legal profession. Ms. McQuade has lectured for the American Bar Association, the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, the Virginia Women's Attorneys Association, the District of Columbia Bar and other groups.


  • J.D., George Washington University's National Law Center (1984)
  • B.J., The University of Texas at Austin (1975)

Bar Admissions:

  • Virginia (1990)
  • District of Columbia (1985)
  • Maryland (1985)

Professional Associations/Memberships:

  • Virginia State Bar: Member, Family Law Section; Bench-Bar Relations Committee, 1992-1995; Supreme Court of Virginia Curriculum Committee for Judicial Education (Diversity Training), 1997; Fourth Circuit Disciplinary Committee 2002-2008 (Chair, 2005-2006); State Disciplinary Board, 2008- (Chair, 2012-13, 1st Vice Chair, 2011-12, 2nd Vice Chair, 2010-11).
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association: Member, Family Law Section; Speaker on Ethics in Family Law, 2001; Speaker at Annual Custody Retreat, 2009.
  • Virginia Women Attorneys Association: Board of Directors, 1992-1995 and 2005-2011; Annual Meeting Program Committee, 2004; Lecturer on Ethics for the Northern Virginia Chapter, 2007 and 2011.
  • Fairfax Bar Association: Member, Family Law Section; Chair and Moderator of  Annual Bench-Bar CLE, 1998 and 1999; Court Conciliator, 2001-.
  • Alexandria Bar Association.
  • District of Columbia Bar: Member, Family Law Section; Bar Rules/Regulations/Board Procedures Committee, 2003 - 2011 (Chair, 2009 - 2011).
  • Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia: President, 1995-1996.
  • Women's Bar Association Foundation: Board of Directors, 1994-2001 and 2005-2010.
  • Maryland State Bar.

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