About Danielle Wingfield-Smith

Danielle’s deep commitment to child advocacy work led her to pursue a career in the field of law.  Danielle began her legal career assisting families and children at the Jeanette Lipman Family Law Clinic in Richmond, Virginia.  Working with the clinic gave her valuable experience as she litigated cases relating to foster care, divorce, custody, visitation, domestic violence, public benefits, housing, children in need of services, and education, which were heard in the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Courts in Richmond and Chesterfield, Virginia.  During her time at the clinic, Danielle had the privilege of serving as the understudy of Dale Cecka, Esquire, co-author of the 2018 edition of Virginia Practice, Family Law: Theory, Practice, and Forms, one of the major authorities for the practice of family law in Virginia.  While under her tutelage, Danielle learned the practice of law and mastered the skills necessary to be effective as a trial attorney.  Dale remains a valued friend and mentor.

Since her time at the Jeanette Lipman Family Law Clinic, Danielle has earned a law degree from the University of Richmond and a doctoral degree in Leadership, Foundations, and Policy from the University of Virginia.  Danielle’s scholarly pursuits and work as a legal advocate for children both serve to help her meet her goal of helping people successfully navigate the legal system.

Upon completion of her studies, Danielle worked as an associate attorney at McGeorge Williams Law, LLC.  While there, Danielle handled a wide variety of family law matters. As an associate, she handled child custody and support cases, contested and uncontested divorces, separation agreements, protective orders, and adoptions.

Danielle is qualified by the Supreme Court of Virginia as a guardian ad litem for children.  As such she is charged with the duty of representing the best interests of children in court proceedings.  Children who find themselves in the justice system are especially vulnerable, as they often are unable to achieve fair and just outcomes for themselves without competent and caring representation.  Danielle is passionate about guardian ad litem work and takes seriously the role the service plays in providing zealous advocacy.

Danielle received a Certificate of Achievement from the Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar in 2014.

Danielle is honored to be Of Counsel for the Child Advocate Law Firm of Charlottesville, VA, and for the opportunity to help advance its mission of providing high-level advocacy that serves the best interest of children.  Danielle and her family relocated to the area in 2017. Danielle and her husband have one child and together have a personal mission to discover and meet the needs of the Charlottesville community.

Bar Admissions

Commonwealth of Virginia, December 2015


University of Virginia, PhD
University of Richmond School of Law, Juris Doctorate
The College of William and Mary, Bachelor of Arts


Co-editor, The Memoirs of Henry L. Marsh, III: Civil Rights Champion, Public Servant, Lawyer, with Law Professor Jonathan Stubbs, GrantHouse Publications, 2018.

Book review of Litigating Across the Color Line: Civil Cases… by Melissa Milewski, The Journal of African American History (2018).

Honors and Awards

Recipient of the Certificate of Achievement from the Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar (2014).
Recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

Professional Associations

Virginia State Bar, Member
Hill Tucker Bar Association, Member
Gates Millennium Alumni Association, Member
Historical Education Society, Member

Past Employment Positions

McGeorge Williams Law, LLC, Associate Attorney
Jeanette Lipman Family Law Clinic, Student Associate
Senator Henry Marsh III, Senate of Virginia, Law Clerk and Research Assistant

Pro-Bono & Volunteer Experience

Children’s Home Society, Richmond, VA
Ghana Human Rights Advocacy Centre, Accra, Ghana