- Program overview
- Why choose VCU
- Enrollment and financing
- Frequently asked questions
- About the paralegal industry
- Meet your instructors
- Paralegal industry resources
What's your next step?
August 19, 2019-February 12, 2020
Mondays and Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m.
Registration Fee: $4,995.00
Where: Richmond Campus
“I like that I have been able to still work while going to class and I haven’t felt overwhelmed. That was very important to me.”
- James Rollins, paralegal student
Trying to determine if the VCU Paralegal Certificate is right for you? Our informational video may help.
Our programs are led by renowned and experienced instructors in the legal field. All instructors for the program courses are practicing members of the Virginia Bar Association. They also bring real-life experience to the classroom to help you apply the new knowledge and skills you gain throughout the program.
Below are biographies and headshots for several of our prestigious instructors. Contact us for more information or if you have any questions we can answer.
Ashley Davis, J.D.
Ashley Davis is an attorney at Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen in Richmond, Virginia. She is a personal injury lawyer who focuses her practice in the areas of wrongful death, products liability, medical malpractice, automobile and tractor trailer accidents, brain injury, and premises liability. Before joining Allen & Allen in 2014, Ashley spent ten years representing defendants and insurance companies in catastrophic injury cases involving products liability, premises liability and toxic exposures.
Ashley is an adjunct professor who teaches trial advocacy at the University of Richmond's T. C. Williams School of Law. She is a sought-after public speaker and has given lectures on a variety of litigation topics including legal research and writing, federal procedure, legal ethics, products liability, corporate depositions, e-discovery, and effective techniques for handling out-of-state litigation. She has been asked to speak by the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA), the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (VADA), the Richmond Paralegal Association (RPA), the VTLA Women’s Caucus, the Institute for Paralegal Education, and the National Business Institute.
Ashley is an active member of the VTLA’s Amicus Curiae Committee, for which she regularly writes briefs to the Supreme Court of Virginia promoting justice and access to courts on behalf of injured people. Currently, sits on the VTLA Board of Governors, serves as Chair of the VTLA Women’s Caucus, and is an active member of the VTLA’s Legislative, Education and Annual Convention Committees.
Ashley received her undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary and her law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before becoming a lawyer, Ashley was an archaeologist who worked on historic and prehistoric sites in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the American Southwest. She is fluent in Spanish and performs pro bono work through the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Sherry Fox, J.D.
Sherry is the consummate litigator. At her firm, ThompsonMcMullan, PC, she has cultivated a diverse litigation practice representing individuals, insurance companies, businesses, adoptive families, adoption agencies, employers, and constitutional officers. She has provided representation in matters involving negligence, employment discrimination, contract law, constitutional law, and adoption law.
Sherry received her bachelor’s degree in government and international politics, cum laude, from George Mason University, and her law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law. She is a Board member of Housing Families First, which assists Richmond families facing homelessness, as well as a Board member of the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association. Sherry has been recognized annually by both Super Lawyers and Virginia Business Legal Elite since 2012.
Sherry is a Yankee by birth. Of her passions, food is the greatest of them. She and her family enthusiastically support community farm initiatives and are proud to obtain much of their food through a farm share with a local Hanover County farm.
Paula Gentius, Ph.D., J.D.
Dr. Paula Gentius is the senior executive in the Office of the President at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia. In this role, she provides confidential counsel, analyses and executive-level support to the president and his cabinet, as well as the governing board. Dr. Gentius works closely with the university’s legal counsel, board professional, policy and compliance office and other units to develop and monitor board and/or institutional policies.
She previously served as the senior policy analyst and assistant to the president at VCU, and as the executive policy advisor to the president and board of visitors at Norfolk State University. Her prior roles in state and city governments include executive policy advisor, confidential policy analyst and chief deputy for a state agency, and executive director of a city commission.
Dr. Gentius earned a Ph.D. in Educational Management from Hampton University in 2015, and has a J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, a Master’s of Education in Higher Education from Ohio University and a B.A. in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University.
Elizabeth L. Gunn, J.D.
Elizabeth L. Gunn is an Assistant Attorney General serving as the Bankruptcy Specialist for the Department of Child Support Enforcement. Before joining the AG's office in 2015, Ms. Gunn practice focused on bankruptcy, creditor's rights, and insolvency law.
Ms. Gunn is a cum laude graduate of Willamette University (Salem, OR) and Boston College Law School where she served as the Solicitations and Symposium Editor for the Boston College International & Comparative Law Review. Ms. Gunn is AV rated by Martindale Hubbel and has been recognized by Virginia Business as a Super Lawyer for the years 2012-2015 and in the Virginia Legal Elite for 2014-15.
Joanna Suyes, J.D.
An attorney at Marks & Harrison, Joanna L. Suyes focuses her practice on Social Security Disability and Personal Injury claims. Joanna grew up in Chesterfield County, graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1989 and received her M. Div. from the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. After working at Marks & Harrison as a paralegal for 15 years, she enrolled in law school and received her J. D. cum laude from the T. C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond.
Joanna is a member of the Bars of Virginia and the District of Columbia, the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, the National Association of Social Security Claimants Representatives and the Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association. She is a frequent speaker on Social Security and poverty law issues and is a passionate advocate for access to justice. She chairs the Virginia State Bar’s Access to Legal Services Committee and sits on the Board of Directors of both the Virginia Poverty Law Center and MissionServe, a faith-based organization that improves sub-standard housing for low-income people across the Southeast. Joanna has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers each year since 2012.
In her spare time, Joanna enjoys spending time with her family and dog, supporting the Washington football team, running 5Ks and traveling.
Dominique L. Young, J.D.
An associate attorney at LawrenceQueen, Dominique L. Young centers her practice as a Richmond employment lawyer giving personalized attention to the various concerns that exist in business today. She represents employers and employees in the various disputes or other matters that may arise in the employment law sector.
Dominique is an alumna of Virginia Commonwealth University, where she studied business marketing with a pre-law concentration. After her time at VCU, Dominique attended Florida A&M University College of Law, where she participated in various legal clinics serving indigent persons.
Since returning to Virginia, Ms. Young has continued her passion for helping others by volunteering pro-bono hours of service to the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society. She is admitted to practice in Florida and Virginia. Outside of the law, Dominique enjoys supporting VCU basketball, attending all of the festivals that come through Richmond, and traveling with her friends and family.