Women in the Law

A profile on Pia Trigiani of Alexandria. Part of a special editorial series celebrating the achievements of Virginia’s women legal professionals.

Photo by Jen Fariello

Pia Trigiani, Alexandria

Partner, MercerTrigiani

Trigiani thought she would be a litigator, someone arguing cases in a courtroom, when she was a student at the University of Richmond’s law school. Instead, she has built a busy and successful practice in real estate law, serving community associations throughout the state as a partner in the boutique firm MercerTrigiani.

Trigiani finds the work endlessly engaging and challenging, demanding knowledge and skills across a variety of disciplines. “It is a convergence of real estate, corporate law, contract law, personnel and employment law,” she says. “Every day is different. Every day is fascinating.”

Yet with all the demands of her work, Trigiani also gives generously of her time and services as a volunteer for a wide range of organizations and professional associations, including Little Sisters of the Poor, the Library of Virginia Foundation, the Longwood University Board of Visitors, and the Virginia State Bar, to name only a few. She chairs the Virginia Law Foundation, the philanthropic organization associated with the state bar, which promotes “the rule of law, access to justice, and law-related education,” according to its mission statement.

Trigiani regards her many volunteer commitments as “good for the soul,” she says. “All my work and all my practice has allowed me to do these wonderful things that I hope give back what I have been given.” 

In advising law students and young lawyers beginning their careers, Trigiani stresses the importance of listening—to mentors, to clients, to seasoned experts in their fields—of empathy, and, most important, of recognizing the privilege that it is to practice law.

“You are carrying other people’s burdens as lawyers,” she says. “It is a high privilege and an honor and it is not to be taken lightly. This is not a job. This is a profession. This is a calling.”

Editors’ note: Women were first admitted to the state bar in 1920, thus making it possible for them to practice law in the Commonwealth. Nearly a century later, women in the law throughout Virginia have risen into positions of leadership and responsibility in public and private practice, nonprofits, education, the judicial system and legal organizations. The editors of Virginia Living sought out some of these outstanding women for their perspectives on their work and the law, and insights from their careers. For more information, including a complete list of Virginia’s top-rated women lawyers, look for our August 2017 issue.

Read the rest of the profiles in our Women in the Law special series:

Jessica Childress, Northern Virginia
Patricia Roberts, Williamsburg
June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum