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Mary Kathryn Atkinson

Legal Assistant
Melinda Childress-Dearing540.983.9434
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Mary Kathryn Atkinson is a trial lawyer with Gentry Locke’s Personal Injury group who represents people injured by others in accidents, wrongful death, and medical malpractice matters across Virginia. Prior to joining Gentry Locke, Mary Kathryn was an intern for The Honorable Pamela L. Reeves in United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee. She graduated summa cum laude from William & Mary Law School and received the Order of the Coif. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia. Mary Kathryn grew up on a tobacco farm in Pittsylvania County, worked and attended college and law school across the Commonwealth, and couldn’t be happier to return to the region where she belongs.

  • Summers interning for prosecutors
  • Thousand miles on my Chevy
  • Pairs of cowboy boots
  • How were you able to begin working in a prosecutor's office at the age of 15?

    I thought it would be interesting, so I wrote a letter requesting an internship. I spent every summer thereafter interning, and that's how I knew I wanted to become a trial lawyer.

  • If I wasn't practicing law...

    I would be a florist. Hydrangeas are my #1.

  • What do you like to do outside of work?

    Watch sunrises and sunsets, go hiking and sometimes kayaking, and drive the most scenic roads in Southside (and try to avoid hitting any more deer).


  • William & Mary Law School, J.D., summa cum laude (2018)
  • University of Virginia, B.A. (2013)


  • As a summer associate, assisted in legal matters regarding medical malpractice, products liability, and construction law litigation cases; drafted motions in limine and revised memoranda in support in medical malpractice cases
  • Researched historical and constitutional issues, including issues related to anti-canons of Article III and federal court order violations
  • As an intern to a federal judge in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, drafted bench memoranda for motions to dismiss and participated in case evaluation conferences to discuss rulings in court hearings
  • As a legal assistant, filed pleadings in federal and state courts for civil and criminal cases, interviewed witnesses for an assault and an embezzlement case, and analyzed and organized discovery for civil rights cases, negligence cases, and a RICO conspiracy case


  • Member, Roanoke Bar Association (2019-Present)
  • Member, Virginia Trial Lawyers’ Association (2019-Present)
  • Member, The Virginia Bar Association (2019-Present)
  • Member, Virginia State Bar (2018-Present)
  • The George Wythe Society of Citizen Lawyers (2015-2016)
  • Virginia Mock Trial Member (2011-2013), Captain (2012-2013)


  • Order of the Coif (2018)
  • Wayne M. Lee Book Award (2016)
  • CALI Awards for Federal Civil Procedure (2015), Virginia Civil Procedure (2018), Business Associations (2017), and Legal Practice II section (2016)
  • First Place, Dean’s Writing Award (Spring 2016)
The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.