Roya Vasseghi is a Partner at Vasseghi Budd PLLC. She has been in practice for 11 years. Her career began at a defense firm in Los Angeles. Roya moved to Virginia in 2012, and has worked for several private firms, focusing her practice on litigation and employment law. In January 2020, she launched her own firm, and recently merged her practice with a good friend and fellow WBA member, Kellie Budd. Roya and Kellie are passionate about changing the way law is practiced and doing work they love.

Roya joined the WBA Board of Directors in 2015 as Secretary. In 2016, she was elected as a Director, and was elected to a second term in 2019. Prior to her Board service, she was a co-chair of the Solo and Small Practice Forum and Energy and Environmental Law Forum.

In addition to serving on the WBA Board, Roya is a member of the Virginia Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Council and a Co-Chair of the Fairfax Bar Association’s Employment Law Section. She is an active member of the District of Columbia Bar Law Practice Management Community and was a former Co-Chair of LPM’s Steering Committee.

Roya lives in Vienna with her husband, two daughters, and mini-Bernadoodle.

When did you join the WBA?

What committees/forums have you been involved in?
I started off by attending the Solo and Small Practice Forum monthly lunches. I was new to DC and was looking for networking opportunities (and friends!). I got to know the S&SP Forum members well and became co-chair. I’ve also had the privilege of serving as co-chair of the Energy and Environmental Law Forum and Secretary of the WBA. I am now serving my second term as a member of the Board of Directors.

Why did you join the Women’s Bar Association?
I moved to the DC area from Southern California in 2012. My then-boyfriend, and now husband, was working with the State Department and I made the leap to move to DC so we could be together. I started attending WBA events before moving to the area. I loved the energy in the room at the events. I remember attending a presentation by my fellow Board member Anne Collier on networking. I connected with her following the event and I am privileged to call her a friend all these years later. I was lucky enough to have leadership opportunities within the organization right away. I built lasting relationships with my fellow members and have watched them rise up in their careers and have gotten to know their families. I got so much more out of joining and being involved in the WBA than I could have hoped for.

What benefits do you get from being a part of the WBA and why do you think others should join?
I’m involved in other groups in DC and I get a lot out of my involvement in those groups, but the WBA was the easiest group to dive into and build meaningful relationships. I attended and organized many programs on the skills needed to excel as a junior attorney in the legal profession and how to best advocate for yourself as a female attorney in the profession. The advice given my more experienced attorneys on panels, fireside chats and at networking events is invaluable. There is no better place to find decades of experience in one place. The networking opportunities have been phenomenal. I have felt supported throughout my career and most recently, in the launch of my law firm. WBA members genuinely want to lift each other up and promote other women in the profession. I’ve felt like I’ve had a group of cheerleaders rooting for me since joining. We support each other and share in each other’s successes.

How has being a parent enhanced your career?
I am a mom to two amazing little girls – 4 and 2. Being a mom has taught me to prioritize my family and myself. I am grateful for the experiences I’ve had, but ultimately, being a mom propelled me into launching my own firm in 2020. I wanted to have control over my work and my schedule so that I could be there for my family. I don’t think I would have had the courage to take the leap if I wasn’t forced to manage my time efficiently in order to prioritize my family and without the support of my network, especially my WBA family.

Do you have a mentor/hero?
I have so many mentors, role models and friends through the WBA who have supported me professionally but also on a personal level from career transitions to navigating motherhood and supporting me through loss. I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of my WBA family. They have been a sounding board for me and been kind enough to share their experiences both professionally and personally for my benefit. I am grateful and strive to give back in the same way.

What words of advice do you have for women new to the profession?
Put yourself out there. Speak up. Don’t be afraid to be the youngest or least experienced in the room or at the table. We all have value to add and we all deserve to be here.

What is the best advice you have received?
Networking is not about you. I’m not sure if those were her words exactly, but I credit my fellow WBA Board member and friend Annie Collier for that nugget of wisdom. I came to the DC area as a junior lawyer with no jobs and no contacts. I didn’t think I had anything to offer older or more experience practitioners, but I threw myself into WBA, volunteering, and making connections. I love helping people, and approaching networking and relationship building with this goal has made networking so much more fulfilling for me