After three years of law school in Europe, I returned to the United States to continue my legal education. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northern Virginia Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Administration of Justice in 2004. I then transferred to George Mason University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 2006. Law school led me to Lansing, Michigan where I earned my Juris Doctorate degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. During my tenure at law school, I focused my studies in trial skills and advocacy and legal writing. I was a member of three national trial teams, traveling the U.S. to compete in trial advocacy competitions.
Upon graduation I returned to Virginia where I was hired as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Frederick County, Virginia to prosecute cases of domestic violence and crimes against women. After gaining invaluable experience as a Prosecutor, I made the switch to private practice and became an Associate Attorney at Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C.
Five years later, I decided to launch my own law practice, J.H. Foster Law, PLLC. My time as a solo practitioner was short-lived as I could not pass up the opportunity to join forces with my friend and esteemed colleague, Katherine McCollam.
I am a member of the Virginia State Bar Association, the Prince William County Bar Association, and the Virginia Women Attorneys Association. I am currently a committee member for the Beat the Odds Banquet hosted every year by the Prince William County Bar Foundation. I serve as a committee member of Judicial Committee tasked by the Virginia Women Attorneys Association to interview potential candidates to the Prince William County bench. Furthermore, Ms. McCollam and I have been selected by the Prince William County Juvenile and Domestic Relations bench to represent Prince William County in its efforts to reform our juvenile justice programs – a cohesive effort with neighboring Northern Virginia jurisdictions – as part of a statewide overhaul of the Department of Juvenile Justice.
I am certified by the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission to accept court appointments for indigent clients, adults or juveniles, who have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense. In order to maintain this certification, I am required to complete mandatory continuing legal education training on a regular basis.
I am a former Adjunct Faculty Member of the Northern Virginia Community College where I taught Criminal Law, Evidence, and Procedure at the Manassas campus.
I am a former Guardian ad Litem (GAL) in Prince William County. In this capacity, I served as an independent voice for the juveniles I was appointed to protect. I was tasked with protecting the interests of juveniles caught in the middle of custody and visitation disputes, victims of abuse and/or neglect, juveniles charged with status offenses, and any other matter involving a juvenile where the court believed an independent investigation was needed. As such, I acted as an investigator for the Court and a zealous advocate for the best interests of my juvenile ward.
Within the last few years, I have taken a keen interest in representing undocumented immigrant juveniles who are the victims abuse, neglect, or abandonment by assisting them to get orders from the juvenile court that they can present to the immigration court to seek Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) which is a regularization of their immigration status and ultimately, a pathway to citizenship. In November 2017, I was a panelist speaker at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) at the University of Maryland Shady Grove in Rockville, Maryland on the subject of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status in Virginia.
Foster McCollam also represents certain Departments of Social Services outside of Prince William County in the capacity of conflict attorney. As such, we fill in when the contract attorney is not available or has a conflict. We have successfully represented the Warren County Department of Social Services in the removal of an abused infant and in an elder law/guardianship proceeding.
My current practice areas include:
- Family Law: custody, visitation, petitions for paternity, child support (including DCSE cases), abuse & neglect proceeding involving CPS, CPS investigations, CPS administrative hearings and appeals, termination of parental rights, pre-marital agreements, separation agreements, contested and uncontested divorce for both opposite and same-sex marriages.
- Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: at the state level for undocumented children facing deportation proceedings
- Criminal Law: adult and juvenile offenses, felonies and misdemeanors, police investigations
- Traffic offenses: DUI, Reckless Driving, Driving without a License, Driving on a Suspended License, ASAP Violations, Speeding, Accidents, Moving Violations
I am currently accepting cases in Prince William County/Manassas, Fauquier County, Warren County, Winchester City/Frederick County, and other jurisdictions on a case-by-case basis.