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VADA Member Spotlight

Nathan Schnetzler
Frith, Anderson + Peake PC

This month’s spotlighted VADA member is Nathan Schnetzler of Frith, Anderson + Peake PC in Roanoke.  A graduate of Hampden-Sydney College and the Washington & Lee University School of Law, Nate currently serves as Vice-Chair of VADA’s Wellness Committee.

1.         Where were you born?

Leesburg, VA, but we moved to Natural Bridge, VA shortly thereafter.

2.         Spouse? Children? Pets?

I’m married to Anna (School Counselor for Roanoke City Schools).  We have two children: Blake (8) and Lorelei (6), and two black lab bird dogs: Sage (13) and Purdey (1).

3.         What type of law do you practice?

My primary focus is defending suits arising under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Title IX, and state and federal employment laws.

4.         How long have you been a member of VADA?

Good question! I believe I joined when I started with FA+P, as our firm has a long history of involvement with VADA, so that would be about seven years I believe.

5.         What have you enjoyed most about your time in VADA?

The opportunity to connect with attorneys across the state and present on issues pertinent to our practice.

6.         What do you like most about practicing law?

The critical analysis and wrestling with difficult issues. There is nothing more satisfying than struggling with a particular issue and having that “Aha!” moment when it all comes together in such a way that you can make a convincing argument to the Court.

7.         If you could have dinner with anyone famous, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Jerry Garcia. ‘Nuff said.

8.         What is the one app on your phone you cannot live without?

Amazon Music (with Prime Music).

9.         What is at the top of your bucket list?

I just scratched off one of the items at the top: seeing a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. Next is probably a return trip to New Zealand (I spent a semester in college living on the South Island) or an African photo safari.

10.       What is your favorite television or movie quote?

“Your mother was a lizard!” – Willow (makes me laugh out loud every time).

Or just about any line from My Cousin Vinny.

11.       What was your first job?

Bellhop at the Natural Bridge Hotel.

12.       When I am not at the office, I like to …

Stay moving…whether training for my next race, watching my kids’ sports/activities, playing music or going to see live music, or training/chasing ducks with my dogs.

13.       If I wasn’t practicing law, I would be …

Probably still in my old job fundraising for Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

14.       What would your courtroom walk-up music be?

“Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon.  (Lorelei’s favorite song.  She also said I should have picked Warren Zevon for #7.)

15.       Who is your real-life superhero?

Cliché, but my dad. We probably disagree about as many, if not more, things than we agree, but he taught me almost all I know about getting your hands dirty and working hard; treating people, animals, and things with respect; and that we all have the opportunity for redemption for our past transgressions.

16.       What is your favorite travel spot?

Goshen Pass back home in Rockbridge County.

17.       In what section of a bookstore would someone be most likely to find you?

None! But you might find me at the public library perusing the works of modern Southern authors or reading or rereading James Lee Burke novels.

18.       What is your favorite food and drink?

Though I rarely eat them, I have a strange affinity for corndogs, particularly if they come from a Pilot truck stop.  Otherwise, you cannot go wrong with a slice of New York style pizza and an ice-cold Sierra Nevada (Pale Ale or Hazy Little Thing).

19.       What was your favorite subject in school?

The Rhetoric program at Hampden-Sydney College.

20.       What advice would you give to someone who just passed the bar?

Find a mentor who will instill in you the values necessary to be successful. One of my first bosses after passing the bar set the standard for my work ethic, judgment, and demeanor that has returned dividends in my career I did not think possible. And then find something you actually enjoy doing even if that is not practicing law. This career is not for everyone, and life is too short to spend it in the grind in the pursuit of misery.

Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys

11533 Busy Street, #327

N. Chesterfield, VA 23236


Executive Director: Sherma Mather

Director of Meetings: Amy Gilbody

Journal of Civil Litigation Managing Editor: Molly Terry

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