The Leesburg Town Attorney’s Office now includes three full-time lawyers.
Jessica Arena joined town staff as assistant town attorney in May, after the position was advertised from Feb. 3 through March 14, according to Public Information Officer Betsy Arnett.
Arnett said Arena was chosen from a number of “very qualified candidates.” She is a 2014 graduate of the William & Mary Law School who has worked for a number of law firms, in addition to a two-year stint as a staff attorney for the Loudoun County Circuit Court.
Arena joins a department that includes Town Attorney Christopher Spera and Deputy Town Attorney Christine Newton, along with Paralegal Carmen Smith. It is the first time in Leesburg’s history that it has had three full-time attorneys on staff.
Arnett said that shortly after Spera began his job with the town last August, “it became apparent to [him] that the volume of work in this office would justify a third attorney, particularly as we came out of the various pandemic restrictions.” Arnett in particular pointed out the suspension of many of the collection and financial enforcement tools it typically uses because of the hardships caused by the shutdowns and other COVID-related restrictions.
“In addition, the office’s contracting support functions [will] be increasing as town projects that had been postponed or delayed were rescheduled and the overall volume of development and other business regulated by the town increased as we came out of the negative impacts of the pandemic and the related restrictions,” Arnett said.
Arena’s primary responsibilities will be collection actions, risk management regarding claims against the town, procurement and contracting. Her starting salary is $95,000.