The Story of a Storyteller: Forty Years of Tales from Henrico County Attorney Joe Rapisarda

By Melissa Mahan

Many government lawyers begin their careers in public service in order to gain valuable experience before moving onto private practice. However, others find an entire career serving the public to be very fulfilling.

After 43 years at the Henrico County (Virginia) Attorney’s Office, Joe Rapisarda cleared out his office in June. As county attorney, Rapisarda’s practice centered on serving as a legal adviser to the locality. This meant anything from defending public employees in a civil suit to litigating a zoning dispute or examining tax law. County attorneys may also offer advice when the county is considering an ordinance or negotiating a deal with an outside entity. He summed up his legal career in a simple statement: “I’ve been able to tell a lot of different stories. I’m a people person, and this was a way to help people.”

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