Our Paralegal Team

Desi Harley WAW Law Paralegal

Desi Harley


Desi Harley comes to our firm with a background in litigation services, experience in business law and trademark and patent law.  She has over 8 years of trial experience.  In addition, she served the Northern Neck Community as a legal advocate assisting clients with hearings before the Social Security Administration, Social Services, Public School Boards and local nursing homes.  Desi is most proud to have served for over 8 years, in a volunteer capacity, as the Homeschooling Single Parent Coordinator for Home Educators Association of Virginia (“HEAV”).   HEAV is one of the largest non-profit homeschooling organizations on the east coast.  In her free time, she reads historical fiction, and goes hiking, kayaking and camping.

Experience, Education, Awards, & Affiliations:
  • B.A. in Arts from Regis College

amber hermann

Amber Hermann


Amber Hermann plays a critical role in helping our clients find peace of mind during challenging times. As a member of our Civil Litigation team, Amber reviews and organizes the documents and data that support our casework in the areas of personal injury and domestic law. Her detailed approach to solving problems is an asset to Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver. She builds relationships with our clients by clearly explaining the process, listening to their needs, and bridging the gap between them and our attorneys. In her free time, she loves to get outside and run, hike, and travel. She completed her first ultra-marathon in 2019 and has more planned for 2020. When she’s not on the move, she enjoys relaxing with her husband, two cats, and coonhound.

Experience, Education, Awards, & Affiliations:
  • B.S. in Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University
  • Associate Degree in Business Administration from Virginia Highlands Community College

emily hulse

Emily Hulse


Since 2015, Emily Hulse has played an integral role in analyzing thousands of documents to find the small details that can make big impacts in an OSHA case. She assists our attorneys in drafting responses to discovery requests and subpoenas and in preparing for depositions and trials. Her experience has made her a main point of contact for safety managers. Civil litigation, employment law, and OSHA clients know they can depend on her informed approach and team mentality when addressing their legal needs. Her sharp eye for detail and defense is an asset to Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver. When she’s not busy working, Emily loves playing recreational sports throughout Rockingham County and Harrisonburg. She’s always up for a hike, trip, sporting event, or concert and spending time in the Shenandoah Valley.

Experience, Education, Awards, & Affiliations:
  • B.A. in Business Administration & History from Bridgewater College
  • Daniel W. Bly-Lamar B. Neal History Outstanding Senior Award
  • Bridgewater College Outstanding Senior Business Award

melissa johnson

Melissa Johnson


With over 20 years of experience at WAW in supporting personal injury, intellectual property, AIA construction contracts, and insurance defense, Melissa brings a unique set of skills and experience to our clients. In 2021, Melissa began supporting the OSHA team at Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver. Melissa assists attorneys with civil litigation, OSHA citations, and other employment litigation matters. Her attention to detail makes her an asset for reviewing, organizing, and producing information efficiently and thoroughly. In her free time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, hiking, and reading.

Experience, Education, Awards, & Affiliations:
  • Completed IP Paralegal Institute Courses in U.S. Patent, Trademark and Copyright Fundamentals
  • Member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
  • OSHA 30 Hour Outreach Training Program – General Industry

sherri morgan

Sherri Morgan


After decades in the legal field, Sherri Morgan can anticipate the needs of the attorneys she supports. Since 2005, she’s played a critical role in reviewing, sorting, and managing data to help our attorneys pursue medical malpractice, wrongful death, and personal injury claims for clients. She enjoys building relationships with notable medical professionals and arranging expert testimony to incorporate into court cases. Her gentle and informed approach calms clients during challenging times, and they turn to her when they have questions or concerns. In her free time, Sherri is an avid Green Bay Packers fan and loves watching football with friends and family. After long days at the office, she unwinds playing piano and word games with friends and fellow paralegals.

Experience, Education, Awards, & Affiliations:
  • Paralegal Certificate from Armstrong Atlantic State University
  • 2019 Unsung Hero award from Virginia Lawyers Weekly

philip silling

Philip Silling


Philip Silling delivers practical and creative solutions to help our business team solve the legal needs of our clients. Since 2010, he’s played a pivotal role in reviewing and organizing relevant documents and filing the paperwork necessary to facilitate a variety of transactional and litigation matters in practice areas involving real estate, bankruptcy, collections and workers’ compensation. Often a main point of contact for many of our business and corporate clients, he helps to provide peace of mind by planning and developing their legal strategy. Philip started at Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver as an intern for three years during college. He decided to pursue a paralegal career after spending some time working in financial consulting. In his free time, Philip explores the local restaurant and craft beer scene in the Shenandoah Valley. He’s a passionate fan of JMU football and also enjoys traveling.

Experience, Education, Awards, & Affiliations:
  • B.B.A. in Finance from James Madison University
  • Associate of Arts & Science (A.A.&S.) from Blue Ridge Community College