I MMA C U L ATA MA G A Z I N E * S UMM E R 2 0 1 4
Although workers’ compensation law cases are not
usually as “sexy” as cases depicted on television, this
practice area is the career that Mary Louise Cassidy
Kramer ’70 chose. With Dame Judi Dench in the lead
role, Kramer feels that a PBS mini-series about her law
firm could be a ratings winner—perhaps not for the high
drama, but for the comedy!
Growing up in Cheyney, PA and attending
Immaculata on a scholarship, Kramer graduated with a
degree in English. Wanting a strong liberal arts education
is what brought her to Immaculata; little did she know
that pursuing a passion for reading would lead her to a
legal career. The 20th Century Novel course she took with Immaculata English
Professor Dan Machon, Ph.D., has remained a defining event of her college
She never envisioned that her life would take her outside of the Philadelphia
region. “I had no game plan but to earn a college degree,” she admitted. “I had
never even heard of workers’ compensation before attending law school.”
After graduating from Immaculata, Kramer, then married and living in
Fredericksburg, VA, decided to go to law school; she had developed a game plan.
“At Immaculata, a student a year ahead of me had been accepted into law school,
and that planted the seed in my brain.”
Kramer’s success at the University of Richmond secured her a position with
a prominent Richmond litigation firm. Two of the firm’s preeminent litigators
mentored her, and she considers both of these men true role models. Kramer was
not only the first woman hired, but also the first woman shareholder in the firm.
After 34 years working with one firm, Kramer and five colleagues established
their own law firm in 2009. However, with six owners, it was difficult to decide
upon a name. After toying with various combinations they realized they needed
something more creative. With offices in Richmond, on the James River, and
Christiansburg, in the New River Valley, the unifying element of the two locations
was the importance of the two rivers to these regions. The firm name suddenly
became obvious: Two Rivers Law Group.
When Kramer reflects back on her experiences as a lawyer, she is particularly
proud of her peer recognition in being named to Best Lawyers in America by
, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal
profession, for 20 years.
Mary Louise Cassidy Kramer ’70, J.D.
Kramer manages to escape to her home on the Indian River
in Delaware with her husband, Jack, and her two sisters, who
also have homes there. She also sneaks in some time for a favorite
“My all-time best buy was a beautiful mahogany sideboard
for $25,” she remembered. “I had no way of getting it home, so
the dealer, knowing that I really wanted it, delivered it gratis.”
When asked what advice she would give to the new
generation of lawyers, Kramer advised, “Don’t have any
preconceived notions about what area to pursue. Sometimes the
least likely area will become your life’s work.”
From a woman “without a game plan” to a highly successful
lawyer, Kramer has done well for herself.