John W. Palenski, Associate at Semmes

John W. Palenski


Download vCard

Vienna, VA Office
Suite 200
1577 Spring Hill Road
Vienna VA, 22182


John Palenski is an Associate in the Firm’s Workers’ Compensation and Employers’ Liability Practice. He represents employers and insurance companies in the defense of workers’ compensation claims. During law school, Mr. Palenski focused on human rights and international law, including an internship in South Africa focused on refugee rights. Following law school, Mr. Palenski was awarded a post graduate fellowship at the American Friends Service Committee where he worked on gross human rights violations under the Leahy Law. Prior to joining Semmes, Mr. Palenski was project attorney in the District of Columbia at an international law firm. Mr. Palenski is fluent in conversational and written German.


  • Virginia, 2015


  • William and Mary Law School, J.D., 2015
    • Carter O. Lowance Scholarship for Academic Performance
    • William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, Notes Editor
    • International Law Society
    • Black Law Students Association
    • Office of Career Services Advisory Board
    • International Advisory Committee
  • The College of William and Mary, B.A. magna cum laude, 2010
    • German Studies Prize
    • Fulbright ETA Scholarship to Germany (2010 – 2011) Pädagogischer Austauschdienst Fremdsprachenassistenzkraft Scholarship
    • Golden Key International Honor Society
    • Pi Sigma Alpha
    • Phi Beta Delta

Affiliations, Associations & Special Achievements

  • American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division
  • Virginia State Bar, International Law Section
  • Virginia Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division
  • Fairfax Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section