Conference News and Information
June 1, 2011
Freddie Mac Attorney Named Local Bar Leader of 2011Andrea L. Bridgeman, a corporate lawyer whose active pro bono service has included opening opportunities for other corporate counsel to represent low-income clients in Virginia without charge, has been named a Local Bar Leader of the Year by the Virginia State Bar?s Conference of Local Bar Associations.
The award recognizes continued dedication of bar leaders and close cooperation with the VSB. Bridgeman?s recognition is one of two bestowed by the conference in 2011.
Bridgeman is associate general counsel at Freddie Mac in McLean. She has worked within her company, with the Fairfax Bar Association and other local bars and legal aid societies, in continuing legal education classes, and through the Virginia State Bar to provide direct legal assistance to low-income clients and to make it possible for other corporate counsel to provide limited pro bono representations. She has served on the VSB?s Committee on Access to Legal Services since 2006 and is currently its chair.
In nominating her for the award, the Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association wrote, “Andrea has been involved in local bars at all levels, making sure that corporate counsel have a voice before these groups and play a visible role in bar activities.”
In Virginia, lawyers who hold bar-issued certificates as corporate counsel normally can represent only one client — the companies for whom they work. Bridgeman helped the Virginia State Bar and Supreme Court of Virginia develop rule changes that now allow these corporate counsel to provide uncompensated pro bono legal representations of other clients. Her work helped lift restrictions for supervision so that corporate counsel can have more flexibility in their pro bono service.
Her efforts opened the possibility that the 882 corporate counsel certificate holders in Virginia can join the ranks of lawyers who provide legal services to persons who do not have the means to pay legal fees.
In endorsing Bridgeman?s nomination, James A. Ferguson, executive director of Legal Services of Northern Virginia, wrote, “Despite holding a prominent position in the legal department of a busy company, she has devoted an amazing amount of volunteer time to legal aid and pro bono work. … I believe that a real leader is somebody who “walks the walk” — somebody who, rather than just paying lip service to the importance of concepts like access to justice, devotes their time and talents to making sure that our low-income neighbors have meaningful access to high-quality legal assistance. Andrea Bridgeman has done just that.”
Bridgeman holds an undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College and a law degree from the University of Virginia.
The Local Bar Leader of the Year Award will be presented on June 17 during the VSB?s annual meeting in Virginia Beach.