Awards and Contests

The following is a list of awards and contests administered by the Virginia State Bar and/or its various sections and committees. Please contact the appropriate persons listed below to obtain specific information and any necessary application materials.

Clarence M. Dunnaville Jr. Achievement Award
Award of Merit Competition
Bar Association of the Year Award
Family Law Service Award
Fifty Year Awards
Law in Society Competition
Local Bar Leader of the Year
William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award
Virginia Legal Aid Award
Betty A. Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award
Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award
Lewis F. Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award
Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award
Tradition of Excellence Award
R. Edwin Burnette Jr. Young Lawyer of the Year Award

 

Title: Clarence M. Dunnaville Jr. Achievement Award
Sponsor: VSB Diversity Conference
Criteria: Recognizes individuals who are examples of excellence that members of the bar can emulate to meet its mission and goals of fostering, encouraging, and facilitating diversity and inclusion in the bar, the judiciary, and the legal profession.
Nomination Deadline: April 25, 2014
Presentation: VSB Annual Meeting in June
Contact: Rupen R. Shah, rshah@co.augusta.va.us
more information on the Diversity Conference website

 

Title: Award of Merit Competition
Sponsor: VSB Conference of Local Bar Associations
Criteria: This competition is designed to recognize outstanding projects and programs of Virginia bar associations; share successful programming ideas and resources with all bar associations; encourage greater service to the bench, bar and public; and inform the public about some of the excellent work of voluntary bars and the legal profession in general.
Nomination Deadline: April 25, 2014
Presentation: VSB Annual Meeting in June
Contact: Paulette Davidson, (804) 775-0521, davidson@vsb.org

more information

 

Title: Bar Association of the Year Award
Sponsor: VSB Conference of Local Bar Associations
Criteria: This award recognizes and honors the Bar Association of the Year. The award will be presented to a bar association that demonstrates the impact it has made upon the legal community and community at large, regardless of the size of that bar association.
Nomination Deadline: April 25, 2014
Presentation: VSB Annual Meeting in June
Contact: Paulette Davidson, (804) 775-0521, davidson@vsb.org

Entry Information

 

Title: Family Law Service Award
Sponsor: VSB Family Law Section
Criteria: The Family Law Service Award shall be given to an individual or organization who has consistently given freely of time, talent and energies to provide valuable services in advancing family, domestic relations or juvenile law in Virginia, whether such services are rendered to the Virginia legal community or directly to the citizens of Virginia.
Nomination Deadline: January 31, 2014
Presentation: Annual Advanced Family Law Seminar
Contact: Dolly Shaffner, (804) 775-0518, FamilyLaw@vsb.org

Nomination Submission:

Additional Information and Past Recipients

 

Title:

Fifty Year Awards
Sponsor: Virginia State Bar
Criteria: Certificates are presented to all members in good standing of the VSB who have been licensed in Virginia for 50 years.
Nomination Deadline: n/a
Presentation: VSB Annual Meeting in June

 

Title: Law in Society Competition
Sponsor: VSB Litigation Section
Criteria: The award aims to increase awareness and appreciation of our legal system among high school students. Criterion for the competition is an essay in response to a hypothetical on a predetermined topic. Awards are given to those students whose essays demonstrate a superior understanding of the role and value of our legal system in our every day lives.
Deadline: February 13, 2014
Presentation: Awards will be presented in May at the winners’ schools.
Contact: (804) 775-0594, lawinsociety@vsb.org

 

Title: Local Bar Leader of the Year
Sponsor: VSB Conference of Local Bar Associations
Criteria: The award recognizes past and presently active leaders in their local bar associations who have continued to offer important service to the bench, bar and public. The award serves as a continuing monument to the dedication of local bar leaders. It also serves to emphasize the importance of close cooperation between the Virginia State Bar and local bar leaders. The Conference does not necessarily present this award every year, but only as often as the caliber of nominations deems appropriate.
Nomination Deadline: April 25, 2014
Presentation: VSB Annual Meeting in June
Contact: Paulette Davidson, (804) 775-0521, davidson@vsb.org

Entry Information and Past Recipients

 

Title: William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award
Sponsor: VSB Section on the Education of Lawyers in Virginia
Criteria: The fundamental criteria for the award will be to recognize an individual from the bench, the practicing bar or the academy who has made a significant contribution to (1) improving the state of legal education in Virginia, both in law school and throughout a lawyer’s career; and (2) enhancing communication,cooperation and meaningful collaboration among the three branches of the legal profession.
Nomination Deadline: December 3, 2013
Presentation: VSB Annual Meeting in June
Contact: Bet Keller, (804) 775-0516, keller@vsb.org

Entry Information and Past Recipients

 

Title: Virginia Legal Aid Award
Sponsor: VSB Access to Legal Services Committee
Criteria: The recipient of the award will exhibit the following qualities in his or her work: 1) Innovation and creativity in advocacy; 2) experience and excellence in service; and 3) Impact beyond his or her own program's service area. The nominee must be a member of the VSB and an employee of a legal aid society that is licensed by the VSB to operate in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Nomination Deadline: March 28, 2014
Presentation: VSB Annual Meeting in June, Legal Aid Award Luncheon
Contact: Karl Doss: (804) 775-0522, doss@vsb.org
Entry Information and Past Recipients

 

Title: Betty A. Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award
Sponsor: VSB Family Law Section
Criteria: Recognizes and honors an individual who has made a substantial contribution to the practice and administration of family law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Nomination Deadline: January 31, 2014
Presentation: Annual Advanced Family Law Seminar
Contact: Dolly Shaffner, (804) 775-0516, FamilyLaw@vsb.org

Nomination Submission:

Additional Information and Past Recipients

 

Title Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award
Sponsor: VSB Access to Legal Services Committee
Presentation: VSB Annual Meeting in June
Contact: Karl Doss: (804) 775-0522, doss@vsb.org
Nomination Deadline: March 28, 2014
Entry Information

 

Title: Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Pro Bono Award
Sponsor: VSB Access to Legal Services Committee
Criteria:

The award honors attorneys and attorney groups who have made outstanding pro bono contributions. The recipient of the award must meet one or more of the following criteria:

(1) Demonstrated dedication to the development and delivery of pro bono legal services in the Commonwealth of Virginia;

(2) Contributed significantly toward the development of innovative approaches to the delivery of volunteer legal services;

(3) Participated in an activity that resulted in satisfying previously unmet needs for legal services or in extending services to underserved segments of the population;

(4) Successfully handled pro bono cases that favorably affected the provision of other services to the poor in Virginia;

(5) Successfully supported legislation that contributed substantially to providing legal services to the poor; or,

(6) Devoted significant time to furthering the delivery of legal services to the poor in Virginia by handling pro bono matters or providing training or recruiting volunteer attorneys for the Pro Bono Initiative of the Virginia State Bar or a local pro bono program.

Nomination Deadline: to be announced
Presentation: to be announced
Contact: Karl Doss: (804) 775-0522, doss@vsb.org
Entry Information and Past Recipients

 

Title: Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award
Sponsor: VSB Criminal Law Section
Criteria: Recognizes an individual (judge, defense attorney, prosecutor, clerk or other citizen) who has made a singular and unique contribution to the improvement of the criminal justice system in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This Section does not necessarily present this award every year, but only as often as the caliber of nominations deems appropriate.
Nomination Deadline: December 3, 2013
Presentation: Criminal Law Seminar in February
Contact: Bet Keller, (804) 775-0516, keller@vsb.org
Additional Information and Past Recipients

 

Title: Tradition of Excellence Award
Sponsor: VSB General Practice Section
Criteria: The Virginia State Bar General Practice Section annually recognizes an outstanding lawyer who embodies the highest tradition of personal and professional excellence in Virginia. This special award recognizes attorneys who have devoted significant amounts of time, efforts, and/or funds to activities that benefit their community and help enhance the image and esteem of general practice attorneys in the Commonwealth. All candidates must be current members of the VSB in good standing, with a minimum of ten years of law practice, at least five of which must have been as a general practitioner.
Nomination Deadline: March 24, 2014
Presentation: VSB Annual Meeting in June
Contact: Catherine Huband, (804) 775-0514, huband@vsb.org
Entry Information and Past Recipients

 

Title: R. Edwin Burnette, Jr. Young Lawyer of the Year Award
Sponsor: VSB Young Lawyers Conference
Criteria: This award honors an outstanding young Virginia lawyer who has demonstrated dedicated service to the Young Lawyers Conference, the legal profession and the community.
Nomination Deadline: April 1
Presentation: VSB Annual Meeting in June
Contact: Maureen Stengel, (804) 775-0517, stengel@vsb.org

 

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Updated: Feb 25, 2014