News and Information
May 24, 2007

Fairfax Attorney Named Virginia State Bar’s Young Lawyer of the Year

Sarah Louppe Petcher of Fairfax has been selected to receive the R. Edwin Burnette Jr. Young Lawyer of the Year Award by the Virginia State Bar’s Young Lawyers Conference.  

The award will be presented on June 15 during the VSB annual meeting at the Cavalier-Oceanfront Hotel in Virginia Beach.  

Petcher, who practices at Colten Cummins Watson & Vincent P.C. in Fairfax, joined the YLC in 2004 as co-chair of the Immigrant Outreach Committee. Later, under her leadership as chair, the committee formed a partnership with the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children, which continues today. Through the liaison, volunteer attorneys were recruited to take children’s immigration cases.

Her advocacy on behalf of immigrants also included conducting training for juvenile and domestic relations judges in Northern Virginia on the topic of undocumented-status juveniles.  She helped create a continuing legal education program on immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

Petcher also has been attorney adviser for the George Mason University School of Law Domestic Relations Legal Clinic run by Judge Stanley P. Klein of Fairfax County Circuit Court. The clinic trains students to help self-represented litigants in uncontested divorces.

She serves on the board of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the Virginia Women’s Attorney Association as the Judicial Chair.

Petcher is a native of Paris. She holds bachelor’s degrees in speech and international relations from Northwestern University, and she received her law degree in 2003 from George Mason University.

The Burnette Young Lawyer of the Year Award recognizes dedication to the YLC, the legal profession and the community.  It is named for a Lynchburg judge who served as president of the conference and the Virginia State Bar.

The Virginia State Bar is the government agency that regulates the legal profession and promotes the administration of justice in the commonwealth. It is an agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia.  It is supported through the licensing dues paid by all Virginia lawyers, and governed by a council of lawyers elected or appointed from every judicial circuit in Virginia.

Updated: May 24, 2007