News and Information
June 07, 2017

Karl A. Doss, VSB Director of Access to Legal Services, Receives Harold Marsh Sr. Community Service

Karl A. Doss, Director of the Virginia State Bar’s Access to Legal Services, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Harold Marsh Sr. Community Service Award by the Old Dominion Bar Association.

This award recognizes an individual who:

  • Is a recognized leader in the legal profession and/ or the community;
  • Has served the legal profession and the public through pro bono and leadership activities;
  • Has initiated or participated in programs to improve the legal system and the responsiveness of the profession to members of the public;
  • Has volunteered his or her efforts and business skills in the community, church, and civic organizations to help make them better places to live, work, and visit; or
  • Has demonstrated dedication to the development and/or delivery of pro bono and voluntary legal services to the poor.

Jane M. Reynolds, president of the Old Dominion Bar Association, noted that criteria for the award are rigorous and, “We felt as though Karl met and exceeded the criteria required for one receiving this award.  We are extremely proud of him and feel that this is one of the most important awards one can receive.”

VSB Executive Director Karen A. Gould noted that since joining the VSB in 2013, Doss has worked to advance the availability and quality of legal services and to improve the legal profession and judicial system. He has strengthened ties between the bar and the legal aid and access to justice community. In fostering these key relationships, he has successfully integrated the bar’s access to legal services efforts with those of other organizations, including the Access to Justice Commission. Through ongoing dialogue, Doss and the access stakeholders identify and pursue access goals and prioritize initiatives. 

Doss spearheaded and serves as the VSB’s administrator for Virginia.freelegalanswers.org, part of the ABA multi-state initiative to provide online pro bono civil legal assistance to Virginia residents with qualifying income levels. His investment in the site’s success and his advocacy and enthusiasm encourage Virginia’s lawyers throughout the state to lend pro bono assistance in a more convenient and novel way that mutually benefits the profession and public.

He also seeks opportunities to expand access through webinars, and he travels the state speaking often at local bars, legal aid organizations, law firms, and law schools. “His sincere dedication to access is invaluable to the bar, the legal community, and the public,” Gould said. “Through his on-going efforts, the agency is much more effective in meeting access needs.”

Updated: Jun 07, 2017