News and Information
April 23, 2009

UR Law Professor Recognized for Achievement in Family Law


Peter N. Swisher, a professor of law at the University of Richmond and a contributor to the development of family law in Virginia, has been named the 2009 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Virginia State Bar’s Family Law Section.

The award recognizes persons who have demonstrated excellence and integrity and have made a substantial contribution to the practice of family law in Virginia. The award will be presented during the section’s annual Family Law Seminar on April 24, 2009, in Richmond.

In nominating Swisher, Fairfax attorney Aaron J. Christoff cited his extensive writing, which includes co-authorship of Virginia Family Law: Theory, Practice, and Forms; Understanding Family Law; and Family Law: Cases, Materials, and Problems. Christoff also emphasized Swisher’s service to the VSB Family Law Section.

“Aside from the obvious — teaching family law to students at the University … (inspiring many soon-to-be lawyers to take on the challenges of practicing family law) and authoring the books that so many family law practitioners keep close — Professor Swisher has propelled and contributed to the evolution of family law in Virginia for nearly three decades. …

“Very simply, Professor Swisher has been a driving force changing family law in Virginia. … More importantly, he’s a key reason the future of family law holds so much promise for Virginia practitioners and law students.”

Among his many contributions, Swisher chaired the curriculum committee that recommended a certificate program in family law now available to UR students. As the section’s law school liaison, he helped establish a family law award in all Virginia law schools. He is a past chair of the Association of American Law Schools Family and Juvenile Law Section. He has helped develop legislation through the Virginia Bar Association’s Domestic Relations Council.

Swisher earned a bachlor’s degree from Amherst College in 1966, a master’s from Stanford University in 1967, and a law degree from the University of Californa Hastings College of the Law in 1973.

Updated: Apr 23, 2009