June 17, 2009
Staunton Lawyer Named Local Bar Leader of 2009
Rupen R. Shah, immedidate past president of the Augusta County Bar Association, has been named Local Bar Leader of the Year by the Virginia State Bar’s Conference of Local Bar Associations.
Shah, an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Staunton, was nominated by another member of the Augusta bar in recognition of several projects he has overseen in that region.
The award recognizes dedication of bar leaders and close cooperation with the VSB. He will receive the award on June 19 during the Virginia State Bar’s annual meeting in Virginia Beach.
Shah led the establishment of the Valley Children’s Advocacy Center, a nonprofit agency that helps law enforcement and Child Protective Services workers interview abused and neglected children. The center’s goal is to reduce trauma and advance the child’s recovery.
He set up a committee that established a procedure for judicial nominations.
He represented the association at a Court Docket Improvement Seminar that led to elimination of all-day waits for juvenile court cases to be heard. He organized So You’re 18 programs for two thousand high school seniors in Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County, to teach them the rights and responsibilities that come with adulthood.
Shah also arranged seminars to give lawyers in the rural Shenandoah Valley easier access to continuing legal education, including the courses required to qualify as court-appointed counsel to indigent clients.
A native of India, Shah has a law degree from Syracuse University.
“In court, Mr. Shah is always prepared, professional, and insists on professionalism from others,” attorney Susan M. Johnson wrote in the nomination letter.