News and Information
March 09, 2017

Law Professor James E. Moliterno Receives the Virginia State Bar Leadership in Education Award

James E. Moliterno, the Vincent Bradford Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law and an international expert on legal ethics, has been named the recipient of the William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award from the Virginia State Bar Section on the Education of Lawyers in Virginia.

Moliterno has been deeply involved with innovative legal education programs at Washington and Lee and before that at William & Mary where he was the Tazewell Taylor Professor of Law, Director of the Legal Skills Program, and Director of Clinical Programs from 1997-2000. He has received numerous awards for his work at both universities, his scholarship in books and articles is extensive and includes his 2013 book, The American Legal Profession in Crisis: Resistance and Responses to Change (Oxford University Press), and he is a highly sought-after speaker on ethics and professionalism.

In his letter nominating Moliterno, Washington and Lee Dean and Professor of Law Brant J. Hellwig noted that not only is Moliterno a highly respected teacher and scholar, but that “he has traveled throughout the world to help countries develop legal ethics policies while assisting in the training of lawyers and judges in jurisdictions with developing legal regimes.” He has designed ethics coursed in Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Czech Republic, Japan, Indonesia, and China. “Professor Moliterno’s passion for improving the legal profession broadly and the ethical administration of law by lawyers and judges know no geographical bounds.”

“I have admired and indeed have often been amazed at his unbridled passion not only for teaching students substantive law, but for doing so in a manner that will allow them to effectively and efficiently serve their clients in a professional and ethical manner,” Hellwig wrote.

The awards Moliterno has received span his career. He was awarded the inaugural American Bar Association Gambrell Professionalism Award in 1991 for the best law school program for the teaching of ethics and professionalism. In 2012 he received the Rebuilding Justice Award from the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.

Moliterno has been an active participant in all three VSB Conclaves on Legal Education and has delivered about 100 Continuing Legal Education programs to Virginia lawyers and judges.

The award was established in 2012 to honor former Virginia State Bar president and founder of the Section on the Education of Lawyers, William R. Rakes, a senior partner with the Roanoke firm of Gentry Locke.

The award, which is underwritten by Gentry Locke, is to be presented in June at the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.

Updated: Mar 09, 2017