News and Information
September 14, 2015

VSB Announces Recipient of Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Pro Bono Award

The Lewis F. Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award this year will be awarded to a lawyer who has led the bro bono efforts of one of the most influential law firms in Virginia for twenty-five years, George H. Hettrick.

Hettrick is chair of the Pro Bono Leadership Committee at Hunton & Williams in Richmond. He was the driving force behind the firm’s creation of pro bono offices in the Church Hill community in Richmond, in Charlottesville, where the firm works with the University of Virginia Law School, and in Atlanta.

In nominating Hettrick for the award, Christopher M. Malone of ThompsonMcMullan in Richmond wrote, “In my view, there is no individual lawyer in Virginia who has made a more significant impact in the development of pro bono service delivery in our state. George’s commitment to pro bono service and his encouragement to others to engage in pro bono work is unparalleled. George has inspired, challenged, cajoled and begged all to accept responsibility for making pro bono work a central part of the practice of law. George has been creative in coming up with innovative ideas for the expansion of pro bono services throughout the commonwealth.”

Hettrick graduated from Cornell University in 1962 and received his law degree from Harvard University in 1965. He joined Hunton & Williams in 1965. He served as special counsel to Governor Linwood Holton in 1970-71. He is a board member in several community organizations including The Greater Richmond Bar Foundation, the Chesterfield/Colonial Heights Drug Court Foundation, Lawyers Helping Lawyers, and the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence. He is also a member of the Virginia Access to Justice Commission, the Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs of the American Bar Association, the Committee on Substance Abuse of the ABA, and the Pro Bono Committee of the Bar Association of Richmond.

Tara Louise Casey, director of the Harry L. Carrico Center for Pro Bono Service at the University of Richmond School of Law, noted: “The effect of (Hettrick’s) legacy in the legal world is profound, with pro bono now seen as seamlessly woven into the obligation of practice. It would not be an overstatement to say that because of George, Virginia now has a robust Firms in Service, a robust Access to Justice Commission, a robust Lawyers Helping Lawyers, and a robust nationwide reputation for being a collaborative, cooperative place of pro bono practice. …I hope he will accept (the award) not only as recognition of his tremendous body of work but also as a heartfelt thank you from a grateful legal community.”

The Powell award was established by the Special Committee on Access to Legal Services of the Virginia State Bar to honor attorneys and attorney groups that have made outstanding pro bono contributions. This year’s award will be presented October 21 during the Virginia State Bar Pro Bono Conference and Celebration in Williamsburg.

Updated: Sep 14, 2015