News and Information
May 09, 2012

William L. Schmidt Named Recipient of the Tradition of Excellence Award

William L. Schmidt, who is as prolific and accomplished in his community service as he is in his extensive law practice, has been named the 2012 recipient of the Tradition of Excellence Award by the Virginia State Bar’s General Practice Section.

The award recognizes a lawyer who embodies the highest tradition of personal and professional excellence and who has benefitted a community and enhanced the esteem of general practice attorneys in Virginia. It will be presented on June 16 during the VSB Annual Meeting at Virginia Beach.

Schmidt, who was born in Pittsburgh, is the founder and president of William L. Schmidt & Associates PC in Fairfax.

In nominating Schmidt for the award, former bar President Jon D. Huddleston noted: “For more than 20 years, starting on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving through the Christmas Holiday, Bill has rung the bell for the Salvation Army as a greeter…. His shifts have ranged from 10 to 12 hours. He is there each weekend. His selfless dedication to this charity has helped raise thousands upon thousands of dollars to provide food for the hungry and toys and gifts for the less fortunate.”

Manuel A. Capsalis, another former president of the bar, wrote of Schmidt: “Bill personifies professional leadership and community service, and always with a sense of humility and purpose.”

Fairfax lawyer Edward L. Weiner, chair of the bar’s Conference of Local Bar Associations, wrote that Schmidt “genuinely believes that being a lawyer is a privilege. He believes having that privilege demands a concern for the common man and empathy for the ‘human struggle.’”

Schmidt “represents our profession in a very old-world fashion, by simply serving his community with his hands, and by being a trusted advisor to so many legal and community groups,” wrote Sharon D. Nelson, Fairfax attorney and president of Sensei Enterprises Inc. “An honor is only an honor – and Bill is the kind of guy who would rather see food given to the hungry than receive an award – but this is an honor that is richly deserved for a truly noble lifetime of professionalism and public service.”

Schmidt also is an enthusiastic advocate for the City of Fairfax Band, which he has served as a member of the board of directors and as chairman of the board.

Schmidt has served on the Virginia State Bar Council and on the bar’s Midyear Legal Seminar Committee. He has been on the Board of Directors of the Fairfax Law Foundation. He also has been on the Fairfax Bar Association Grievance Committee, the Public Relations Committee, and the Community Outreach Committee. He has been on the Judicial Screening Committee and has done pro bono work.

He received his law degree from American University Washington College of Law in 1972. He and his wife Pat have four children and four grandchildren.

Updated: May 09, 2012