June 16, 2008
Attorneys from Virginia Beach and Woodstock Named Young Lawyer of the Year
The Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference will give the 2008 R. Edwin Burnette Jr. Young Lawyer of the Year Award to Kenneth L. Alger II of Woodstock and Hugo R. Valverde of Virginia Beach.
The award, named for a Lynchburg general district judge who served as president of the Young Lawyers Conference and the Virginia State Bar, recognizes young lawyers who demonstrate dedicated service to the conference, the legal profession, and the community. It will be presented on June 20, 2008, at the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.
Alger grew up in Page County and returned to the area to practice after receiving degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of Georgia School of Law. He now is an assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Shenandoah County, where he carries an extensive felony caseload. In his community, he is president of the Page County United Way and serves leadership positions with the local American Red Cross chapter, a Rotary Club, the foundation board of Lord Fairfax Community College, and a local women’s shelter. He also is a crisis-intervention mentor for youths and helps coordinate the area’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Response Team, among other projects.
He has been an active volunteer with the Young Lawyers Conference since 2003. He recently served as chair of its Domestic Violence Safety Project, and in doing so extended involvement to lawyers outside large metropolitan areas and his own area of the state. Alger also wrote several articles on criminal law for the YLC’s newsletter, Docket Call. “Ken exemplifies nothing but extreme dedication to every activity he undertakes,” his supervisor, Shenandoah County Commonwealth’s Attorney Albert T. Mitchell, wrote in a nomination letter.
Valverde practices immigration law with Valverde & Rowell PC in Virginia Beach. He was drawn to that area of practice because his parents came from Peru to seek political asylum in the United States. Their experience taught him empathy for challenges faced by immigrants. He has advised immigration courts in Memphis and New Orleans and Oakdale, Louisiana. Before attending law school at Regent University, he was an environmental planner, and during law school he volunteered with the Catholic Diocese of Richmond’s Refugee and Immigration Services. Valverde also holds a degree from the College of William and Mary.
As chair of the YLC’s Immigrant Outreach Committee in 2006, Valverde developed training for lawyers on “Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions.” He devotes volunteer time to teach immigrants about their legal rights, and he was legal advisor to an Illegal Immigration and Crimes Task Force of the Virginia State Crime Commission. “His involvement, dedication, ingenuity, and achievements make him the ideal candidate for this award,” wrote Sarah L. Petcher, a former Burnette Award recipient, in a nomination letter.