Section News and Information
May 7, 2010
Congratulations to the 2010 Service Award winner Christie Marra
Advocate for Women and Children Receives Family Law Service Award
Christine E. “Christie” Marra of Richmond, a legal services attorney since 1991, has been named the 2010 recipient of the Family Law Service Award presented by the Virginia State Bar’s Family Law Section.
The award recognizes people and organizations that have improved family, domestic relations or juvenile law in Virginia. It was presented April 30 at the section’s Advanced Family Law Seminar in Richmond.
In almost 20 years of helping low-income women and children, Marra “has gained a reputation as a tireless advocate for children, especially those in Virginia’s foster care system,” according to the nomination letter from Voices for Virginia’s Children and the Virginia Poverty Law Center.
She recently developed a project, Voices for Change, to give teens in foster care a voice through participating in an art contest. The young artists’ work was published in a book that was distributed to policy makers and community leaders. “This creative project helped transform the youth into advocates and amplified their voices in the policy-making process,“ the letter stated.
In her own legislative advocacy, Marra has worked to make divorce more accessible to low-income persons; to legalize cooperative adoption through which youths in foster care can move in with permanent families while maintaining ties to their birth families; and to improve resources available to foster and adoptive parents.
A native of New York, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a law degree from the University of Richmond. She practiced briefly with a legal aid program in Southwest Virginia, then worked as a staff attorney at Central Virginia Legal Aid in Richmond for 13 years. She has been a staff attorney at the Virginia Poverty Law Center since 2004.