Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Military Law

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Outstanding Military Legal Service Award

 Contacts:  Cynthia Norwood   Michael Murphy

Individual Nomination format letters
Group Nomination format letter

The defense of our Nation and the mission of the military depend upon sound legal advice to the leadership of the nation and military and the legal readiness of the unit and individuals who serve in uniform.  This award program acknowledges and highlights exemplary achievement, sacrifice, or contribution in the provision of legal services by recognizing the efforts and acts of individuals and groups that provide extraordinary support for the legal mission of the United States military.   The award program will help build support for the military and push the development of best practices while highlighting legal service issues important to the success of the military.

Award Criteria

1. Awards recognize the provision of service or support in military justice, legal assistance, or command services by individuals or groups that demonstrate extraordinary achievement(s) in providing military legal services or demonstrate extraordinary service in support of the military legal mission.

2. Individual awards recognize the provision of legal services or support to a military legal mission over the previous year that demonstrated process innovation,  superior effort, or extraordinary service to, or support of the military legal mission.

3. Group awards recognize the provision of legal services to the military or support to the military legal mission over the previous year that demonstrated a superior legal program constituting best practices that are  capable  of duplication,  demonstrated a major innovation in the process to provide legal services, maintained a quality legal assistance program through outstanding effort despite limited resources, or represented exceptional service to, or support of, the armed forces legal assistance effort.


Individual nominees may be military or civilian, attorneys, paralegals, judiciary, or persons providing services outside of the practice of law.  

Groups may be military commands, law firms, organizations, or businesses licensed to operate in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

An individual or group recipient of an award may only receive one award within a four (4) year period from the receipt of a previous award.

Nomination Procedures

1. Nominations for the award should be sent to the Virginia State Bar Military Law Section Sub
    Committee for awards at Address.

2. Nominations must be received by February 19,  and cover the preceding 12 month period January through December.

3. Nominations should  not exceed two pages, using standard 1” margins and no smaller than a 12-point typeface.

4. Nominations must be typed and include the nominating individual’s justification for the award with documents evidencing the required criteria including:

         (a.) Specific tasks performed,
         (b.) Numbers of clients served or documents prepared,
         (c.) Event or activity supported,
         (d.) Impact on mission readiness,
         (e.) Future impact on mission readiness
         (f.) Details of best practice and applicability to other services/legal assistance offices.  

5. Time and Protocol for Submission:
    Nominations should address services provided January 1, to December 31, of the previous year, inclusive. Nominations must be received by February 19, of the current year.  Nominations may be submitted by e-mail. Recipients of the award will be notified in May of the current year.  Awards will be presented at the fall CLE following submission.