Education of Lawyers in Virginia

Kimberly Pierro, Chair  


As of June 2019, the Education of Lawyers Section had 388 members including 233 active members, 48 judicial members, and 107 members of the Academy.  


The budget for fiscal year 2018-19 was $5,900, which included expected contributions from Virginia’s law schools and law firms.  

Rakes Leadership in Education Award

The 2019 recipient of the section’s William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award was Thomas A. Edmonds, former executive director of the Virginia State Bar. The section hosted an award presentation reception sponsored by Gentry Locke on Friday, June 14, in Virginia Beach, in conjunction with the State Bar’s 81st Annual Meeting.

Legal Writing CLE 

The section continues to participate in the Legal Writing Workshop held in conjunction with Virginia CLE. Board members John Bredehoft, Judge Mary Grace O’Brien, and Judge David Lannetti served on the planning committee for the 4th annual program as well as served as faculty members at the event on May 17 at Kaufman and Canoles in Norfolk. 

Professionalism Program

The section continued to partner with the law schools to present its popular professionalism program targeted to 1L law students at each of the eight law schools in Virginia. Frank Telegadas along with Susan Butler, served as chairs of this program. The section appreciates the ongoing support of the numerous lawyers and judges from around the state who serve as faculty members each year for this program which has been in existence since 2000. Going forward, the VSB has decided to underwrite the full cost of this program instead of charging half of the expenses to the section. 

Annual Meeting

The Education Section sponsored a CLE at the VSB 81st Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach on June 14, 2019. The CLE titled “Preaching What You Practice: Bringing Your Experience to the Classroom” discussed adjunct teaching opportunities for lawyers and judges and the ways individuals can bring practical advice and guidance to law students. Kevin Martingayle chaired the program which also included information on the wellness initiative. The CLE was well received. 


The newsletter editor resigned early in the year and there were no newsletters this fiscal year.

Officers & New Board Members

The section held its annual business meeting in conjunction with the Virginia State Bar’s Annual Meeting this past June. The following officers and new board members were elected for the 2019-2020 bar year:

Bernadette Speller Peele, Chair
Senior Assistant County Attorney                                                                                                                       
Prince William County, VA    

Sharon K. Eimer, Vice Chair
Public Defender             
Office of the Public Defender
Lynchburg, VA                 

Kimberly A. Pierro, Immediate Past Chair                                                                      
First VP & Senior Counsel             
SunTrust Bank                                   
Richmond, VA

Updated: Aug 29, 2019