Education of Lawyers in Virginia

Bernadette S. Peele, Chair

The Section on the Education of Lawyers continues to serve the needs of Virginia lawyers by bringing together law school deans and professors, members of the judiciary and practicing lawyers in a collaborative effort to provide programs that  improve every phase of legal education in Virginia.

The Section currently has 440 members. The annual budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year was $5000.00.  Due to the COVID-19 program cancellations and thus decreased program expenses, the Section ended this fiscal year with a balance of $3001.95.  The Section’s 2020-2012 Budget will begin with a $5000.00 balance.

The Section met via teleconference in September and November of 2019 and in January and March in 2020 to conduct standard business and develop ways to better-serve section members.

The Section’s 2019-2020 programs and accomplishments were as follows: 

  • The Section released a newsletter this year, its first since 2017. 
  • The Professionalism for Law Students program went to each of the Virginia law schools except William & Mary. This last program was cancelled at the end of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • The pandemic also caused the cancellation of the Annual Legal Writing Workshop scheduled for April. Plans are in place for the Workshop to be held next year. 
  • The Section worked in partnership with the Family Law Section, Senior Lawyers Conference, and Young Lawyers Conference to present a showcase CLE at the 2020 Annual Meeting. The CLE addresses the state of professionalism among Virginia attorneys and discusses ways to foster professionalism in the future. This CLE was not presented due to the COVID-19 cancellation of the 2020 Annual Meeting.  The CLE may be carried forward to the 2021 Annual Meeting.
  • Jeannie Dahnk, former President of the Virginia State Bar and practicing attorney in Fredericksburg, VA, was selected as this year’s recipient of the William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award. The Section will present the award to Jeannie at the 2021 VSB Annual Meeting.

The Section held its  annual meeting in June using a virtual platform.  Over 100 Section member participated in the year-end business that included voting in the 2020-2021 board of governors. 

Despite the necessity to cancel programs due to the pandemic, the Section finished the 2019-2020 year having performed many of the educational offerings to our members of the Virginia State Bar and to our Virginia law schools.  Due to the willingness of Section members to contribute their time and talent, the Section is back on track to publish its Newsletter, and I hope the Section will consider offering future educational programs through webinars, a method of providing educational opportunities that has been the cornerstone of information dissemination during COVID-19. 

The leadership of the Section on the Education of Lawyers for the upcoming year includes the following board members:

Kevin E. Martingayle, Chair

Dean B, Keith Faulkner, Vice Chair

Prof. David H. Spratt, Secretary

Bernadette S. Peele, Imm. Past Chair

Leslie A.T. Haley, Newsletter Editor

Hon. David W. Lannetti

Francis E. Telegadas

Hon. Michael F. Urbanski

Cathleen “Kai” Memmer

Hon. Jacqueline F. Ward Talevi

Thomas A. Edmonds

Hon. Cleo E. Powell

Hon. Wesley G. Russell, Jr.

Prof. Doron Samuel-Siegel

Prof. Katherine M. Crocker

Prof. Henry L. Chambers, Jr.

R. Lee Livingston

Kristine L.H. Smith

Sharon K. Eimer

Dean Henry N. Butler

Dean A. Benjamin Spencer

Dean Risa L. Goluboff

Dean Brant J. Hellwig

Dean Elizabeth A. McClanahan

Dean Wendy Collins Perdue

Dean Mark D. Martin

This past year as the Section’s Chair has been a fulfilling experience for me because of the talented and resourceful Section Board members and the Virginia State Bar staff who have work to keep the Section’s educational goals on track to achieve our mission.  Many thanks to our Section members who contributed their time to make our 2019-2020 programs a success.  I hope their work will continue to inspire others to join our Section, author articles for our Newsletter and participate in educational programs the Section offers.  It has been my pleasure to serve as the Section’s Chair.

  Updated: Jul 16, 2020