Education of Lawyers in Virginia

John M. Bredehoft, Chair


As of June 2018, the Education of Lawyers Section had 344 members, compared to 508 last year. The membership included 196 active members, 47 judicial members, and 96 members of the Academy.  


The budget for fiscal year 2017-18 was $9,400, which included a number of contributions from Virginia’s law schools and law firms.  

Rakes Leadership in Education Award

The 2018 recipient of the section’s William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award was Stephen A. Isaacs of the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners. The section hosted an award presentation reception sponsored by Gentry Locke on Friday, June 15, in Virginia Beach, in conjunction with the State Bar’s 80thAnnual Meeting.

Legal Writing CLE - Follow Up to the 20thAnniversary Conclave 

The section continued to follow up on the issues raised in conjunction with the 2012 Conclave on the Education of Lawyers.  In particular, board member Kimberly Pierro led the effort to coordinate a second immersive, high quality legal writing CLE in collaboration with VaCLE and the VBA’s Law Practice Management.  This year’s program was held in Richmond.

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.  I was pleased to lead this effort again this past year with the assistance of program co-chair, Frank Telegadas.  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.  I am happy to report that Susan A. Butler has agreed to join Frank as the co-chair this year. 

Annual Meeting

The Education Section sponsored a CLE at the VSB 80thAnnual Meeting in Virginia Beach on June 15, 2018.  The CLE titled “Somersaults on a Tightrope: Managing the Lawyer Lifestyle throughout the Life of a Career” discussed the stresses of the four major stages of a legal career:  1) Law School and the Bar Exam, 2) Building a Practice and 3) Personal Connections and 4) Mid-Career Shifts.  The section was delighted to welcome Justice William C. Mims, Dean Brant J. Hellwig, Ellen Ostrow, James E. Leffler and Carolynn Cox.  The CLE was well received at the Annual meeting and supported the topic of Lawyer Wellness.


The Section published two editions of its newsletter, Education & Practice, in the fall and in the spring under the leadership of its editor, Prof. Dale Cecka, of the University of Richmond. 

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 2018-2019 bar year:


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

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

John M.  Bredehoft, Immediate Past Chair
Kaufman & Canoles
Norfolk, VA

Board Members:

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

Hon. Jacqueline F. Ward Talevi
Judge, Roanoke County General District Court
Salem, VA

Updated: Jul 11, 2019