Education of Lawyers in Virginia

John M. Bredehoft, Chair  


As of June 2017, the Education of Lawyers Section had 508 members, compared to 414 last year. The membership included 210 active members, 44 judicial members, and 160 members of the Academy. 


The budget for fiscal year 2016-17 was $9,200, which included a number of contributions from Virginia’s law schools and law firms.  We are redoubling our efforts to gain increased firm support in the coming year.

Rakes Leadership in Education Award

The 2017 recipient of the section’s William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award was James E. Moliterno, Vincent Bradford Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law. The section hosted an award presentation reception sponsored by Gentry Locke on Friday, June 16, 2017, in Virginia Beach, in conjunction with the State Bar’s 79th Annual Meeting.  Mr. Rakes made the presentation, and Professor Moliterno made an eloquent and moving address regarding the relationship between practicing attorneys and the academy.

Legal Writing CLE - Follow Up to the 20th Anniversary 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 Jeanne Franklin 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 over two days in May of 2017.  Members of the Bench, Bar, and Academy participated and the effort was well-received by participants.  The firm of Williams Mullen graciously provided conference space.  Our current intention is to hold a third program in the spring of 2018, in the Northern Virginia area.

Prelaw Efforts

The section continued its partnership with the Young Lawyers’ Conference to support its Minority Prelaw Conferences held several times a year.  Board member Judge Barry Logsdon worked with the YLC to develop a “speed mentoring” component of the prelaw conference held this past spring whereby attendees could meet briefly with a variety of lawyers and judges. This was reported to be a very popular enhancement to the program. The section offered $500 in financial support.

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 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 first piloted in February 2000.   Our current plan is to visit each of the eight accredited law schools again this year.  An ongoing effort to add updated hypotheticals to the teaching materials is underway.


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 2017-2018 bar year:


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

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

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

Prof. James E. Moliterno, Immediate Past Chair
Washington & Lee University School of Law
Lexington, 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: Aug 07, 2017