Standing Committee on Professionalism

Charles M. Allen Jr., chair

The Standing Committee on Professionalism administers and oversees the Mandatory Course on Professionalism, which is required for all newly?admitted active members of the Virginia State Bar. The purpose of the course is to encourage and inspire attorneys to adhere to high standards of honor, integrity and courtesy in their practice. Since institution of the program in 1988, over 28,000 new admittees have taken it.

The course faculty is composed of distinguished lawyers and judges representing a broad cross?section of the legal profession in Virginia. Faculty members are nominated by their peers and invited by Chief Justice Leroy R. Hassell, Sr. to accept appointment for a three?year term.

In 2009-2010, the course was offered a total of eight times in four Virginia locations. Approximately 1,400 attorneys attended these courses.

The Virginia Supreme Court continues to demonstrate strong support for the course. As their schedule permits, either Chief Justice Hassell or Justice Lemons delivers an inspiring luncheon address to the attendees. The Honorable Gerald B. Lee and the Honorable Charles E. Poston also served as luncheon speakers this year. The involvement of the Chief Justice, Justice Lemons, and other distinguished members of the Virginia judiciary, as well as the Virginia Bar leadership, underscores the importance the Bar places upon professional conduct.

The committee oversees the administrative functions of the course including faculty selection, course material update and faculty training activities.  It also reviews course evaluations and updates the course agenda and format as necessary.  

Finally, the committee works with the Professionalism for Law Students program co-sponsored by the VSB Section on the Education of Lawyers. This program, now a fixture at all Virginia law schools, was capably led by William E. Glover and presented by specially selected faculty.

Updated: Jun 23, 2011