Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations

A Conference of the Virginia State Bar.

Conference News and Information

May 24, 2019

Newport News Lawyer Sarah M. Saville Wins Specialty Bar Leader of the Year Award

Sarah M. Saville, immediate past president of the Greater Peninsula Women’s Bar Association, has been chosen as the Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations’ 2019 Specialty Bar Leader of the Year.

As the 2017-2018 president of the Greater Peninsula Women’s Bar Association (GPWBA), Saville increased its participation in pro bono and community service projects, adding two new projects to its docket – a pro bono clinic with the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia and a “Walk in their Shoes” team to benefit the Center for Sexual Assault Victims. Saville also formed a court appointed committee to host CLE programs to assist attorneys in maintaining their qualifications for guardian ad litem and indigent defense appointments. 

Saville’s dedication to the GPWBA did not wane after her year as president. As immediate past president, she proposed and formed a formal mentorship program for the bar, addressing the unique challenges female attorneys face in the workplace.

In her nomination letter, Christine M. Andreoli of Williamsburg notes that Saville is only in her 7th year of practice but has served the association for five of those years, since 2014. “She stepped up and agreed to serve as secretary at a time when the association lacked volunteers,” writes Andreoli. “Since then, she has dedicated herself to improving the GPWBA so that it can better serve its members and the larger community.”

The association has increased both its membership and engagement, Andreoli adds, crediting Saville’s involvement and the new bylaws she drafted. 

Saville’s leadership is not limited to the GPWBA. She is the incoming president for the Rotary Club of Oyster Point, serves as secretary for the District 7600 Rotary Alumni Association, and serves on the Newport News Behavioral Health Docket board.  

“Sarah approaches leadership with an attitude of enabling members to achieve their goals,” writes Andreoli. “The projects she added to our organization were not limited to her personal interests but cater to others’ practice areas and passions.”

The CLSBA’s recognition of a Specialty Bar Leader of the Year identifies past and presently active leaders of specialty bar associations who have continued to offer important service to the bench, bar, and public. The award is a continuing monument to the dedication of specialty bar leaders. It also emphasizes the importance of close cooperation between the Virginia State Bar and specialty bar leaders.

The Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations will present the Specialty Bar Leader of the Year Award during its annual meeting and awards breakfast on Friday, June 14, 2019, in Virginia Beach – part of the VSB’s Annual Meeting.