Virginia State Bar

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Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations

A Conference of the Virginia State Bar.

Conference News and Information

June 11, 2021

M. Bryan Slaughter Receives Local Bar Leader of the Year Award

M. Bryan Slaughter of Charlottesville, partner at MichieHamlett, has received the Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations’ (CLSBA) Local Bar Leader of the Year Award that honors a bar leader who “…offers important service to the bench, bar, and public.”

In his nomination, Richard Howard-Smith, Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association (CABA) immediate past president, noted that Slaughter has been a continuous member of the Association since joining in 1997 and serves as a committee member on the Board of Directors. Slaughter also served as president of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association in 2018-19.

Said Howard-Smith, “He was the driving force behind the formation of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association’s formal pro bono program, forming the strategic plan and raising money for administration.”

Slaughter also serves on the boards of the Legal Aid Justice Center and the Virginia Poverty Law Center. In the four additional nomination letters showing support for Slaughter, his dedication to pro bono was repeated by Lee Livingston, current member of the VSB Bar Council representing the 16th Judicial Circuit; Kristen Clarens, the CABA pro bono coordinator; Angela Ciolfi, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Justice Center; and Valerie O’Brien, Executive Director of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association.

Each commended Slaughter for seeing the growing need for a strong pro bono community in 2018, and then spearheading the push to fund a pro bono coordinator. As of 2020, in the year it has been operational, the CABA Volunteer Lawyer Program had provided pro bono legal services to more than 75 individuals and organizations, according to Livingston.

Slaughter became president of the bar association in July 2020, months into the COVID-19 pandemic. He then managed the transition to an online presence and organizational platform. Additionally, he led the CABA through an August 2020 membership vote to remove the Confederate soldier statue from Court Square in Albemarle.

“While CABA has traditionally avoided political statements, Bryan saw this issue as a justice issue, as it was,” Livingston said.

Slaughter graduated from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1997 and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in 1991. 

The Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations will present the Local Bar Leader of the Year Award at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association’s next in-person meeting on June 17.