News and Information
June 02, 2020

CLSBA Honors Bar Associations

The following bar associations will receive awards from the Virginia State Bar’s Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations (CLSBA). The awards recognize projects that serve the bench, the bar, and the people of Virginia.

The 2020 Awards of Merit were judged by George W. Shanks, past president, Virginia State Bar; Peter D. Vieth, Virginia Lawyers Weekly; and Dean Wendy S. Perdue, University of Richmond.

Awards of Merit

The CLSBA has recognized three bars across the commonwealth for outstanding special projects that have assisted Virginians with access to justice or enhanced the profession and quality of legal services in Virginia.

The winners are:

Alleghany-Bath-Highland Bar – Senior Citizens Law Day

The Alleghany-Bath-Highland Bar organized and hosted a program that focused on aging issues and elder laws. On August 14, 2019, a panel of volunteers was brought to Dabney S. Lancaster Community College to speak to 200 seniors and caregivers. The program was free for attendees and sponsored by numerous community businesses. The panel consisted of Attorney Meade Snyder; Dr. David E. Crandall; Attorney William A. Parks; Attorney Jeanne M. Hepler; Elaine Engleman, Adult Services; Pat Loving; Commonwealth Attorney Ann Gardner; Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Shaun Mabry; and Sheriff Kevin Hall. The speakers covered issues relating to senior law and supplied written materials and guidance to help seniors and caregivers access legal services.

Roanoke Bar Association – You and the Law: Legal and Social Tools for Assisting Survivors of Violence

The Roanoke Bar Association hosted the 9th annual You and the Law program on May 9, 2019 focusing on helping victims of domestic violence obtain access to legal services as detailed in the Pro Bono Work to Empower and Represent Act of 2018. The 83 participants listened to a panel discussion including a Juvenile and Domestic Relations judge, a Legal Aid Society attorney, a Salvation Army Turning Point Shelter representative, a licensed professional counselor, and a representative from TAP.

The Prince William County Bar Association – Attorney Wellness Initiative

The Prince William County Bar Association sponsored its first attorney wellness program in September of 2019, in conjunction with a membership luncheon, and invited Leonard C. Heath, Jr. to speak about the report, The Occupational Risks of the Practice of Law. Following the luncheon, Heath was asked to write a monthly column in the bar association newsletter, for the benefit of members who could not attend the luncheon, and to retain awareness of the initiative. Monthly topics have included fitness; time management; minimizing physical, mental and emotional risk; and outdoor benefits.

Certificate of Achievement

For high achievement in bar projects.

Virginia Beach Bar Association - VBBA Feeds the Homeless: Legal Minds; Helping Hands

The Feed the Homeless: Legal Minds; Helping Hands project, is an ongoing community involvement initiative. Recognizing the growing homeless problem in Virginia Beach, the board of the Virginia Beach Bar Association and members of the VBBA began an effort to provide food, shelter, and hygiene products to those less fortunate in the City of Virginia Beach. In 2019, the VBBA contributed 57 volunteer hours at local homeless shelters and provided 4,292 meals to underserved populations. Last year the VBBA had over 20% of its members participate by donating food or volunteering.


Because this year’s meeting was canceled, the Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations will present the Awards of Merit at each respective bars’ next in-person meeting.

The conference makes information on winning projects available to other groups that want to consider similar programs. For information, contact Paulette J. Davidson at or (804) 775-0521.

Updated: Jun 02, 2020