News and Information
March 16, 2022

Chidi I. James to be President-elect of Virginia State Bar

Chidi I. James of the law firm of Blankingship & Keith, P.C. in Fairfax was unopposed in filing a nominating petition with the executive director of the Virginia State Bar on or before March 15, 2022.  Therefore, in accordance with the Bylaws of the Virginia State Bar, Part I, Article III, Sec. 3., James will be elected at the 2022 Annual Meeting in June as the next president-elect of the VSB. He is the first African American man to be president-elect of the Virginia State Bar in the Bar’s 84-year history.

James is a personal injury lawyer who handles cases including wrongful death, products liability, and inadequate security.  He is the immediate past president of the Board of Legal Services of Northern Virginia, former president of the Northern Virginia Black Attorneys Association, and a member of both the Fairfax Law Foundation Board and the Old Dominion Bar Association Foundation Board.  James has also served on the Board of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association for many years.  

James’ prior Bar service includes:

  • Six years as a member of the Committee on Lawyer Discipline (at one point as Chair of the Oversight Committee and at another point as Vice Chair); 
  • One year as a member of a VSB District Committee for the 5th District (resigned to serve his first term as an elected member of Bar Council in 2015); 
  • Six years as an elected member of Bar Council serving the 19th judicial circuit (Two of his six years on Bar Council he served on the Executive Council including one year as the chair of the VSB Diversity Conference).  

Before joining Blankingship & Keith in 2003, James served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the judges of the Arlington County Circuit Court and completed the Judge Advocate General School Course at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. James has served for over 25 years as a military reservist and is currently assigned to the National Guard Bureau’s Legal Service Office in Arlington, Virginia.

James is a 1997 graduate of Texas A&M University and a 2001 graduate of the George Mason University School of Law.  He is married to psychologist Dr. Faith James, and has three children:  Shonari (24 - a graduate acting student at the New School in New York), Gabriel (21 - a junior engineering student at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC) and Jordan (19 - a sophomore sociology major at High Point University in High Point, NC).

Updated: Apr 01, 2022