News and Information
January 16, 2018

Comments Sought on Proposed Revision of Rule 1.1 Regarding Competence

The Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to Rule 1.1, Competence.

This proposed revision adds a new Comment 7 to Rule 1.1, which calls attention to the fact that maintaining well-being is an aspect of maintaining competence to represent clients. The comment arises from the August 2017 report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, which compiled extensive data on the extent of substance abuse, mental health issues, and other wellness issues in the legal profession. The report made recommendations for a wide range of stakeholders in the legal profession, including regulators, one of which is a recommendation to amend Rule 1.1 to call attention to the fact that well-being is an aspect of providing competent representation to clients. The comment does not define well-being, nor does it require specific actions to be taken, but it establishes the fact that lawyers must be aware of the role of well-being in maintaining competence to practice law.

The proposed advisory opinion may be inspected at the office of the Virginia State Bar, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, Virginia 23219-0026, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Copies of the proposed advisory opinion can be obtained from the offices of the Virginia State Bar by contacting the Office of Ethics Counsel at 804-775-0557, or can be found at the Virginia State Bar’s website at

Any individual, business, or other entity may file or submit written comments in support of or in opposition to the proposed opinion with Karen A. Gould, Executive Director of the Virginia State Bar, not later than February 16, 2018. Comments may be submitted via email to

Updated: Jan 16, 2018