News and Information
June 08, 2010

Virginia State Bar Legal Aid Award Recognizes Kathryn L. Pryor of Richmond

Kathryn L. “Kathy” Pryor, who has a statewide reputation for advocacy in elder law and Social Security disability issues, has been selected for the 2010 Legal Aid Award by the Virginia State Bar’s Access to Legal Services Committee.

The award recognizes lawyers employed by legal aid societies licensed by the Virginia State Bar. Recipients are chosen for their advocacy, quality of service, and impact beyond their service area.

Pryor had a master’s degree in gerontology when she joined the Central Virginia Legal Aid staff as a paralegal. After she graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1989, she worked for a private law firm and volunteered at CVLAS. She became a full-time staff attorney at CVLAS in 1992. In 2002, she argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of a client who was denied Social Security disability benefits because of his attempt to return to work.  

Pryor now works for the Virginia Poverty Law Center, where her duties encompass elder law. She meets regularly with an elder law task force that includes legal aid lawyers and long-term care ombudsmen. She provides technical assistance on elder law and long-term care issues. And she works on policy involving long-term care, legal services delivery to the elderly, and other elder law concerns.

She tracks legislation and talks to Virginia legislators about bills that affect assisted living and nursing home residents, civil monetary penalties, adult protective services, supportive services, health care decision making, and guardianship.  

“Kathy is considered the state expert on nursing home discharge matters,” according to the nomination letter from her colleagues at the Virginia Poverty Law Center.

“I cannot underestimate the value of Kathy’s effort to keep a large network of advocates informed,” wrote Joy Duke, executive director of the Virginia Guardianship Association. Terri Lynch, director of the Arlington Area Agency on Aging, wrote, “Thousands of older adults who have never heard of Kathy Pryor have better lives and protected rights because of her.”  

Pryor holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

The Legal Aid Award will be presented June 18 during the VSB Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.


Updated: Jun 08, 2010