News and Information
May 02, 2022

Jennifer Locke Receives the 2022 Virginia Legal Aid Award

Jennifer L. Locke, managing attorney of the Winchester office of Blue Ridge Legal Services, the legal aid society serving the Shenandoah and Roanoke Valleys of Virginia, has received the Virginia State Bar 2022 Virginia Legal Aid Award honoring excellence in legal aid society work.

The award recognizes those who exhibit: 1) innovation and creativity in advocacy; 2) experience and excellence in service; and 3) impact beyond his or her own program's service area.

Locke was nominated by John E. Whitfield, executive director of the Blue Ridge Legal Services, Inc., who noted that Locke, “has not sought the limelight in her work. Instead, she has labored in the vineyards, quietly, compassionately, determinedly, effectively fighting for justice for the thousands of clients she has represented over the last 22 years from her little office in Winchester, Virginia.”

Locke has spent the entirety of her career serving in various roles within the BLRS before rising to the position of managing attorney overseeing a record four attorneys at the practice. Whitfield estimates that she has personally assisted over 3,200 clients and obtained nearly $3,200,000 in financial benefit for her clients, aiding over 12,300 people.

Locke has received an outpouring of letters of support for her nomination, each praising her commitment, capability, and continued positive attitude.

“Every interaction I’ve had with Jennifer has left me with the impression that she is uniquely and unflaggingly positive, level-headed, and extremely competent. She is a wonderful mentor for aspiring legal aid attorneys,” said Jan M. Fox, a domestic violence attorney at BLRS.

The recipients of the Legal Aid Award are asked each year to choose a quote that best represents their legal philosophy and Locke chose: “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” — A.A. Milne

Locke received her bachelor’s in arts degree from the College of William and Mary. She went on to receive her juris doctorate from The Dickinson School of Law of The Pennsylvania State University in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

She will be presented with the award on Friday, June 17, at the Legal Aid Luncheon. For more information about the award, please email Crista Gantz, director of Access to Legal Services, at

Updated: May 02, 2022