News and Information
December 02, 2020

VSB Seeks Comments on Proposal to Extend Period for Completion of the Professionalism Course

The Virginia State Bar seeks to petition the Supreme Court of Virginia to amend Paragraph 13.1, Part 6, Section IV, of the Rules of the Supreme Court to extend the period for completion of the Professionalism Course.

A copy of the proposed changes is noted below with deletions denoted by strikethrough and additions with underlining.

13.1 Suspension for Failure to Complete Professionalism Course—

Each person admitted to the Virginia State Bar on or after July 1, 1988, as an active member shall complete the course of study prescribed by the Executive Committee of the Virginia State Bar and approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia on the Rules of Professional Conduct and the lawyer’s broader professional obligations, and any active member who fails to complete the course shall be suspended unless an extension is obtained for good cause shown. Such course of study shall be funded by attendance fees paid by those attending the course.

Any active member licensed after June 30, 1988, and any other member who changes his or her membership to active status shall complete the required course within twelve twenty-four months of becoming an active member. Failure to comply with this Rule shall subject the active member to the penalties set forth in Paragraph 19 herein.

“Good cause shown” as used herein shall include illness, hospitalization or such other cause as may be determined by the Executive Committee, whose determination shall be final. The Executive Director of the Virginia State Bar is authorized to grant extensions for compliance with this paragraph until the next Executive Committee meeting. Any determination by the Executive Committee or the Executive Director may be reviewed by the Supreme Court on request of the member seeking an extension.

The amendments effective March 1, 2017, authorize the VSB executive director to grant, for good cause, an extension request from a member who fails to complete the Professionalism Course by the deadline.

Inspection and Comment

Any individual, business, or other entity may file written comments in support of or in opposition to the proposed changes with Karen A. Gould, executive director of the Virginia State Bar, not later than January 8, 2021. Comments may be submitted by mail to 1111 East Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, Virginia 23219-0026 or by email to

Updated: Dec 02, 2020