News and Information
April 30, 2018

Stephen A. Isaacs Awarded Rakes Leadership in Education Award

Stephen A. Isaacs of Richmond, has been named the recipient of the William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award from the Virginia State Bar Section on the Education of Lawyers in Virginia.

In addition to his general law practice, Isaacs has been the director of the Character and Fitness Committee of the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners (VBBE) since its inception in 1995, working directly with the faculty and deans of each of Virginia’s law schools. Isaacs is being honored for his long-standing and dedicated efforts in the field of legal education, where he administers the character and fitness certification for an average of 2,000 applicants a year for the VBBE.

The Rakes award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and vision in developing and implementing innovative concepts to improve and enhance the state of legal education, and in advancing relationships and professionalism among members of the academy, the bench, and the bar within the legal profession in Virginia.

In her nomination, C. Kailani Memmer of Glenn Robinson Cathey Memmer & Skaff noted that Isaacs was chosen for his role at the VBBE “because he had demonstrated the highest integrity throughout his numerous years of practice.”

Continued Memmer, “Steve has developed Virginia’s character and fitness process into one of the nation’s best, all the time treating each applicant with the highest respect and courtesy.”

In seconding Isaacs, Curtis Hairston Jr. of The Gee Law Firm, PC said, “His willingness to educate individuals on the issues has saved countless law students from making mistakes that would have interfered with their efforts to become licensed attorneys.”

Emmeline Paulette Reeves of the University of Richmond School of Law said of Isaacs, ““I,  and  many others in the  academy,  have been awed  by Mr. Isaacs' unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest level of character and  professionalism in our profession and, at the same time, by his tireless efforts to  assist and support bar applicants in overcoming weaknesses, becoming their best selves, and serving the public as ethical, responsible  attorneys.”

A graduate of William & Mary where he received both his undergraduate and law degrees, Isaacs is married to Brandt Smith Isaacs and they have two children, Cameron Isaacs Cutro and Kevin H. Isaacs.

The award was established in April 2012 to honor former VSB president and founder of the Education Section, William R. Rakes, a senior partner with the Roanoke, Virginia, firm of Gentry Locke. Nominations are invited annually by the board of governors of the Section on the Education of Lawyers. The award is underwritten by Gentry Locke

The Rakes award is to be presented June 15, 2018, at the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.

Updated: May 07, 2018