News and Information
June 03, 2010

“Classic Country Lawyer” Wins VSB Tradition of Excellence Award

V.R. “Shack” Shackelford III, described by a judge as “the classic model for a country lawyer,” has been named the recipient of the Tradition of Excellence Award by the Virginia State Bar’s General Practice Section.

The award recognizes a lawyer who embodies the highest tradition of personal and professional excellence and who has benefitted a community and enhanced the esteem of general practice attorneys in Virginia. It will be presented on June 19 during the VSB annual meeting at Virginia Beach.

Shackelford practices with Shackelford, Thomas & Gregg PLC in Orange, Culpeper, and Madison. For him, law is a family tradition: his mother was one of the first women to graduate from the University of Virginia School of Law, his father and both grandfathers practiced, and his sister is a lawyer in Napa, California. He joined his father in practice when he graduated from U.Va. Law in 1974. Shackelford married a classmate, Jane L. Schwarzschild, who practices in Richmond.

“Shack’s thirty-six years of practice have been devoted exclusively to the general practice of law, encompassing all the areas of a rural attorney …,” according to the nomination letter from Gail Starling Marshall of Rapidan. “”His legal life is balanced by an active outdoor life, including canoeing, horseback riding, hiking, and biking.”

Shackelford has accepted court appointments throughout his career. “He does not confine himself to the high-profile defenses, but, day in and day out, defends the indigent accused in cases that are the bread and butter of our criminal justice system,” Marshall wrote.

“Such investments of time are not remunerative, nor are they glamorous or publicly heralded or even known about. But they are enormously important to the individual clients, as well as to the justice system …”

Shackelford serves as the county attorney for Madison County and counsel to Woodberry Forest School and the Rapidan Service Authority. His volunteer commitments including serving on the board of the Shenandoah National Park Trust, and every year he leads a New Year’s Day hike up Old Rag Mountain, regardless of the weather.

Shackelford holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University, and he served in the U.S. Navy from 1968 until 1971, before he attended law school.


Updated: Jun 03, 2010