News and Information
May 26, 2022

Virginia Bar Association Receives 2022 Lawyer Wellness Award

The Virginia Bar Association has been selected to receive the inaugural Award for Excellence in Wellness and Well-Being in the Legal Profession by the Virginia State Bar President’s Special Committee on Lawyer Well-Being in 2022.

The committee established an award to recognize and honor Virginia lawyers, retired judges, bar associations, law firms, corporate law departments, government law departments and agencies, law schools, or other legal services organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to wellness and well-being in the legal profession.

The first recipient was nominated by Paul E. Fletcher, executive director and CEO of the VBA, who highlighted two initiatives of the VBA: the COVID-19 Law Practice Live Chats and the Annual Lawyer Wellness Challenge.

The programs were judged based on the focus they placed on targeting the specific occupational risks of the practice of law discussed in the Virginia State Bar President’s Special Committee on Lawyer Well-Being’s May 2019 report.

The COVID-19 Law Practice Live Chats were conceived by the VBA president at that time, Alison M. McKee of Virginia Beach. They were a series of weekly phone calls, open to all Virginia lawyers, beginning on March 20, 2020, to keep lawyers informed of the evolving issues of the pandemic.

The calls provided information on how to keep businesses up and running, deal with employees who suddenly were working from home, and interact with courts and clients remotely, among other issues.

The Annual Lawyer Wellness Challenge is in partnership between the VBA Young Lawyers Division and the Virginia Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, held in the spring each year to emphasize lawyer wellness in mind, body, and spirit. The 2022 event included a step challenge, an ethics program, a mocktail mixer, and a presentation on creating good habits.

While the nomination detailed the third Annual Lawyer Wellness Challenge, the committee considered the longstanding commitment to wellness the recurring event exemplifies.

The award will be presented on Friday, June 17, at the VSB Annual Meeting during the Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations Annual Meeting & Awards Breakfast.

Updated: May 26, 2022