Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Education of Lawyers

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award

The Section on the Education of Lawyers in Virginia has established an award to honor William R. Rakes, of Gentry Locke, for his longstanding and dedicated efforts in the field of legal education, both in Virginia and nationally. The inaugural award was presented to Mr. Rakes in conjunction with the 20th Anniversary Conclave on the Education of Lawyers in Virginia sponsored by the Virginia State Bar’s Section on the Education of Lawyers in April 2012.

2019 Recipient – Thomas A. Edmonds - June 14, 2019

2018 Recipient – Stephen A. Isaacs - June 15, 2018

2017 Recipient – James E. Moliterno - June 2017

2016 Recipient – Hon. Donald W. Lemons - June 17, 2016

2015 Recipient – Retired Magistrate Judge B. Waugh Crigler - June 18, 2015

2014 Recipient – Hon. Elizabeth B. Lacy - June 12, 2014

2013 Recipient – W. Taylor Reveley III – June 13, 2013

2012 Inaugural Recipient – William R. Rakes - April 22, 2012


The award recognizes a lawyer in good standing in Virginia from the bench, the practicing bar or the academy who has:

(1) demonstrated exceptional leadership and vision in developing and implementing innovative concepts to improve and enhance the state of legal education, and in enhancing relationships and professionalism among members of the academy, the bench and the bar within the legal profession in Virginia; and 

(2) made a significant contribution (a) to improving legal education in Virginia, both in law school and throughout a lawyer’s career; and (b) to enhancing communication, cooperation and meaningful collaboration among the three constituencies of the legal profession. 

Nomination Process

Call for nominations (pdf)

Nominations will be invited annually by the Section on the Education of Lawyers.  A selection committee appointed by the section’s board of governors will meet annually to discuss possible nominations.  The selection committee will include five (5) members:  at least three members of the Section on the Education of Lawyers, with one each from the bench, the practicing bar and the academy, including the Chair of the Section; and at least one former award winner. The award may only be made from time to time at the discretion of the selection committee.

When a nominee is selected, the award will be presented at a special event to include a reception for the honoree and his/her family, friends and colleagues; past award recipients; and special guests.  Gentry Locke will continue to underwrite the award and the special event to honor award recipients on an ongoing basis.

Please submit the nomination form below, together with a letter describing specifically the manner in which your nominee meets the criteria established for the award. Nominations should be addressed to Kimberly A. Pierro, Section Chair, and submitted with your nomination letter to the Virginia State Bar.  Nominations for 2020 will be due in December of 2019. Exact date pending. 

For questions about the nomination process, please contact the Maureen D. Stengel, Director of Bar Services, Virginia State Bar:; (804) 775-0517.