Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Military Law

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Section News and Information

June 1, 2022

2022 Pro Bono Award Recipients Announced

The Virginia State Bar Military Law Section has named Marcia McCarthy Dillon and Wendy B. Harris as recipients of the 2022 Military Law Section Pro Bono Award. Lawyers are recognized who actively practice in support of veterans and/or active duty servicemembers. Special consideration is given to lawyers who practice before Virginia’s Veteran’s Docket. 

Dillon works as a litigation attorney at McDermott, Will & Emery LLP in Washington, D.C. She donated her time to work with a Marine Corps veteran who, while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, suffered a traumatic brain injury. With less than two weeks until discharge, and after witnessing the death of several close friends, the Marine was given an Other Than Honorable discharge due to alcohol infractions. Dillon successfully argued that the exemplary career of the Marine had been impacted by injuries, PTSD, migraines, and insomnia that had led to his dependence on substances to mitigate these injuries.

The Naval Discharge Review Board agreed with Dillon, and the Marine received an upgraded discharge and will now be eligible for the benefits that he earned via his nearly four years of service in the American military, including two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Wendy B. Harris, deputy public defender for the Office of the Public Defender,
City of Fredericksburg, King George, Spotsylvania & Stafford Counties, was nominated by Kelly P. Hale, Director of Programs & Community Corrections for the Rappahannock Regional Jail. Wrote Hale, “Wendy Harris has been involved with our Veterans’ Docket since the planning stage. She saw a need in the community and was passionate about getting our program off the ground. Wendy routinely goes above and beyond for our participants, working tirelessly to help them succeed. Wendy’s level of compassion and energy to make a difference in the lives of others is not often found.”

Both lawyers will receive their awards at the Military Law Section luncheon on June 17 at the VSB Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.

Caption: Marcia McCarthy Dillon (left) and Wendy B. Harris (right)