On Tuesday, Virginia Supreme Court Justice Donald W. Lemons will become an honorary Master of the Bench of the
MiddleTemple, one of the four Inns of Court in London that fosters many of the barristers to the Bar of England and
The only Americans routinely accorded that honor are the Chief Justice of the United States and the Ambassador to the Court of St. James.
The Middle Temple has a long and close association with America. Middle Templars drafted the Royal Charter granted to the Virginia Company, and before the Revolutionary War, wealthy colonists frequently sent their sons to study there. Five Middle Templars signed the Declaration of Independent and seven signed the U.S. Constitution.
The letter notifying Lemons of his selection emphasized his efforts to acknowledge the role the Middle Temple played in the founding of Jamestown during the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the settlement last year.
He is a national vice president of the American Inns of Court, an organization that attempts to pair young lawyers with experienced practitioners, much as do the English Inns of Court.
By Alan Cooper