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Good Guys: VBA Awards edition

Here’s a preview of coming attractions for the Virginia Bar Association winter meeting later this week.

Good Guys, Part 1. The VBA will give its William B. Spong Jr. Professionalism Award to two men, Bill Van Buren of Norfolk and Tom Spahn of McLean.

The Spong Award recognizes leadership by example that inspires the legal profession and the public, according to the association.

Van Buren was VBA president in 2006 when he appointed Spahn to chair a special commission to put together Principles of Professionalism for Virginia Lawyers. The commission went to work and the Principles were released last spring. They have been endorsed by the Supreme Court of Virginia, many other state and federal courts in the commonwealth, every statewide bar group and many local bars.

Good Guy, Part 2. John Oakey will receive the VBA’s Roger D. Groot Pro Bono Publico Service Award at the meeting. The Groot award, named for a late Washington & Lee law professor, is given in recognition and appreciation of outstanding pro bono and community service work.

Since he retired from McGuireWoods, Oakey has devoted much of his time to pro bono work. He has represented clients through the Richmond Legal Aid Housing Program, prosecuted child support cases, represented domestic violence victims and handled court appointments. Also, Oakey has served in the leadership of the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, the Legal Aid Justice Center and the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation.

Well done, gentlemen, and cheers!

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