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Legal Destination: Lawyers, Virginia

No signpost marks rural Lawyers, Va., but the tiny community once played host to attorneys and judges as they traveled on horseback and train from courthouse to courthouse.

In a series on “Legal Destinations,” VLW has highlighted various locations of interest to those in the legal profession. Any Virginia community named “Lawyers” clearly belongs on the list. Finding information about that Campbell County crossroads proved a daunting task, however. There isn’t much there these days except Lawyers Missionary Baptist Church, where both the pastor and a long-time member had no information about the origins of Lawyers.

It turns out, however, that at least one lawyer makes her home in Lawyers. Betsy Phillips lives just south of the rail crossing that served as the centerpiece of the one-time hamlet.  She explained there used to be an establishment known as “Lawyers’ Tavern” where the barristers of the day would gather after court to “drink, play cards, and try to settle their cases.”

The lawyers would use the tavern as a departure point to ride the train to the courthouse in Lynchburg, Phillips said.

Cham Light, another local lawyer with family ties to the community, said he learned Lawyers was a preferred stopping point for horseback lawyers and judges riding from Bedford to Rustburg for court days.

“As the area developed and they built the railroad, that became quite a thriving community,” Light said.

Light is working to preserve a family cemetery in the community.

Looking for Lawyers? It’s where Waterlick Road spans the former Southern Railroad tracks, not far from the Lynchburg airport.

By Peter Vieth

2 comments

  1. There is a Barrister’s Rd in Staunton that actually has law offices on it.

  2. There is a Barrister’s Rd in Staunton that actually has law offices on it.

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