The Virginia State Bar has established a leadership award in the field of legal education. It will be named for its first recipient, Roanoke lawyer William R. Rakes.
Rakes received the award April 22 at the 20th Anniversary Conclave on the Education of Lawyers in Virginia, held in Charlottesville. The event was financially assisted by the Virginia Law Foundation.
Rakes was honored for his long-standing and dedicated efforts in the field of legal education. The award recognizes an individual who has 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.
“Bill Rakes is very deserving of this award,” said VSB Executive Director Karen A. Gould, executive director of the Virginia State Bar, in a release. “His work has had a major impact on legal education, not only in the commonwealth, but across the United States.”
The VSB’s Section on the Education of Lawyers will invite nominations for the William R. Rakes Leadership in Education award annually. The award will be underwritten by Rakes’s firm, Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, on an ongoing basis.
Rakes has been in private practice with Gentry Locke since 1963; he served as managing partner of the firm for more than 20 years.
He is a past president of the Virginia State Bar and the Roanoke Bar Association. He developed the idea of the legal education conclave, which led to the first of its kind gathering at Wintergreen in March of 1992. That conclave became the model for other states.