Arlington family lawyer Betty A. Thompson died Monday at the age of 88.
McLean lawyer Joseph A. Condo, another leading divorce lawyer, confirmed Thompson’s death Tuesday. His announcement of the death on his Facebook page brought accolades from other Northern Virginia lawyers.
Ms. Thompson was recognized by the General Assembly in 2010 for more than 60 years of service to her community and the legal profession. Colleagues describe her as a trailblazer and advocate for the family law bar.
Ms. Thompson was the first woman in the U.S. to be invited to join the International Academy of Trial lawyers in 1983. At that point, she already had been practicing for 30 years.
Her skills and dedication were recognized by the Southern Trial Lawyers Association, the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and the Arlington County Bar Foundation. She held leadership roles with the Virginia State Bar, the Arlington County Bar Association, the Virginia Bar Association, the Northern Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, and the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She was a member of the Virginia Family Law Coalition.
“To call her a giant in the profession doesn’t even come close,” said Condo on his Facebook page. “She was a loyal and devoted friend to many, and a mentor to countless others, who stood on her shoulders in elevating respect and recognition for the family law bar.”
“She was trailblazer in our community. Her loss leaves a huge hole,” posted Del. Scott A. Surovell of Mount Vernon, another family lawyer.
“I always learned from her in cases we had, and she was always the most civil opposing counsel I’ve dealt with,” wrote David M. Levy on the Condo Facebook page. “And her sense of style was only exceeded by her enjoyment of life; she could cut a rug on the dance floor! She will be sorely missed,” Levy said.