Richmond criminal defense lawyer Claire G. Cardwell has been honored by her peers with the 2013 Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award.
The Virginia State Bar Criminal Law Section presented the award Feb. 1 during its annual seminar in Charlottesville. The award recognizes individuals who have contributed to the improvement of the Virginia criminal justice system.
A former chief deputy commonwealth’s attorney in Richmond, Cardwell has since made a name for herself as a leader of the criminal defense bar. She once served as acting capital defender for the Central Region and is on the board of the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center. She has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond law school since 1989 and has often appeared as a lecturer, panelist and instructor on criminal defense issues.
She serves as a substitute general district judge for the 14th District.
Cardwell was selected last year as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Her leadership also has been recognized by the Richmond Criminal Bar Association and the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association.
Cardwell was consulted by the research staff of novelist Patricia Cornwell as to courtroom practices and procedures, according to her web biography.
In a letter of nomination for the Carrico award, Richmond law Prof. Ronald J. Bacigal said Cardwell “has served as a mentor and model for many young women entering the legal profession.”