Home / Cleo E. Powell /

Cleo E. Powell


The Court of Appeals of Virginia
109 North Eighth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


(804) 748-1844

E-mail address:



Juris Doctorate, 1982, University of Virginia School of Law
Bachelor of Arts in American Government, 1979, University of Virginia

Professional/business/civic/nonprofit organizations in which you are/have been involved and positions held:

American Bar Association
Virginia Bar Association
Old Dominion Bar Association
Virginia Association of Women Judges
National Bar Association
American Judges Association
Chesterfield/Colonial Heights Bar Association
Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association
Virginia Association of Black Women Attorneys
Bar Association of the City of Richmond
ASAP, Policy Board (John Tyler)
John Marshall Inn of Court
Richmond Bar Association, Executive Committee, Young Lawyers Section (1986-1988)
American Bar Association
Virginia Bar Association
Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of Virginia (2009-present)
Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission (2008)
First Baptist Church-South Richmond: Sheepfold Leader, Children’s Church Instructor, Volunteer Corp Instructor
Central Virginia Foodbank, Board of Directors (1986-1988)
Young Women’s Christian Association, Board of Directors, Vice President (1989-1993)
Caritas, Coordinator (1988-1993)
Leadership Metro Richmond Class of 1990
St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation Board (1992-1993)
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Who were the important mentors you have had and how did they impact your career?

I believe that we learn something from everyone with whom we come in contact. My most important mentors were my parents and my early childhood educators. They taught me to give 110% and to finish the course. At the end of each if I have practiced these lessons I can be content.

What do you consider your biggest personal and/or professional accomplishment and why?

Pouring into my children the best that I have so that they can be the best person they can (still a work in progress!).

What advice would you give to a young person graduating from college this spring?

Give your best to every task no matter how great or small and treat every person the way you want to be treated.

How do you achieve a balance between your professional life and your personal life?

I try to recognize that each is important and they must successfully co-exist. So I try, not always successfully, to give work all that I have when I am working and give family all that I have when I leave work.

When you were growing up, what did you want to be?

Up until age 13 either a doctor or lawyer. After age 13, always a lawyer.

What is your favorite book or movie and why?

It’s A Wonderful Life. It is all about the impact, known or unknown, that we make on the people we pass along the way. We should always strive to make it a positive one so, that in the final analysis, our life has made a positive difference.

What are two things about you that not many people know?

1. I am an “off the charts” introvert.
2. I am working on how to say “No”.


  1. David Harrison

    Sometimes we will do for others or for their honor what we might not have been willing to commit to for our own selves. And when that act moves us out of a comfort zone or makes us do more than we bargained for then the gift is even greater…Judge Powell is this type of person and friend. A reason she certainly has an influence that goes well beyond her position and duties.

  2. It is because of my cousin Cleo that I am excelling in Law School now! She is a wonderful mentor and educator.

Leave a Reply