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VBA Young Lawyers projects earn national awards

Maura Mazurowski//July 31, 2020

VBA Young Lawyers projects earn national awards

Maura Mazurowski//July 31, 2020//

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The Virginia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division was recognized this month for its community-based projects and activities with four American Bar Association awards.

Founded in 1956, the VBA YLD is a community of 1,2000 professions — all lawyers age 40 and younger and those in practice five years or less — that encourages public service and service to the bar through many noteworthy projects.

The ABA said the YLD displayed “exceptional COVID-related programming that impressed the judges.”

The ABA Young Lawyers Division honored the VBA YLD in its statewide and member size division for these programs:

  • Comprehensive
  • Newsletter for Opening Statement
  • Service to the Bar for COVID-19 Unemployment Compensation Training, and
  • Service to the Public for Vets Unit Workshop.


This is the 13th consecutive year the VBA YLD was named in the Comprehensive Category, which recognized “group activities.” This year, the VBA YLD were honored for five projects:

  • The Lunch Break Wellness Series, a weekly offering of 30-minute wellness and fitness courses launched during the beginning of the stay-at-home in March;
  • The Pro Bono Hotline, which involves attorney volunteers going to the Blue Ridge Legal Services office on Thursdays to respond to specific questions that clients have regarding domestic issues;
  • Law School Councils programs at William & Mary, Regent University and the University of Virginia, which focused on community service, young lawyer development and networking;
  • Wills for Healthcare Heroes, another project launched in response to COVID-19 to provide virtual basic estate planning services to essential healthcare workers, and;
  • The National Moot Court Competition project, which coordinates regional contests for law students in the mid-Atlantic area.


The VBA YLD was recognized for Opening Statement. Created in 2012, this quarterly newsletter provides coverage of recent YLD events, announcements of interest to YLD members as well as articles, advice, analysis and commentary about the practice of law, “with an emphasis on content relevant to young lawyers,” according to the website.

Service to the bar

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the VBA YLD identified a need for attorney volunteers to assist claimants “who could not afford legal services” to navigate legal processes. This included presenting a free, two-hour MCLE webinar in April that trained approximately 100 attorneys on handling unemployment compensation claims in Virginia.

Service to the public

The VBA YLD was recognized for its service to the public with the Vets Unit Workshop, a two-hour event held in Virginia Beach that covered veteran suicide prevention and how to help veterans transition to a “positive and healthy cilivian life after military service,” according to the event description.

Visit the state bar website for more information on VBA YLD projects and activities.

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