The Virginia State Bar will honor a pair of Virginia attorneys later this year with awards.
Onancock attorney Henry P. Custis Jr. is this year’s recipient of the Tradition of Excellence Award from the Virginia State Bar’s General Practice Section, according to a May 11 announcement from the VSB.
On May 16, the VSB announced that Tamara X. Moore, managing attorney of Legal Aid Works’s Culpeper branch office, is this year’s recipient of the Legal Aid Award.
Custis became a VSB member in 1970, the same year he graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law. An Eastern Shore native, Custis has spent more than 50 years working as a general practice attorney and is presently a partner at Custis, Dix, Lewis & Custis.
Hanover County attorney Grayson S. Johnson of Johnson & Johnson Attorneys at Law nominated Custis for the award.
“He is universally liked and respected by everyone with whom he comes in contact,” Johnson wrote in his nomination letter. “I can think of no other attorney more deserving of receiving the Tradition of Excellence Award.”
Within the VSB, Custis served as chair of the Clients’ Protection Fund Board and the VSB Disciplinary Board, and also served on the Committee on Lawyer Discipline, the Midyear Legal Seminar Committee and the Special Committee on Trust Accounts.
Custis became a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation in 2000, which honors attorneys and judges who display high standards of integrity and character.
Additionally, Custis has been involved with multiple civic organizations on the Eastern Shore, including serving as president of the Accomack County chapters of the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. He also sat on the board of Broadwater Academy in Exmore and the Eastern Shore Historical Society.
His other appointments include serving on multiple local bank boards and as a charter member of the Eastern Shore Community Foundation, which provides grants to nonprofits on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
Prior to law school, Custis earned his undergraduate degree from Hampden-Sydney College, where he later served on the board of trustees.
The VSB General Practice Section will present Custis with the award on June 16, during the bar’s annual meeting in Virginia Beach.
First awarded in 1987, the Tradition of Excellence Award recognizes a Virginia attorney who “embodies the highest tradition of personal and professional excellence and enhances the image of attorneys in the Commonwealth,” according to the VSB General Practice Section. Nominees must be members of the VSB in good standing with at least 10 years of law practice — five of which must be in general practice.
Moore has worked for Legal Aid Works for 16 years, beginning as an extern while in law school at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan. In her time at Legal Aid Works, she has assisted clients in obtaining over $1.1 million in child and spousal support awards.
Presently, Moore handles a large caseload of family law cases at Legal Aid Works, occasionally serving as guardian ad litem.
In nominating Moore, Legal Aid Works Executive Director Ann H. Kloeckner stated that Moore’s reputation is “impeccable.”
“Our office’s reputation in the community shines brightly because of her example of quiet, effective leadership,” Kloeckner wrote.
Moore’s nomination for the award was seconded by many current and former employees of Legal Aid Works.
“Working with Tamara for the past three years has been an experience like no other and is truly an honor,” Legal Aid Works Intake Specialist Tamesha Cook wrote. “She is a logical and analytical thinker who asserts confidence and empathy.”
When asked to choose a quote that best represents her legal philosophy, Moore chose a quote from author Maya Angelou: “When you get, give. When you learn, teach.”
First awarded in 1992, the Virginia Legal Aid Award is presented by the bar’s Standing Committee on Access to Legal Services to an outstanding legal aid attorney employed by a legal aid society licensed to operate in Virginia.
Moore will be presented with the award at the Access to Legal Services Committee 30th Anniversary Dinner on June 15 in Virginia Beach during the VSB Annual Meeting.