Van Buren Awarded VBA's William B. Spong, Jr. Professionalism Award

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VBA Recognizes Spahn and Van Buren with Professionalism Award, Oakey with Pro Bono Award

RICHMOND – The Virginia Bar Association announced today that it will award Thomas E. Spahn of McLean and William R. Van Buren III of Norfolk with its William B. Spong, Jr. Professionalism Award and John M. Oakey, Jr. of Richmond with the Roger D. Groot Pro Bono Publico Service Award. Awards will be presented at the Association’s 120th annual meeting on Friday, January 22 in Williamsburg.

The William B. Spong, Jr. Professionalism Award recognizes leadership by example that inspires the legal profession and the public. During his term as VBA president in 2006, Van Buren, the managing partner of the Kaufman & Canoles law firm, initiated a Commission on Professionalism to promulgate Principles of Professionalism for Virginia Lawyers. The Commission, chaired by Spahn, a McGuireWoods partner, released the Principles to the legal community in the spring of 2009, and they have been endorsed by the Supreme Court of Virginia, other state and federal courts, every statewide voluntary bar association in Virginia and many local bar associations.

The Roger D. Groot Pro Bono Publico Service Award is given in recognition and appreciation of outstanding pro bono and community service work. Oakey, a retired partner of McGuireWoods, is a dedicated provider of free legal services to Virginians who cannot afford to pay for them. He has represented clients through the Richmond Legal Aid Housing Program, prosecuted child support cases, represented domestic violence victims and handled court appointments in cases for citizens who lacked the resources to pay a lawyer but did not qualify for legal aid services. Oakey has served in the leadership of the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, the Legal Aid Justice Center and the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation.

The Virginia Bar Association is the largest voluntary organization of lawyers and judges in Virginia and is committed to service to the public and legal profession.


The contents of this publication are intended for general information only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts and circumstances. Copyright 2017.

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