The Virginia Bar Association recently announced that it will award partner Tom Spahn (Business and Securities Litigation, Tysons) one of its William B. Spong, Jr. Professionalism Awards. Retired partner John Oakey (Richmond) will receive 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, Va.
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 Tom, released the principles to the legal community in the spring of 2009. The principles 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. John 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 and did not qualify for legal aid services. John has served in the leadership of the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, the Legal Aid Justice Center, and the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation.