Virginia Lawyers Weekly selected retired McGuireWoods partner Gilbert “Bud” Schill for inclusion in its Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame, an honor reserved for attorneys who made lasting marks on the legal profession in the commonwealth. Schill and his fellow 2023 Hall of Fame honorees were celebrated at a March 28 reception in Richmond and profiled in a special Virginia Lawyers Weekly publication.
Schill retired from McGuireWoods in April 2022 after more than 50 years of service to the firm. During his tenure, he led the firm’s litigation practice as it achieved national prominence and guided an interdisciplinary team that provided legal counsel to prestigious higher education institutions in Virginia and throughout the United States. He also served as a mentor to generations of McGuireWoods lawyers who carried on his legacy of excellence and collegiality.
“Bud’s contributions to McGuireWoods are immeasurable,” said J. Tracy Walker IV, the firm’s managing partner. “His wisdom, generosity and commitment to excellence continue to inspire us. We are proud Bud has received this well-deserved honor.”
Schill appeared in courts in more than a dozen states and tried numerous cases involving securities, antitrust, public finance, tax, insurance, health, contract disputes, product liability, commercial torts, construction and employment. He also represented clients in matters related to tenure, academic freedom, student conduct, athletics and campus police issues. He told Virginia Lawyers Weekly that his biggest challenge was “learning enough about new subjects, some of them very technical, and using that understanding in a persuasive way for the benefit of others.”
Schill also collaborated with McGuireWoods colleagues to achieve successful outcomes for pro bono clients, including one he cited as a career highlight.
“I would say my proudest moment was in working with a team that obtained permanent asylum for a young mother who, along with her family, had been victimized by criminal gangs in her native El Salvador,” Schill told Virginia Lawyers Weekly. “She has since brought other members of her family to America and is on the path to U.S. citizenship.”
Schill teaches higher education law at Washington & Lee Law School and is a prolific writer and storyteller. He and two lifelong friends collaborated to write “Not Exactly Rocket Scientists and Other Stories,” a 2018 book about growing up in small-town America in the 1950s and early 1960s. The co-authors completed a second book, “Not Exactly Rocket Scientists II: The Totally Unnecessary Sequel,” published in 2022. Schill is a contributor to Y’all Magazine, an Oxford, Mississippi, publication devoted to Southern culture.