Attorney Victor Cardwell

Victor O. Cardwell

Principal | Chair of the Board

Victor Cardwell practices labor and employment law throughout the U.S., focusing on diversity, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and labor/management relations.

Get To Know Victor

Victor counsels executive and human resources managers on a wide range of employer concerns—from harassment, sexual orientation and gender identity issues, retaliation, and discrimination. He offers guidance on workforce reductions, handbooks and agreements, unfair competition, wage and hour compliance, health and disability, discipline and discharge, employee leave, workplace violence, and labor/management relations—including union-organizing campaigns and union-avoidance techniques. He has significant experience before state and federal courts and administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board. 

Victor is recognized throughout Virginia as a formidable but approachable advocate for higher education clients. He has a 30+ year history of helping institutional leaders navigate the relationships and issues that arise between college and university boards and the stakeholders they serve. He advises private colleges and universities across the Commonwealth on a wide range of issues, including faculty, staff, and administration challenges, and FERPA, Title IX, and Title VII matters.

Additionally, Victor is the Immediate Past President of the Virginia Bar Association and serves on the Virginia State Bar’s Board of Governors for its Diversity Conference. He was named to the Roanoke Law Foundation Fellows Program in 2018.

Virginia Lawyers Weekly has recognized Victor as a “Leader in the Law." He is regularly listed in industry rankings including Virginia Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America for Employment Law - Management and Labor Law - Management, including being named "Roanoke Lawyer of the Year." He is recognized by Martindale-Hubbell in Litigation and Labor and Employment and by Chambers USA as a leading attorney in the Labor and Employment practice. In 2019, Victor received the Martin Luther King, Jr. "Drum Major for Justice" award issued by the local Roanoke chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Prior to joining WRVB in 1991, Victor served as deputy associate chief counsel with the U. S. Department of Labor Benefits Review Board. He has served as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, representing Virginia, and was appointed to the Human Rights Council of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Victor lends legal counsel to many Roanoke-area nonprofit organizations including the Bradley Free Clinic, Center in the Square, Grandin Theatre Foundation, Mill Mountain Zoo, United Way of the Roanoke Valley, Science Museum of Western Virginia, and the Human Rights Council of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges. In September 2020, Victor was appointed to serve on the board of the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority. In the past, he has served on the boards of the Science Museum of Western Virginia and the Virginia High School League Foundation. He has also been an active volunteer with Cosmopolitan International.




Washington and Lee University School of Law, J.D.

University of Virginia, B.A.



District of Columbia

District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Supreme Court of Virginia

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia

U.S. Supreme Court


  • Virginia Bar Association
    • President, Board of Governors (2022)
    • Chair, Board of Governors (2020)
    • Committee on Federal Judgeships
    • Western District Committee on Nominations to Virginia Commissions & Appellate Courts
    • Labor Relations & Employment Law Section Council
    • Law Practice Management Division Executive Committee & Council
  • American Bar Association, Delegate Member from Virginia for Labor and Employment and Sports and Entertainment Law Sections
  • Boyd-Graves Conference of the Virginia Bar Association
  • National Bar Association
  • Old Dominion Bar Association
  • Roanoke Bar Association
  • The Ted Dalton American Inn of Court
  • 23rd Judicial Circuit Fee Dispute Resolution Program, Chairman
  • Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges, Board Member
  • Virginia Historical Society, Board of Trustees
  • Virginia Passenger Rail Authority, Board Member
  • Virginia State Bar, Board of Governors for VSB Diversity Conference

News & Insights

Other Publications & Media

  • Co-author. “Employment: North America, USA – Virginia.” Lexology Getting the Deal Through, September 19, 2023.
  • Co-author. “Employment: North America, USA – Virginia.” Lexology Getting the Deal Through, October 17, 2022.
  • Co-author. An Employment Law Guide: Employee Rights and Employer Responsibilities in Virginia. Virginia CLE, 2021.
  • Co-author. Employment Law in Virginia. Virginia CLE, 2020.

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