On January 21, 2022, Victor O. Cardwell, Chairman of the Woods Rogers Board of Directors, was elected to serve as the 134th President of the Virginia Bar Association (VBA). Founded in 1888, the VBA is the oldest and largest statewide bar organization in Virginia. It serves as the independent voice of the Virginia lawyer, advancing the highest ideals of the profession. Victor’s election marks the first time a Black lawyer has served as VBA President.
“I am proud to be a member of the VBA,” said Victor in his first letter to the membership. “Yet I am smart enough to know that multitudes of lawyers who have gone before me, Black and otherwise, deserved this honor, and I stand on their shoulders.”
Victor joined Woods Rogers PLC as an associate in the firm’s Roanoke office in 1991 and became a Principal in 2006. Victor’s practice focuses on labor and employment law, and he is co-chair of the Woods Rogers Labor & Employment practice group.Dan Summerlin, Woods Rogers President, said, “The entire firm is proud to call Victor our colleague and friend. I can’t think of an attorney more suited to serve the VBA as its 134th President.”
Many professional organizations have recognized Victor’s leadership and dedication to his profession. Virginia Lawyers Weekly has recognized Victor as a “Leader in the Law,” and he has been named Roanoke “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America®. Victor has been listed twice in Virginia Business’ “Virginia 500—The Power List.” In 2019, he received the Martin Luther King Jr. “Drum Major for Justice” honor awarded by Roanoke’s chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Friend and fellow Woods Rogers attorney, Thomas M. Winn III, said of Victor’s appointment, “In addition to Victor’s magnetic charisma, his thoughtfulness and intelligence attract people to him and make him a very effective leader. He has real wisdom about him that makes him well-suited for the position he is assuming.”
On the VBA’s role in the legal profession, Victor said, “During my 365 days in office, I want the VBA to be seen as the most welcoming and open bar organization in the commonwealth. The VBA must be the bellwether for all lawyers in Virginia.”
Woods Rogers celebrates a long history of attorneys who have served as VBA President, and Victor is the 7th serving in this position. Previous Woods Rogers VBA Presidents include:
Thomas R. Bagby (2013)
Thomas T. Lawson (1989)
John L. Walker Jr. (1983)
John L. Walker (1947-1948)
Frank W. Rogers (1937-38)
Whitwell W. Coxe (1928-29)