Va. Bar Association elects first Black president

The Virginia Bar Association elected Victor O. Cardwell as its first Black president, the organization announced Monday.

Cardwell is a Roanoke-based partner and board chairman of Woods Rogers PLC. He has served as a delegate in the American Bar Association, representing Virginia, and was appointed to Virginia’s Human Rights Council.

“I am proud to be a member of the VBA,” Cardwell wrote in his first letter to the association’s members. “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.”

Cardwell is the seventh person from Woods Rogers to lead the group. He joined the firm as an associate in Roanoke in 1991 and became a principal in 2006. His practice focuses on labor and employment law, and he is co-chair of the Woods Rogers labor and employment practice group.

“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,” Dan Summerlin, Woods Rogers president, said in a statement.

“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,” Cardwell said in a statement.