Carlos Hopkins is a partner in both Gentry Locke’s Criminal & Government Investigations and Government & Regulatory Affairs practice groups. Carlos previously served as Virginia’s Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs where he was the state’s top official for coordinating resources to support Virginia’s veteran community. Carlos was also appointed by former Governor Terence R. McAuliffe in 2014 to serve on the Governor’s Cabinet as Counsel to the Governor. At Gentry Locke, Carlos combines his criminal and civil litigation experience and Virginia-government experience to help clients navigate their most significant litigation, regulatory, and government-facing challenges.

  • Scuba diving certifications
  • Off-Broadway shows seen
  • Instruments played (trumpet, cornet & flugelhorn)
  • I see that you are an avid golfer. What is your favorite golf course that you have played?

    I love Ballybunion Golf Club in Ireland. It overlooks the water on the west coast of Ireland with great scenic views.

  • You are a giant Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Do you attend a lot of games?

    I bleed black and gold. Not only are the Steelers colors black and gold, but my fraternity colors are also black and gold. I try to go to at least one game a year. It's funny, I have only been to one home game in Pittsburgh. It gets cold in Pittsburgh and I don't really like the cold. I would rather go to an away game someplace warmer like Miami.

  • Tell us more about your scuba diving adventures.

    I picked up scuba diving while I was deployed in Cuba. I've had the chance to scuba dive in some great places like Puerto Rico, the Turks and Caicos Islands and back in the states in North Carolina. There are some great wrecks off the North Carolina coast.


  • University of Richmond School of Law, J.D.
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, Executive M.B.A.
  • The Citadel, B.A. in Political Science, Law and Criminal Justice


  • Appointed Virginia’s Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs by Governors Terence R. McAuliffe and Ralph S. Northam (2017-2022)
  • Appointed Counsel to the Governor on the Virginia Governor’s Cabinet as the Governor’s primary legal advisor (2014-2017)
  • Served on the personal staff of the Commanding General (CG) of the 29th Infantry Division as Chief Legal Officer in the Virginia Army National Guard
  • Mentored second and third year law students participating in the Criminal Law Placement Externship Program at the University of Richmond, TC Williams School of Law (2019-2021)
  • Served as Deputy City Attorney and supervised the Special Litigation and Public Safety Division in the Richmond City Attorney’s Office (2013-2014)
  • Owned and operated a boutique law firm representing individuals charged with various classes of felonies and misdemeanors in state and federal court (2011-2013)
  • Played an integral role in developing policies and procedures to manage Virginia’s public defender system as the agency’s Director of Training


  • Member, Virginia State Bar
  • Member, The National Black Lawyers Top 100
  • Board of Directors, Richmond Ambulance Authority
  • Board of Directors, Virginia Voice
  • Board of Directors, Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation
  • Richmond Steering Committee for Just the Beginning (JTB) Program
  • Life Member, The Citadel Alumni Association
  • Member, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
  • Chairman, Virginia Military Advisory Council (2017-2022)
  • Member, Virginia Code Commission (2014-2017)
  • Board of Directors, Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2010-2013)


  • Commonwealth of Virginia
  • The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • The United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia


  • Designated one of the “Legal Elite” in Administrative/Government/Legislative law by Virginia Business magazine (2023)
  • The National Black Lawyers Top 100
Hopkins Full Body Photo