Bondurant and Wright are Inaugural Gentry Locke Pro Bono Award recipients
To support our ongoing commitment to pro bono work, Gentry Locke has created two awards to recognize outstanding pro bono efforts. These awards were presented for the first time on February 11, 2018.
The first award is the Gentry Locke Pro Bono Promise Award. It will be awarded annually to recognize pro bono work that exceeds the 2% yearly aspirational goal set by the Supreme Court of Virginia, in either a quantitative (sheer hours) or qualitative way (great project or impact). The award can be given to an individual Gentry Locke attorney or group of attorneys.
The 2017 recipient of the Gentry Locke Pro Bono Promise Award is Thomas J. Bondurant, Jr. Tom has demonstrated an enormous commitment to pro bono, as reflected in the substantial pro bono projects he has undertaken over the last several years. Tom also served as Co-Chair of our Pro Bono Task Force, and logged more than 250 hours of time on pro bono projects in 2017. Tom will be the first to say that his entire practice group has backed, and worked alongside him on these projects. This is absolutely true, and this award recognizes Tom’s leadership on these efforts and his personal commitment to providing free legal services to those who cannot afford them.
The second award is the J. Rudy Austin Pro Bono Service Award, which recognizes exceptional service and commitment to the pro bono cause. The award is named in honor of Rudy Austin, who retired from Gentry Locke after 50 years of practicing law. During his distinguished legal career, Rudy set a powerful example of service and commitment to the firm, and to the principles of professionalism. One of the core principles of professionalism is our duty to provide free legal services to those who cannot afford them. This award is not an annual award; it will be awarded when appropriate to recognize an individual or group of individuals for exceptional service and commitment to pro bono.
The inaugural recipient of the J. Rudy Austin Pro Bono Service Award is Kathleen L. Wright. Kathy has served as the firm’s liaison to Blue Ridge Legal Services (“BRLS”) for many years. In this capacity, she has coordinated, managed, and overseen the firm’s pro bono efforts with BRLS, ensuring that our firm provides needed legal services right here in our community. She has also served on the BRLS board, stayed abreast of pro bono developments, served as a pro bono hotline volunteer, and has encouraged others in the firm to find and perform more pro bono work. Kathy also served as Co-Chair of our Pro Bono Task Force, and has worked to implement the recommendations from the Task Force’s work. Kathy’s quiet commitment to pro bono has involved countless hours of work, and has helped any equally countless number of people.
We congratulate Tom and Kathy on their outstanding pro bono efforts!