Access to Legal Services
Richmond Civil Rights Lawyer Will Receive Award for
Pro Bono Work
Clarence M. Dunnaville Jr., a Richmond In a nomination letter, Mary Z.
attorney whose civil rights work led him Natkin, the W&L assistant dean and pro-
from protest demonstrations in the fessor who oversees the clinic, credited
1950s, to preserving the legacies of the Dunnaville’s persistence for the develop-
movements’ leaders and continuing ment of the clinical program. “We com-
courtroom battles on behalf of disen- mitted to the idea, in large part because
franchised people in the twenty-first of Clarence’s vision and dedication, and
century, will be given the 2009 Lewis F. began designing a program to augment
Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award by the pro bono representation in Roanoke.
Virginia State Bar. “He has been back to the city or on
The award is bestowed by the VSB’s the phone too many times to count to
Committee on Access to Legal Services appear before City Council in support of
to recognize dedication to development the program, to speak to the Roanoke
and delivery of pro bono services that Bar Association in support of the pro-
benefit poor and underserved persons in gram, to check on the law fellow residing
in the house or the law students working
Virginia. The award was named for a late
on matters, or for any matter that needs teer civil rights attorney in Jackson,
U.S. Supreme Court associate justice
attention. Mississippi; and co-founding organiza-
“It has been particularly inspiring to tions to promote persons of color to
Dunnaville, 75, most recently has
work with him on this project while he management positions and on boards of
been involved as a court-appointed directors.
managed his own caseload in Richmond,
advocate in cases that support a consti- mentored law students, and cared for his “Mr. Dunnaville has been a tireless
tutional right to counsel in civil cases. wife.” Norine Dunnaville, his wife of advocate for our liberties throughout his
He has committed substantial time forty-two years, died in January. long and storied career,” Natkin wrote.
in recent years to preserving the legacy In 2007, Dunnaville was awarded In February, VSB President Manuel
of civil rights attorney Oliver W. Hill and the Segal-Tweed Founders Award by the A. Capsalis presented Dunnaville with a
his colleagues in the legal battles of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights special VSB President’s Award in recog-
1950s and ’60s. As a founding member Under Law, for displaying outstanding nition of his many contributions to the
of the Oliver White Hill Foundation, leadership and service in the cause of legal landscape in Virginia.
Dunnaville led a project to purchase and equal justice under law. Milestones in his Dunnaville has a bachelor’s degree
restore Hill’s boyhood home in Roanoke. life include participating in sit-ins and from Morgan State University and a law
He then formed a coalition to use the picketing to protest racial segregation; degree from St. John’s University.
home to provide legal services to the hearing Thurgood Marshall and The Powell Award will be presented
poor, as part of a practicum by third- Spottswood W. Robinson III argue during the VSB’s Pro Bono and Access to
year students at the Washington and Lee Brown v. Board of Education before the Justice Conference on April 20, 2009, in
University School of Law. U.S. Supreme Court; serving as a volun- Richmond.
University of Richmond Law Student Wins Virginia State Bar Pro Bono Award
Miriam Sincell, a student at the pensated or minimally compensated pro wrote in a nomina-
University of Richmond School of Law, bono work and other public service. It is tion letter. Sincell
has been selected to receive the Virginia bestowed by the VSB Committee on plans to pursue a
State Bar’s 2009 Oliver White Hill Law Access to Legal Services. career in public
Student Pro Bono Award. Sincell’s uncompensated pro bono interest law after
The award, named for a late hours while a law student have exceeded she graduates.
Virginia civil rights litigator, recognizes a the award’s one hundred-hour mini-
law student’s commitment to uncom- mum, Professor Margaret Ivey Bacigal Law Student Award continued on page 49
www.vsb.org Vol. 57 | April 2009 | VIRGINIA LAWYER 35
Law Student Award continued from page 35
She was one of the first volunteers with the Richmond Child Health
Advocacy Program, which addresses legal needs of low-income children who are
patients at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.
She also has worked with the Richmond Housing Law Project, the law
school’s Street Law Program to educate high school students about their legal
rights and responsibilities, the Christian Law Fellowship, and the community ser-
vice committee of the Public Interest Law Association.
Tara Louise Casey, director of UR’s Harry L. Carrico Center for Pro Bono
Service, described Sincell as an ambassador of the legal profession and the law
school to the Richmond community. Through the Street Law Project, for exam-
ple, she recruited volunteer law students to teach disadvantaged youths about
basic legal concepts and correct common misconceptions about the law.
Casey quoted Robert F. Kennedy’s words, “The poor man looks upon the law
as an enemy, not as a friend. For him the law is always taking something away.”
Sincell is a student who finds ways to use the law to give back, she wrote.
Sincell grew up in Oakland, Maryland, and received her undergraduate
degree from Bucknell University.
The Hill Award will be presented during the VSB’s Pro Bono and Access to
Justice Conference on April 20, 2009, in Richmond. I
www.vsb.org Vol. 57 | April 2009 | VIRGINIA LAWYER 49