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2012 Legal Elite Profile: LEGAL SERVICES/PRO BONO

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ALTON L. KNIGHTON JR. 
Woods Rogers PLC
Roanoke

NewsTitle: Principal 
Other legal specialties: Tax-exempt bonds, employee benefits 
Birthplace: Roanoke
Education: University of Virginia, bachelor’s degree with high distinction; U.Va. School of Law, law degree
Spouse: Susan K. Knighton 
Children: Alton L. (Chip) Knighton III, 31; Jefferson C. Knighton, 27
Hobbies: “Hiking with my dog; reading; and coaching youth sports (when my kids were younger).” 
First job as a lawyer: Associate at Woods Rogers 
Fan of: “U.Va. football, basketball and lacrosse; and several pro teams that, other than the Boston Celtics, never seem to win anything.” 
Favorite vacation spot: “None in particular. We enjoy seeing a variety of places.” 
Recently read book: “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach 
Career mentor: “The late Frank W. (Bo) Rogers, Jr., one of our profession’s great gentlemen.”

Please describe the legal services/pro-bono projects that you have worked on? 
“I’ve handled a wide variety of bond issues for 501(c)(3) entities, including hospitals, colleges, retirement homes, and cultural and community organizations, in addition to providing corporate, tax and other business representation to charitable organizations. My experience ranges from more than $1.5 billion of tax-exempt financings for Carilion Clinic to pro-bono work for local charities. I regularly provide services to Legal Aid clients, and I serve as our firm’s pro-bono coordinator.”

Why is it important for lawyers to be involved in pro-bono projects? 
“The communities in which we work have provided us with a comfortable living, and we owe a debt to those communities.  That debt can be repaid — in part — by providing pro-bono services that enhance our communities, services both for those less fortunate individuals that rely upon governmental and charitable support and for those organizations that make us a community. With cutbacks in governmental, charitable and Legal Aid budgets, pro bono services are all the more important today.”


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