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Old Dominion Bar Association celebrates its 75th anniversary

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Paulette Brown (left), president, ABA; Helivi L. Holland, Beverly Burton and Vinceretta Chiles of ODBA.

The Old Dominion Bar Association, a group formed to serve African-American lawyers in Virginia, marked its 75th anniversary this year.

The association was founded in response to the treatment of Frederic Charles Carter, a black attorney, received in 1940 at the then-segregated library of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. Carter and other African-American attorneys organized the bar association to advocate for equal justice and promote professional growth.

The Old Dominion Bar Association (ODBA) held its 75th Anniversary Annual Meeting and Conference in May at the Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel and Conference Center in Glen Allen.

At its 125th summer meeting at The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, the Virginia Bar Association presented the ODBA with its LexisNexis Award. The award is given for extraordinary leadership and dedication to the legal profession and public service.

Helivi L. Holland, president of the ODBA and city attorney for Suffolk, accepted the award on behalf of the bar association.

Previous recipients of the VBA LexisNexis Award include justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia, judges of the Virginia Court of Appeals, deans of law schools, presidents of the American Bar Association, U.S. attorneys, a governor and a U.S. senator. In 2014, the honor recognized the leadership of George K. Martin, managing partner at the Richmond office of McGuireWoods LLP.

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