Law 2023: THE HON. S. BERNARD GOODWYN
CHIEF JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT OF VIRGINIA, RICHMOND
Born in 1961 in Southampton County, Goodwyn was appointed to the state bench by Gov. Tim Kaine in 2007 to fill the court vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Elizabeth B. Lacy. In 2021, he was elected chief justice for a four-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2022, filling the vacancy created when Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons stepped down.
Goodwyn previously served as a judge of the Chesapeake Circuit Court for over 10 years, as well as a general district court judge in Chesapeake for two years. Prior to serving on the bench, he was a research associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and a litigation partner at Willcox & Savage in Norfolk.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1983, and received his law degree from U.Va. in 1986. In September 2022, Goodwyn stepped down as the justice co-chair of the Virginia Access to Justice Commission, after a three-year term. The commission was established by the state Supreme Court in 2013 to promote equal access to legal services, especially for low-income people.