Virginia Bar Association names new executive director and CEO
Paul E. Fletcher is the editor-in-chief of Virginia Lawyers Weekly
The Virginia Bar Association has named Paul E. Fletcher its new executive director and CEO, it announced Tuesday. He will assume the role on Sept. 20.
Fletcher is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Virginia Lawyers Weekly, a role he has held since 1989. Beginning in 2020, he also began editing Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He serves as chair of the Virginia Press Foundation and has been the national president and Virginia chapter president of the Society of Professional Journalists.
“My years at Virginia Lawyers Weekly have given me a deep and expansive knowledge of the Virginia legal community,” Fletcher said in a statement. “I have immense respect for the VBA, its history and its mission. I am honored for this opportunity to apply my experience and talents to this new and exciting challenge.”
Fletcher has been a member of VBA since 1992 and has served on its committee on special issues of national and state importance since 2011. He was an attorney in Abingdon and Bristol from 1985 to 1988 and is a fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation.
Fletcher earned his law degree at Washington & Lee University School of Law. He holds a master’s degree in English from Emory University and a bachelor’s degree in government and English from William & Mary.
Fletcher will succeed R. Yvonne Cockram, who has been executive director since 2011. While at VBA, she also served as president of the National Association of Bar Executives. She has accepted a leadership position with the Arlington-based Federal Bar Association.
“Yvonne Cockram has guided the VBA for the past decade with a steady hand,” VBA President Richard H. Ottinger said in a statement. “She is a consummate professional and has been an invaluable resource to me, the other offices and the board of governors. She will be missed.”
Waverly Partners LLC and VBA search and advisory committees conducted the search.
“I appreciate the involvement of the VBA members and our search firm to identify the most qualified candidates after a national search — and the best choice is right here in Virginia,” Ottinger said in the statement.
Founded in 1888, Virginia Bar Association is a voluntary professional association that has 4,000 members who are lawyers, judges and law students.