Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

Former Virginia Supreme Court Justice John Charles Thomas to Deliver Lewis F. Powell Jr. Lecture

The Fourteenth Annual Lewis F. Powell Jr. Lecture will be delivered by John Charles Thomas, former justice on the Virginia Supreme Court and senior partner at Hunton & Williams. Thomas will speak on his professional and personal relationship with Justice Powell.

The event is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29, at 5:00 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the campus of Washington and Lee University. The event is free and open to the public.

Thomas received his B.A. with distinction (1972) and J.D. (1975) from the University of Virginia. He is a senior partner at Hunton & Williams, LLP, in Richmond, Virginia, where he is chief of the appellate practice group and also handles general litigation, mediation, and arbitration.

In 1983, Thomas was appointed to the Supreme Court of Virginia. He was the first African American to sit on the Court. He served on the court for seven years, ruling on thousands of appellate matters addressing the full range of Virginia law including contracts, torts, property, public utilities, trust and estates, and taxation.

Thomas is an AAA certified Mediator and Arbitrator and serves on the AAA Panel of Commercial Arbitrators as well as on the AAA Panel of International Arbitrators. Since June 2005 he has been a Judge of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The students at Washington and Lee University School of Law founded the Lewis Powell, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series in 2002 in honor of Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. ’29A, ’31L, who was appointed to the United States Supreme Court in 1972. Justice Powell’s judicial legacy was defined by a respect for both sides in a dispute and a desire to craft judicial opinions that struck a middle ground. This student-run lecture series features nationally prominent speakers who embody this spirit in their life and work.