Justice Cleo Powell to Deliver Law Commencement Address Supreme Court of Virginia Justice Cleo E. Powell will serve as the law school’s commencement speaker for the Class of 2023 in May.
Supreme Court of Virginia Justice Cleo E. Powell will serve as the law school’s commencement speaker for the Class of 2023 in May.
Commencement is scheduled for Friday, May 12 beginning at 10 a.m. on the lawn in front of University Chapel. The event is open to the public.
Watch Live: https://livestream.com/wlu/law-2023
In 2011, Powell became the first Black woman appointed to the state Supreme Court. When she joined the Supreme Court, Powell began leading the Rule of Law Day at the Capitol in conjunction with the Diversity Conference and the Young Lawyers Conference of the Virginia State Bar. The purpose of the program is to educate middle and high school students about rule-of-law principles and the operations of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.
Powell chairs the Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee and serves on the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of Virginia.
Powell previously served on the Court of Appeals of Virginia, starting in 2008. She was a judge on the Chesterfield/Colonial Heights Circuit Court, starting in 2000, and its General District Court, where she first became a judge, in 1993. She also served as a senior assistant attorney general in the Equal Employment Opportunity and Personnel Division from 1986-89.
Powell has been honored with numerous awards and on numerous lists, including the Library of Virginia’s Virginia Women in History; Dominion’s Strong Men & Women Excellence in Leadership; a Virginia Women Attorneys Association 2010 Leader in Diversity; Virginia Lawyers Weekly Influential Women of Virginia; Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association Woman of the Year 2009; and the YWCA’s Outstanding Women of the Year.