March 23, 2023

Anita O. Poston Receives 2023 Leadership in Education Award

Anita Poston, a principal in the Norfolk office of Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black PLC (WRVB), has been named the recipient of the William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award by the Virginia State Bar Section on the Education of Lawyers in Virginia.

The Rakes award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and vision in improving legal education, and in advancing relationships and professionalism among members of the academy, the bench, and the bar within the legal profession in Virginia. 

Poston has an extensive business law practice with a focus on transportation, healthcare, estate planning and administration, and fiduciary defense. She is general counsel for the Norfolk Airport Authority and the Chesapeake Airport Authority. She also represents insurance and bonding companies, a multi-specialty physician practice, several ambulatory surgery centers, and a college real estate foundation, as well as numerous businesses and business owners. 

Despite her heavy caseload and extensive law practice, Poston has long devoted herself to education in Virginia and to numerous civic and legal organizations. Poston was nominated by Davison M. Douglas, former dean of William & Mary School of Law and the current John Stewart Bryan Professor of Jurisprudence at the School of Law.

Says Douglas, “Anita has been one of the driving forces behind legal education in Virginia. She is not only a very fine lawyer but someone who is always working to make the profession better. She sees a need and raises her hand. The very spirit of this award is set forth in Anita Poston.”

Poston has served as a member of the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners since she was appointed by the Supreme Court of Virginia in 1990. She has served as President of the Board since 2021. The VBBE, which is an agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia and separate from the VSB, ascertains the qualifications of all those who apply for admission to the Bar of Virginia and licenses those who meet the requirements established by the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Virginia General Assembly, and the Rules and Regulations issued by the Board. 

Poston’s additional involvement in enhancing education in Virginia goes back to 1989 when she chaired the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges after being appointed by Governor Charles Robb. In 2003, she was appointed by Governor Mark Warner to the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary and reappointed in 2007 by Governor Tim Kaine. She served on the Norfolk School Board for twelve years and as chair for four years.

A leader in numerous legal and civic organization, Poston has devoted countless hours to enhancing the legal profession and relationships within the community. Widely known and respected by judges, clients, and other lawyers, she has served as past president of the Virginia Bar Association.  She also served as president of the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association, which awarded Poston its highest honor, the Eggleston-I’Anson Professionalism Award. Poston also served as a member of the board of governors of the VSB Section on the Education of Lawyers in Virginia from 2005-2011.

In 1992, Poston received the Professional Woman of Hampton Roads Award and in 2001 William & Mary School of Law bestowed on her the Citizen Lawyer Award. In 2008, she was recognized with the Humanitarian Award by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and by the William & Mary Law School with the Order of the Coif. Other accolades include the Influential Women of Virginia Award, the Outstanding Woman of Hampton Roads Award by the YWCA, and the Community Builder Award from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. She has been recognized by selection to the Virginia Law Fellows and the ABA Law Foundation Fellows. 

Poston received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and her law degree from the College of William & Mary where she was a member of the William & Mary Law Review. She is the mother of three children and is married to the Honorable Charles E. Poston, Retired Judge of the Norfolk Circuit Court.

The Leadership in Education Award will be presented to Poston on June 16, 2023, at the VSB’s Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.