May 14, 2024

Diamond C. Royster Receives 2024 Young Lawyer of the Year Award

The Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference has named Diamond C. Royster of Pender & Coward as the R. Edwin Burnette Jr. Young Lawyer of the Year. The award has been a harbinger of future success, with recipients going on to serve as VSB presidents, in the Office of the Attorney General, and as esteemed members of the bench and bar.  

The award recognizes young lawyers who demonstrate dedicated service to the conference, the legal profession, and the community, and will be presented by the Hon. R. Edwin Burnette Jr., the award’s inaugural recipient, at the YLC Annual Dinner at the VSB Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach on May 30.  

Royster was nominated by Maricris Prendingue of McGuire Woods in Washington, D.C., who wrote, “Diamond exhibits the interest, skill, and passion that positions her to promote greater engagement from young lawyers as well as to ensure the YLC's long-term future success.”  

Royster has served as a co-chairperson for the Bench Bar Relations Committee for two years. In her first year in the role, she hosted a 3.0 hour CLE, securing the participation of judges from all levels of trial and appellate courts, while assisting the judges in drafting the CLE materials to ensure participants would secure CLE credit.  

In her second year in her role, Royster created an original program to help young lawyers have more direct interactions with the bench. She organized the Breakfast with the Bench series, which garnered the interest of the VSB Diversity Conference and secured the support of various local bars.  

In her personal life, Royster has volunteered with the Urban Renewal Center non-profit on numerous occasions, including the Urban Renewal Center Project Makeover in Hampton Roads Event and Rise Against Hunger Event. She has also served the legal profession through her work with a national bar prep company. In her role with the bar company, Royster graded and provided substantive feedback on practice essays for those students preparing to take the Virginia bar exam.  

A graduate of George Mason University, Royster received her law degree from the Regent University School of Law.