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VSB Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year: Angela Ciolfi

For Immediate Release:

The Virginia State Bar(VSB) Access to Legal Services Committee is happy to announce that Angela Ciolfi, Litigation and Advocacy Director with the Legal Aid Justice Center, has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Virginia Legal Aid Award. In her letter nominating Ms. Ciolfi, Mary Bauer, Executive Director at LAJC, wrote: “Angela does it all, and on a very high level. She represents individual children, pursues sweeping statewide reform through administrative and legislative advocacy as well as litigation, expands the capacity of other lawyers and child advocates through training and technical assistance, secures new sources of funding to combat zero tolerance and educational disparities, employs successful communication strategies to raise awareness of compelling children’s issues, and this all while supervising attorneys in three different cities in Virginia. This range of skills, creativity, and activities, combined with her unparalleled work ethic, make her contributions to the lives of Virginia’s children wide-reaching and substantial.”

Ms. Bauer noted Ms. Ciolfi’s leadership in litigation challenging Virginia’s suspension of drivers’ licenses of low income persons for failure to pay court costs and fines; her work that lead to the launching of JustChildren’s Educate Every Child Campaign uncovering race, disability, class and gender disparities in the handling of suspensions and truancies in Virginia schools; and her advocacy on behalf of at-risk children and other vulnerable persons in the justice system. Another letter supporting Ms. Ciolfi’s nomination stated: “Angela perfectly embodies the values, skills, and talents this Award is meant to celebrate: innovation, creativity, passion, courage, excellence, impact, and, above all, an unwavering and unbroken commitment to her clients and to the public interest. “ Congratulations Angela!

Ms. Ciolfi’s selection is also historic as she will be the first person to have been honored with both the Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award (2003) and the Virginia Legal Aid Award (2017). The Virginia Legal Aid Award will be presented at the Legal Aid Award Luncheon during the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting on Friday, June 16 at the Sheraton Oceanfront Hotel in Virginia Beach.

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