October 17, 2014

Virginia lawyer Robert Grey to receive ABA diversity commission 2015 Spirit of Excellence Award

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2014 — The American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession will honor Virginia lawyer Robert J. Grey, Jr., a former ABA president (2004-05) and a partner with Hunton & Williams LLP in Richmond, with its 2015 Spirit of Excellence Award for his commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession. The award will be presented during a ceremony on Feb. 7, 2015, at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Houston.

The Spirit of Excellence Award celebrates the efforts and accomplishments of lawyers who work to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession. Awards are presented to lawyers who excel in their professional settings; who personify excellence on the national, state, or local level; and who have demonstrated a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession.

“Robert Grey has not only blazed the trail for equal participation for all attorneys, but today, through his guidance of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, he remains ever diligent to establishing more paths for full inclusion of the legal profession,” said F. John Garza, chair of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. “It is with the greatest of pride that we honor Robert Grey.”

Grey received his B.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1973 and his law degree from Washington & Lee University in 1976. He joined Hunton & Williams in 2002. From 1998 to 2002 he served as chair of the ABA’s House of Delegates and was the first African-American to be an officer of the association. He was elected president of the ABA in 2004, the second African-American to hold the position. In 2010, he was appointed executive director (now president) of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. Grey’s community service includes the chairmanship of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and membership on the board of visitors of Virginia Polytechnic Institute State University and the board of trustees at W&L. In 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Grey to the Legal Services Corporation Board of Directors. From 1978 to 1981, Grey was an assistant professor at VCU and started his own law firm, Grey & Wesley. In 1982, he was appointed by the governor to the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. He became chair in 1983 and served until 1985, when he joined the law firm of Mays, Valentine, Davenport & Moore (later Troutman Sanders). In 1995 he went to LeClair Ryan and became affiliated with the McCammon Mediation Group Ltd.

A photo of Grey is available for download here.


The mission of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession is to promote racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. The commission serves as a catalyst for change, so that the profession may more accurately reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of society and better serve society. The commission promotes the recruitment, hiring, promotion and advancement of attorneys of color and works to ensure equal membership and employment opportunities for diverse lawyers in the ABA. The commission accomplishes all this through many initiatives, activities and programs, including the annual Spirit of Excellence Award.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.