The Local Government Attorneys of Virginia
The Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, Inc., has evolved from a small core group in 1975 to a membership of more than 650 public and private attorneys. The LGA's activities are diverse and ambitious.
LGA gives members the chance to earn full Continuing Legal Education Credits. Each LGA conference program offers 7-8 hours of CLE credit, with two additional CLE ethics hours. The cost is typically less than most commercially produced legal seminars.
LGA's spring and fall conferences keep members up-to-date on issues of local government law, trial and appellate practice, and related fields. Speakers generally include government and private attorneys in Virginia, as well as state and federal judges.
LGA publishes the monthly Bill of Particulars, which is produced by and for attorneys. It focuses on immediate local government issues—primarily court decisions. The Bill of Particulars is the only publication of its type in Virginia, and it is available only to LGA members.
LGA periodically files amicus briefs in cases involving important local government issues. Past amicus briefs have dealt with municipal finance, federal court intervention in zoning matters, sovereign immunity, eminent domain, limits on municipal liability for automotive self-insurance coverage, and the effect of the Americans with Disabilities Act on zoning and building code enforcement.
LGA publishes the Handbook of Virginia Local Government Law, an invaluable resource for both public and private practitioners. Each chapter thoroughly addresses a key area of local government law, and it is updated annually.
The LGA has within its general membership subgroups that focus on a particular area of local government law, e.g., social services law and local taxation law. These practice groups help permit lawyers that share a specialty, a shared area of practice, or common professional interests to meet, discuss, and share information with one another, and to support the work of the large organization by assisting with the conference topics and other educational opportunities for the entire LGA membership within the Group's area of expertise.
LGA's Ethics Committee works closely with the Virginia State Bar on ethics
issues of significance to local government attorneys.
Public Policy Resource
LGA is regularly asked by the Virginia General Assembly and state agencies to offer legal advice on state policy issues or to recommend knowledgeable attorneys to serve on legislative study committees and commissions. This acknowledgment of LGA as a resource has brought increased credibility to the overall importance of local government. LGA's special 1988 report, The Need to Review Virginia's Local Government Structure, continues to be a resource for Virginia government officials at all levels.
LGA has always stressed its collegial and cooperative network of professional colleagues. Most LGA members regularly consult with and receive assistance and legal guidance from fellow members. This informal exchange has proved to be particularly valuable to smaller localities.