Regent University's Law Career & Alumni Services director, Darius Davenport, recently received the Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association's (NPBA) Walter E. Hoffman Community Service Award for his leadership encouraging the legal community's positive impact on Hampton Roads. NPBA president Gary Bryant, the head of the litigation practice at Wilcox & Savage in Norfolk, Va., presented the award to Davenport.
"We are incredibly proud of Darius and the work he has done benefiting the local community," said Jeffrey Brauch, dean of Regent Law. "Regent Law's Community Service Day has been a tremendous success. Non-profit organizations across Hampton Roads have benefited from these volunteer services, and, as a group, volunteers have performed close to 2,000 hours of community service since the beginning of the program."
The Walter E. Hoffman Community Service Award recognizes outstanding hands-on service to the community by a member of the Bar Association who is under 40 years of age. The award, named for the late jurist who served as a role model and mentor for lawyers in the Hampton Roads community, is distributed to only two recipients a year.
"I appreciate the honor," said Davenport. "And now, this award allows us to take the community service we do in the law school and give it a bigger platform." In 2009, Davenport inaugurated Regent Law's annual Community Service Day, a joint volunteer effort of Regent Law students, faculty, staff, and members of the local bar association, providing non-legal services to non-profit organizations across Hampton Roads.
"One of the reasons the Community Service Day is important to Regent is because it's a powerful outreach tool for the law school," said Davenport. "I think lawyers have a certain perception in the local community, and this outreach allows everyone to see us as the servants that lawyers truly are."
The annual event coincides with incoming Regent Law students' orientation activities. Last August, 154 volunteers completed more than 600 hours of community service in one day at locations including Union Mission, Virginia Beach Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and St. Mary's Home for Disabled Children. Previous years' service days have included the Norfolk Law Library, Botanical Gardens, and Red Wing Park in Virginia Beach.
"As attorneys we have a special gift where we can take a client's concerns into the courts," said Davenport. "But, just because we have that special gift doesn't mean we can't get dirty, too."