Robert Shepherd



Robert E. Shepherd, Jr. was professor of law at the University of Richmond School of Law, joining the faculty in 1978 and retiring from his professorship in 2001. Even after retirement, he served as professor emeritus and continued teaching until his death. Shepherd taught classes on Children and the Law, Family Law, and Contracts, amongst other topics. Winner of the universitys distinguished educator award in both 1981 and 1986, he was a visiting professor during the fall of 2008 at the Washington and Lee School of Law, from whence he himself had graduated in 1961. A paper he wrote for the W&L law review became a draft of Virginias first statute on child abuse and set Shepherd on track for his career. In a 2001 interview with the law schools magazine, he said, There was a real sense that laws for children were civil rights laws. It was a very exciting time. He also received his undergraduate degree at Washington & Lee University, in 1959.He was the recipient of the ABA Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award in 2005 and the 2003 Virginia State Bar Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award. He has authored papers for scholarly journals that include Family Law Quarterly, the ABAs Criminal Justice Magazine, the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, and the Journal of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Virginia Governor Tim Kaine appointed Shepherd to the Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice on January 19, 2007. He has served as a witness before the House Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on the Judiciary on the topic of juvenile law. founder and board member of Richmond law schools National Center for Family Law, Shepherd was a sought after expert in courts, before legislative committees and in legal forums around the nation on issues related to childrens rights. Over his 40-year career, he headed the American Bar Associations Juvenile Justice Committee and the Virginia Bar Associations Committee on the Needs of Children. He served as reporter on family law and contracts for the Virginia Court of Appeals.In 1999, he was the first person inducted into the Virginia Juvenile Court Hall of Fame. The National Center for Family Law recently created a scholarship in his honor. Shepherd was a vocal supporter of the Baltimore Orioles and a proud political liberal. He sported the bumper sticker Jefferson Was a Democrat on the car he drove to the University of Richmond campus (which is located in a well-heeled western area of the City of Richmond).Shepherd served in the Army JAG Corps, then went into private practice in Richmond. He joined the Virginia Attorney Generals office in 1971, becoming its first assistant attorney general dedicated to youth services. In 1975, he turned to teaching full-time at the University of Baltimore before returning to Richmond.Shepherd died on December 11, 2008.

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