G. Michael Pace, Jr., former Managing Partner of the Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP, will become General Counsel with Roanoke College on July 1. Pace will continue to practice law at Gentry Locke as Of Counsel to the firm, concentrating on commercial real estate matters. In addition to serving as General Counsel to Roanoke College, he will continue as an Adjunct Professor at the college, and as President and CEO of The Center for Teaching the Rule of Law, which has offices on the college’s Salem, Va. campus.
According to Monica Monday, current Managing Partner of the 90-year-old law firm, “Mike has been a leader in the community, the Bar, and our firm for 30 years. His new role at Roanoke College is the realization of his dream to combine his love of the Law and education. We are proud of Mike and are delighted that our clients will continue to benefit from his representation.”
William R. Rakes, the firm’s first managing partner, adds “Mike will make a great contribution at Roanoke College, as he has at Gentry Locke. His talents and interests are a perfect fit.”
Pace joined the law firm in 1984 and served as its Managing Partner from 1999-2012. During that time, his high-profile career included top leadership roles with The Virginia Bar Association, Roanoke Bar Association, Roanoke Valley Economic Development Partnership, Business Council, Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, The Business Leadership Fund, and sections of the Virginia State Bar and The Virginia Bar Association. In 2012, Pace received the Gerald L. Baliles Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor awarded by The Virginia Bar Association, for his exceptional service and contributions to the bar and public at large. In 2008, Pace received the Honorary Order of the Coif Award from the alumni, faculty and administration of Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Also in 2008, Pace teamed with long-time educator H. Timothy Isaacs to create the Virginia Law Foundation & The Virginia Bar Association Rule of Law Project, which brings lawyers and judges together with educators to teach the rule of law in public and private schools in the U. S. (ruleoflaw-vba.org). In 2012, they formed The Center for Teaching the Rule of Law, a web-based resource and training center for teaching the rule of law on a global scale (www.thecenterforruleoflaw.org).
“Mike Pace is an excellent legal mind and a creative problem solver,” says Mike Maxey, President of Roanoke College. “Both of these skills will be valuable additions to our work here. His appointment is an important stride forward for Roanoke College.”
Pace is optimistic about his current and future roles with both institutions. “All of this is exciting and a significant time of change for me. I am grateful for each of these opportunities, especially my continuing relationship with the exceptionally talented people at Gentry Locke. I care deeply about everyone at Gentry Locke, and always will.”