[PAST EVENT] Honoring Dr. King's Life and Legacy: A Conversation with Judge Brian Smalls

January 26, 2022
1pm - 1:50pm
Law School, Virtual
613 S Henry St
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Access & Features
  • Registration/RSVP

Join Associate Dean Laura Sheperd in a conversation with Judge Smalls. Co-sponsored by the Office of Student & Academic Services and the Center for Racial & Social Justice.

Judge Smalls is the first African-American to serve as a full-time judge for the long jurisprudence history of the City of Williamsburg and James City County.

Registration Link: https://cwm.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIrd-2uqTsiGtV4r1K4QiCOwRm8Sa5LRVuW

This event will be the inaugural program for an annual speaker series planned in memoriam to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Judge Brian Smalls is a Williamsburg native. A proud graduate of Lafayette High School, in the fall of 1999, he matriculated at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. While at Michigan, Judge  Smalls was a member of the University of Michigan football team, winning a Big Ten Championship  and playing alongside the likes of NFL All-Pro quarterback, Tom Brady. He was also awarded the  prestigious University of Michigan Athletic Academic Achievement award. After graduating from Michigan with distinction in 2003, Judge Smalls enrolled in the School of Law at the University of Miami-Florida. During his tenure there, he was selected to The Society of Bar and Gavel, the school’s top honor society. Upon graduating from law school in 2006, he returned to the Commonwealth to begin his esteemed legal career.  

A former prosecutor for the City of Newport News, Judge Smalls was a litigator handling a variety of matters ranging from trespassing to murder. His experience also included argument before the Supreme Court of Virginia, the highest court in the Commonwealth.  

An entrepreneur at heart, in 2012, Judge Smalls hung out his own shingle opening his own law firm, Cornerstone Estate Planners. The firm's areas of focus were estate planning, elder law, and business formation.  

In June of 2015, Judge Smalls was tapped as the acting Commonwealth Attorney for Surry County when he was appointed by The Honorable W. Allan Sharrett, Chief Judge of the 6th Judicial District. Judge Smalls served in that capacity through the end of December 2015.  

In November of 2016, Judge Smalls was elected as the President of the York-James City Williamsburg Branch of the NAACP, a capacity that he served in until January 2021. Judge Smalls also served as the Vice-Chair of the Board for Olde Towne Medical and Dental Center.  Additionally, Judge Smalls is a co-founder of Media Mentors, a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization that teaches media arts and entrepreneurial skills to youth throughout the 757.  

In February 2021, Judge Smalls was elected by the Virginia State Legislature to serve as a Judge in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for the City of Williamsburg and County of James City. Judge Smalls is the first African-American to serve as a full-time Judge in the long jurisprudence history for the City of Williamsburg and James City County.  

Judge Smalls is married to his beautiful wife Sonya, and they have two wonderful children, Brayden and Brielle.