Richard D. Balnave

  • Professor of Law Emeritus

Richard Balnave came to the Law School in 1984 to direct the Family Law Clinic following eight years of practice. Balnave served as staff attorney and later managing attorney of Legal Services of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and then as counsel for social service agencies in Luzerne County, Penn.

An expert in the areas of domestic relations and children's law, he served on the board of governors of the Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar and the Council of Domestic Relations Law Section of the Virginia Bar Association. He has lectured to Virginia circuit and district court judges and to the Virginia Court of Appeals about issues in Virginia domestic relations law. From 1990-96 he served on the Virginia Bar Association Commission on the Needs of Children, and since 1995 has been a member of the Supreme Court of Virginia's Court Improvement Project Advisory Committee Concerning Foster Care and Adoption. Balnave directed the Virginia Dispute Resolution Center from 1987-91, and served as a member of the Commission on the Future of Virginia's Judicial System in 1989.

Balnave is a past president of the board of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Legal Aid Society and a former board member of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association. He has assisted Virginia General Assembly studies concerning child support guidelines, mediation of child custody disputes and court-annexed arbitration.


  • J.D.
    Case Western Reserve University Law School
  • M.A.
    State University of New York at Albany
  • B.A.
    College of William and Mary


Virginia Family Law: A Systematic Approach (Virginia CLE Publications, 5th ed. 2014).

Family Law and Practice in Virginia (editor) (Virginia Continuing Legal Education, 1986; 2d ed. 1993; Supplement 1996).

Book Chapters:

“Interstate Divorce Jurisdiction,” in 2 Richard D. Balnave, Virginia Family Law: A Systematic Approach 811 (Virginia CLE Publications, 3d ed. 2009).

"Evidentiary Issues" (revision author), in 2 Family Law and Practice (Matthew Bender & Co., 1991 and 1998).

“Child Custody and Visitation" (revision author), in 3 Family Law and Practice (Matthew Bender & Co., 1998).

“Possession, Sale and Distribution of the Marital Home" (revision author), in 1 Valuation and Distribution of Marital Property, (Matthew Bender & Co., 1992).

"Property Disposition Rules" (revision author), in 1 Valuation and Distribution of Marital Property (Matthew Bender & Co., 1991). 

"Enforcement of Court Orders" (revision author), in Family Law and Practice (Matthew Bender & Co., 1989).

"Interstate Court Proceedings" (revision author), in Family Law and Practice (Matthew Bender & Co., 1989).


“New Standards for Guardians ad Litem: The Principles Applied” (with Sharon S. England & Robert E. Shepherd), in 5th Annual Advanced Guardian ad Litem Seminar I-B-1 (Virginia CLE, 2003).

"Summary Jury Trials and Mini-Trials: A Comparison," 3 J. Civ. Litig. 141 (1991).

Current Courses

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All Courses

Family Law Clinic
Criminal Practice Workshop
Trial Advocacy
Child Advocacy Clinic
Family - Alternative Dispute Resolution Clinic
Professional Responsibility
Professional Responsibility in Public Interest Practice


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