Cam Beck Awarded DRI’s Fred H. Sievert Award for Launching Program to Increase Diversity

The Defense Research Institute (DRI) recognized civil litigation attorney D. Cameron Beck, Jr. at their 2021 Annual meeting as recipient of the Fred H. Sievert Award. DRI has presented this award annually since 1988 in recognition of a current or former president of a state defense bar organization who has made a significant contribution towards achieving the goals and objectives of the defense bar organization.

Cam Established the Diversity Scholarship Program While President of VADA

In 2017, at the beginning of his tenure as President of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (VADA), Cam’s stated goal was to increase the level of diversity in law firms. In support of that aim, he initiated and launched The VADA Diversity Scholarship Program in 2018 which offers a stipend for a diverse law student who pursues summer employment or an internship with a Virginia firm or legal organization involved in civil defense litigation. Additionally, the program includes a commitment to further prepare the student for a career in the defense of civil litigation by fostering the development of formal and informal networks. Further, the program honoree is invited to all VADA CLEs and meetings to encourage them to consider practicing as part of the civil defense bar.

A special feature of this program does not require the applicant to already have a summer internship in place. VADA will work with local defense firms and organizations to place the honoree if needed.

The Diversity Scholarship Program, funded by the VADA membership, supports the development and training of a diverse population of law students that includes age, sex, gender identity, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. VADA also considers whether the individual is the first family member to attend college and is from an economically disadvantaged family.

VADA’s Diversity Scholarship Program Was Awarded DRI’s SLDO Diversity Award

In 2019, the VADA received the SLDO Diversity Award from DRI for this successful Diversity Scholarship Program. Sherma Mathers, Executive Director of VADA, nominated Cam for the Fred H. Sievert Award to recognize his contributions and commitment to diversity within the civil defense bar.

About VADA’s Diversity Scholarship Program, Sherma says, ‘‘We are now in our fourth year of presenting this scholarship, and we have enjoyed watching our former recipients develop into practicing attorneys. One in particular was offered full-time employment by the law firm that hosted him as a summer associate, and he remains part of the defense bar.’’

Law students interested in being considered for VADA’s Diversity Scholarship Program may submit a resume and brief personal statement directly to Applications are received until mid-April for the following summer.


D. Cameron Beck, Jr. HeadshotCam recently led the trial team that successfully defended the Commonwealth’s uranium mining moratorium against a constitutional challenge in a four day trial held in Wise County, Virginia. He also holds leadership and membership roles with the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (VADA), the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA), and is on the Board of Directors of ALFA International.  Cam is head of the Transportation GoTeam at McCandlish Holton, offering immediate, state-wide response to scenes that may result in claims.