On January 10, 1980 Senator Emick proposed a bill in the Virginia General Assembly to abolish the automatic and optional exemptions from jury service of persons engaged in certain occupations. The bill was not passed in its proposed form. Section 8.01-341, providing optional exemptions, still remains in force in its entirety. Automatic exemptions, however, were eliminated for optometrists, clerks of both houses of the General Assembly, ministers, jail keepers, superintendents of public and mental hospitals, undertakers, veterinarians, members of fire departments, pharmacists, clinical psychologists and citizens of Broad Water and Cobb Islands. Licensed practicing attorneys, however, along with several other occupational classes, remain automatically exempt from jury service. Consequently, they are not considered as prospective jurors when the master jury list is compiled.
Barbara A. Dalvano,
The Questionable Validity of the Automatic Exemption of Attorneys from Jury Service,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol14/iss4/9