Noted Salem attorney Mike Pace has died. Pace’s death was announced at the conclusion of the Jan. 8 Salem City Council meeting by friend and Councilman Randy Foley.
- Michael Pace Jr. had been general counsel for Roanoke College and before that, managing partner of the Roanoke-based law firm Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore LLC. He was known to Salem students as the man who explained the “Rule of Law”. Pace developed the idea for the Rule of Law project that was piloted in Salem schools in 2009.
Briefly explained, the Rule of Law is a political ideal that all citizens and institutions within a country, state or community are accountable to the same laws.
Pace helped establish the Center for Teaching the Rule of Law that administered the project in almost 100 Virginia School districts and spread to Austria, Spain, Indonesia, Afghanistan, New Zealand and more.
For that and his lifetime of work in the law Pace was honored with the 2020 Frank W. “Bo” Rogers Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award and a number of other prestigious awards.
Pace’s late father, Jerry Pace, was a former member of the Salem School Board and then Salem City Council. Mike Pace’s survivors include his wife, Nancy Hinchee Pace, and daughters Maggie and Kate.