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The answer is it is not mandated, but is highly recommended
This is because an arbitration hearing has the same effect as a judgment. Once the arbiter makes a decision, it may be registered in Court as binding. As such, while an attorney is not mandatory, one is highly recommended so as to make the best possible argument in one's case.
May I recommend the Virginia Bar referral program - here
. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.
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