Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School held its Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 17, 2008. The class of 102 graduates, along with hundreds of family and friends gathered at the World Congress Center in Downtown Atlanta. Dean Richardson Lynn delivered the opening remarks.
The Honorable Griffin B. Bell delivered the commencement address. Judge Bell, appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by President Kennedy, later served as U.S. Attorney General in the Carter administration. As a Fifth Circuit Judge during the struggle for civil rights, Griffin Bell’s opinion aided in the peaceful integration of public places and services. In his speech, Judge Bell told the graduates, “To the public you owe the duty of seeing to it that counsel is made available for those who cannot afford counsel either on a pro bono basis or for such fees as can be afforded.” Dr. Michael Markovitz, Chair of the law school’s Board of Directors, conferred upon Judge Bell an Honorary Degree from the law school.
Beginning a new tradition, Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented to the Honorable G. Alan Blackburn (Class of 1968) who was introduced by Georgia Supreme Court Justice Carol W. Hunstein, and to Adam Malone (Class of 1999), introduced by Professor Robert D’Agostino.
The Valedictorians Jessica Rachel Scott (Part-Time Division) and Diona M. Potter (Full-time Division) also spoke to their classmates. As Ms. Scott said, “As this institution, this faculty, and our family and friends have invested themselves in our legal education, let us now invest ourselves in the improvement of our communities and our system of justice.”