Commencement Ceremony

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School will hold its 70th Commencement Ceremony at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, 2008. The Law School is honored to present Judge Griffin Bell as this year’s speaker. Judge Bell served on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1961 to 1976, and then served as the 72nd United States Attorney General. He is now Senior Counsel at King & Spalding.

Commencement exercises will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Sidney Marcus Auditorium at the Georgia World Congress Center. A reception will follow. All graduates must report to Room B401 at 11:30 a.m. The Auditorium is located in Building A.

For driving directions, click here.
For a parking map, click here.

Dean Michael Mears Shares High-Profile Trial Expertise with NPR

In a recent national NPR segment, Dean Michael Mears, the law school’s Associate Dean for Academics explained why the Brian Nichols trial is costing taxpayers millions. Nichols is the gunman accused of killing four people including the presiding judge for his 2005 rape trial, the court reporter and a sheriff’s deputy. Many people thought his case should have been wrapped up long ago. But Georgia’s defense fund ran out of money — making the trial run into a number of delays. Listen to segment.

Dean Michael Mears Shares High-Profile Trial Expertise with NPR

In a recent national NPR segment, Dean Michael Mears, the law school’s Associate Dean for Academics explained why the Brian Nichols trial is costing taxpayers millions. Nichols is the gunman accused of killing four people including the presiding judge for his 2005 rape trial, the court reporter and a sheriff’s deputy. Many people thought his case should have been wrapped up long ago. But Georgia’s defense fund ran out of money — making the trial run into a number of delays.
Listen to segment.

Bobby Lee Cook Symposium

John Marshall proudly presents its Sixth Annual Bobby Lee Cook Practical Legal Symposium on Friday, March 28th, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This event, which was established to honor Mr. Cook, Georgia’s renowned criminal defense and civil rights attorney, will feature prominent members of the legal community. A long-time friend of the Law School, Mr. Cook will lead the panel. Adam Malone, Alumni Association President and experienced personal injury litigator, will moderate. This year’s program will feature members of the judiciary who will share their experiences with future lawyers by providing unique perspectives from the bench. The panelists include: Judge James G. Bodiford; Judge Duncan D. Wheale; and Judge Kristina Cook Connelly. Bobby Lee Cook, principal of Cook & Connelly in Summerville, GA, has earned fame for his career as a criminal defense attorney and representation in some of the most controversial criminal trials in the state. He is believed by many to have inspired the character of “Matlock” in the television series. Mr. Cook’s influence extends beyond Georgia, as he has also represented national and international figures. Early in his career, Mr. Cook served in the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate before becoming a State Court Judge. Mr. Cook’s achievements were recognized by the Georgia Bar in 1994, when it named him Trial Lawyer of the Year. Judge James G. Bodiford has served as a Superior Court Judge for Cobb County since 1994, prior to which he served as Cobb County’s Chief Magistrate Judge (1985 – 1994). He is well known for conducting Georgia’s first drug court and eliminating a backlog by completing over 500 felony cases. He was the trial judge for the two month death penalty trial of ex-lawyer Fred Tokars and the month long murder trial of Lynn Turner, the anti-freeze murderer. Judge Bodiford also presided over and successfully completed the internationally covered Tri-State Crematory case. Most recently, he has been appointed to preside over the notorious Brian Nichols case in Fulton County. Judge Duncan D. Wheale has served as a Superior Court Judge for the Augusta Judicial Circuit since 1999. In that time, he has become known for his strict yet compassionate approach in presiding over domestic cases involving divorce, child custody and child abuse. In 2001, in response to four cases involving allegations of serious child abuse, Judge Wheale held a public hearing for the local Department of Family and Children Services, and then assembled a volunteer task force to evaluate how to ensure protection of such children. After ten years of service, Judge Wheale plans to retire from the bench in January of next year. Judge Kristina Cook Connelly has served as Walker County Superior Court Judge since her appointment by Governor Zell Miller in 1992. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Connelly practiced law with her father, Bobby Lee Cook, and husband, Branch Connelly. This event is free and open to the public. We encourage law students, members of the bar, and interested parties to join us for this unique opportunity to benefit from the experience of three members of the judiciary and the “dean” of Georgia’s criminal defense attorneys.

Bobby Lee Cook Symposium

John Marshall proudly presents its Sixth Annual Bobby Lee Cook Practical Legal Symposium on Friday, March 28th, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This event, which was established to honor Mr. Cook, Georgia’s renowned criminal defense and civil rights attorney, will feature prominent members of the legal community. A long-time friend of the Law School, Mr. Cook will lead the panel. Adam Malone, Alumni Association President and experienced personal injury litigator, will moderate. This year’s program will feature members of the judiciary who will share their experiences with future lawyers by providing unique perspectives from the bench. The panelists include: Judge James G. Bodiford; Judge Duncan D. Wheale; and Judge Kristina Cook Connelly.

Bobby Lee Cook, principal of Cook & Connelly in Summerville, GA, has earned fame for his career as a criminal defense attorney and representation in some of the most controversial criminal trials in the state. He is believed by many to have inspired the character of “Matlock” in the television series. Mr. Cook’s influence extends beyond Georgia, as he has also represented national and international figures. Early in his career, Mr. Cook served in the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate before becoming a State Court Judge. Mr. Cook’s achievements were recognized by the Georgia Bar in 1994, when it named him Trial Lawyer of the Year.

Judge James G. Bodiford has served as a Superior Court Judge for Cobb County since 1994, prior to which he served as Cobb County’s Chief Magistrate Judge (1985 – 1994). He is well known for conducting Georgia’s first drug court and eliminating a backlog by completing over 500 felony cases. He was the trial judge for the two month death penalty trial of ex-lawyer Fred Tokars and the month long murder trial of Lynn Turner, the anti-freeze murderer. Judge Bodiford also presided over and successfully completed the internationally covered Tri-State Crematory case. Most recently, he has been appointed to preside over the notorious Brian Nichols case in Fulton County.

Judge Duncan D. Wheale has served as a Superior Court Judge for the Augusta Judicial Circuit since 1999. In that time, he has become known for his strict yet compassionate approach in presiding over domestic cases involving divorce, child custody and child abuse. In 2001, in response to four cases involving allegations of serious child abuse, Judge Wheale held a public hearing for the local Department of Family and Children Services, and then assembled a volunteer task force to evaluate how to ensure protection of such children. After ten years of service, Judge Wheale plans to retire from the bench in January of next year.

Judge Kristina Cook Connelly has served as Walker County Superior Court Judge since her appointment by Governor Zell Miller in 1992. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Connelly practiced law with her father, Bobby Lee Cook, and husband, Branch Connelly.

This event is free and open to the public. We encourage law students, members of the bar, and interested parties to join us for this unique opportunity to benefit from the experience of three members of the judiciary and the “dean” of Georgia’s criminal defense attorneys.

John Marshall Day

The Georgia House of Representatives proclaimed John Marshall Day on Tuesday, March 4, 2008. This proclamation was sponsored by Representatives Doug Collins (2008) and Billy Maddox (2006), and was attended by Dean Richardson Lynn, Associate Dean Kathleen Burch, and John Marshall students and faculty. The event recognized the growth and achievements of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, including a record increase in faculty, growth of student body, and success in achieving provisional ABA approval. The Law School will celebrate its 75th Anniversary in this Fall.

John Marshall Day

The Georgia House of Representatives proclaimed John Marshall Day on Tuesday, March 4, 2008. This proclamation was sponsored by Representatives Doug Collins (2008) and Billy Maddox (2006), and was attended by Dean Richardson Lynn, Associate Dean Kathleen Burch, and John Marshall students and faculty. The event recognized the growth and achievements of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, including a record increase in faculty, growth of student body, and success in achieving provisional ABA approval. The Law School will celebrate its 75th Anniversary in this Fall.

John Marshall February 2008 Bar Exam: 100% passing

First-time takers on the February, 2008 bar exam passed at a 100% rate, equaled only by graduates of the University of Georgia. The overall passing rate for all John Marshall graduates (after ABA approval) was 64.2%, surpassing even Mercer University. The average score by John Marshall graduates on the multi-state portion of the exam was seven points higher than on the February 2007 bar exam. Congratulations to everyone who succeeded on their first try!

John Marshall February 2008 Bar Exam: 100% passing

First-time takers on the February, 2008 bar exam passed at a 100% rate, equaled only by graduates of the University of Georgia. The overall passing rate for all John Marshall graduates (after ABA approval) was 64.2%, surpassing even Mercer University. The average score by John Marshall graduates on the multi-state portion of the exam was seven points higher than on the February 2007 bar exam. Congratulations to everyone who succeeded on their first try!

BLSA Celebrates Black History Month

The Avarita Hanson Chapter of the Black Law Students Association hosts its annual Black History Month Celebration with a series of programs that will feature minority members of the Bench and Bar, and which will cover a range of issues, from African-American children in foster care to minority perspectives in the practice of law and on the judiciary. All events are free and open to the public: “What About Our Babies?” February 13, 2008, 5:00 – 6:15 p.m. Room 301 A panel discussion focusing on the overrepresentation of African-American children in the foster care system and the role of Child Advocate Attorneys and Special Assistants to the Attorney General (SAAG) in remedying the problem. Featuring: Judge Nikki Marr, Dekalb County Juvenile Court Karlise Grier, Esq. Antavius Weems, Esq. Lytia Brown, Esq. Minorities in the Profession Present: The Practice of Law: Getting in the Game, Playing the Game, and Changing the Game February 20, 2008, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. 9th Floor Conference Room Featuring a managing partner whose clients include fortune 100 companies; a former recruiter for a local top-tier firm; an attorney from the Fulton County Prosecutor’s Office; a large law firm association who transitioned to a midsized firm; in-house counsel for a fortune 100 company; a large firm associate; a public interest attorney; and a former attorney who has left the practice. Refreshments will be served. Judicial Panel Discussion: Taking Judicial Notice . . . A Judge’s Perspective from a Minority View February 27, 2008, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Room 301 Featuring: Judge Herbert Phipps, Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Mark Anthony Scott, Dekalb County Superior Court Judge Barbara Mobley, Dekalb County State Court

BLSA Celebrates Black History Month

The Avarita Hanson Chapter of the Black Law Students Association hosts its annual Black History Month Celebration with a series of programs that will feature minority members of the Bench and Bar, and which will cover a range of issues, from African-American children in foster care to minority perspectives in the practice of law and on the judiciary. All events are free and open to the public:

“What About Our Babies?”
February 13, 2008, 5:00 – 6:15 p.m.
Room 301
A panel discussion focusing on the overrepresentation of African-American children in the foster care system and the role of Child Advocate Attorneys and Special Assistants to the Attorney General (SAAG) in remedying the problem.
Featuring:
Judge Nikki Marr, Dekalb County Juvenile Court
Karlise Grier, Esq.
Antavius Weems, Esq.
Lytia Brown, Esq.

Minorities in the Profession Present:
The Practice of Law: Getting in the Game, Playing the Game, and Changing the Game
 February 20, 2008, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
9th Floor Conference Room
Featuring a managing partner whose clients include fortune 100 companies; a former recruiter for a local top-tier firm; an attorney from the Fulton County Prosecutor’s Office; a large law firm association who transitioned to a midsized firm; in-house counsel for a fortune 100 company; a large firm associate; a public interest attorney; and a former attorney who has left the practice.
Refreshments will be served.

Judicial Panel Discussion:
Taking Judicial Notice . . . A Judge’s Perspective from a Minority View

February 27, 2008, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Room 301
Featuring:
Judge Herbert Phipps, Georgia Court of Appeals
Judge Mark Anthony Scott, Dekalb County Superior Court
Judge Barbara Mobley, Dekalb County State Court

The Pipeline Project

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School recently teamed with The State Bar of Georgia’s Diversity Program, and The Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys to launch the Pipeline Project. The project goal is to increase interest in the study and practice of law among minority high school students.

Micronesian Externship Program

JMLS launches its Micronesian Externship Program. Three rising third year students have traveled to remote Pacific Islands to work with local courts and an attorney general. Daniel Stafford is an extern with the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. Cara Rockhill is an extern in the chambers of Judge Michael Bordallo of the Superior Court of the Territory of Guam. Jared Craig is an extern with the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia. Click on “Micronesian Externship Program” to read their blogs and learn more about their experiences. Go to Micronesian Externship Program

Micronesian Externship Program

JMLS launches its Micronesian Externship Program. Three rising third year students have traveled to remote Pacific Islands to work with local courts and an attorney general. Daniel Stafford is an extern with the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. Cara Rockhill is an extern in the chambers of Judge Michael Bordallo of the Superior Court of the Territory of Guam. Jared Craig is an extern with the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia. Click on “Micronesian Externship Program” to read their blogs and learn more about their experiences.

Go to Micronesian Externship Program

Fred Gray Social Justice Seminar

In honor of one of the leading lawyers in the Civil Rights movement, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is pleased to present the inaugural Fred Gray Social Justice Seminar Honoring the Past, Looking to the Future: the Struggle for Civil and Human Rights Friday, November 9, 2007 12:00 – 1:00 Luncheon – Invitation Only In honor of Attorney Fred Gray and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights for their outstanding resilience and service. 1:00 – 3:30 Panel Discussion – The Public is Invited (Click here to register) Confronting issues of Civil and Human Rights in 2007

  • The Struggle for Human Rights: Working for Justice, Opportunity, and Peace Jakada Imani, Executive Director Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
  • America’s Legal System: The Last Frontier for the Civil Rights Movement Attorney Gary Parker
  • Human Rights and the CIA’s “Extraordinary Rendition” Program Attorney Azadeh Shahshahani, Interim Legal Director ACLU of Georgia
  • Civil & Human Rights Issues Regarding Juveniles Susan Teaster, Senior Appellate Attorney Georgia Public Defender Standards Counsel

A veteran civil rights attorney from Alabama, Fred Gray represented Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus and was chief counsel during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Gray was also Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s first civil rights lawyer. Gray has been at the forefront of changing the social fabric of America regarding desegregation, integration, constitutional law, racial discrimination in voting, housing, education, jury service, farm subsidies, medicine and ethics. For more information about the work of Attorney Fred Gray, visit www.fredgray.net.

Fred Gray Social Justice Seminar

In honor of one of the leading lawyers in the Civil Rights movement, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is pleased to present the inaugural

Fred Gray Social Justice Seminar
Honoring the Past, Looking to the Future: the Struggle for Civil and Human Rights

Friday, November 9, 2007

12:00 – 1:00 Luncheon – Invitation Only
In honor of Attorney Fred Gray and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights for their outstanding resilience and service.

1:00 – 3:30 Panel Discussion – The Public is Invited (Click here to register)
Confronting issues of Civil and Human Rights in 2007

  • The Struggle for Human Rights: Working for Justice, Opportunity, and Peace
    Jakada Imani, Executive Director
    Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
  • America’s Legal System: The Last Frontier for the Civil Rights Movement
    Attorney Gary Parker
  • Human Rights and the CIA’s “Extraordinary Rendition” Program
    Attorney Azadeh Shahshahani, Interim Legal Director
    ACLU of Georgia
  • Civil & Human Rights Issues Regarding Juveniles
    Susan Teaster, Senior Appellate Attorney
    Georgia Public Defender Standards Counsel

A veteran civil rights attorney from Alabama, Fred Gray represented Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus and was chief counsel during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Gray was also Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s first civil rights lawyer. Gray has been at the forefront of changing the social fabric of America regarding desegregation, integration, constitutional law, racial discrimination in voting, housing, education, jury service, farm subsidies, medicine and ethics. For more information about the work of Attorney Fred Gray, visit www.fredgray.net.

Fifth Annual Bobby Lee Cook Practical Legal Symposium

In the few brief years since its inception, the School’s Annual Bobby Lee Cook Practical Legal Symposium has become a respected tradition in the legal community, drawing some of Georgia’s top attorneys as featured presenters. Consistent with the School’s mission, the Symposium was created to help all Georgia law students learn the issues involved in practicing law.

Fifth Annual Bobby Lee Cook Practical Legal Symposium

In the few brief years since its inception, the School’s Annual Bobby Lee Cook Practical Legal Symposium has become a respected tradition in the legal community, drawing some of Georgia’s top attorneys as featured presenters. Consistent with the School’s mission, the Symposium was created to help all Georgia law students learn the issues involved in practicing law.

The Legal Skills and Professionalism Program at Atlanta's John Marshall Law School

The Legal Skills and Professionalism Program at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School takes a holistic approach to preparing students for success during and after law school. John Marshall developed its Program with two goals in mind: higher bar passage rates and developing client-ready graduates who can practice law independently after obtaining a law license. The Program offers a cohesive approach to legal problem solving: students utilize tools they learn in their first year to solve increasingly complex and varied legal problems in the courses that follow. The Program begins with Legal Research, Writing & Analysis I and II in the first year. Building upon what is learned in the first year, students further develop their analytical and writing skills in two upper-level writing courses – Pretrial Practice and Procedure and Legal Drafting. Upper level elective courses such as Negotiation, Mediation, Trial Advocacy, Client Interviewing and Counseling, and Advanced Appellate Advocacy offer further opportunities for students to hone their legal problem solving skills. A professionalism component is built into every course in the Program, preparing students to confront and resolve real-world professionalism and ethics issues as they learn to solve legal problems and meet client goals. The Program relies heavily on a hands-on approach – each Program course provides opportunities to participate in simulated oral arguments, client conferences, negotiations or other exercises. The Program also provides support for several national and intra-state mock-trial, moot-court and other skills-based competitions, in which John Marshall students compete against other law schools. In addition, students can gain valuable experience in the field through the school’s Externship Program. John Marshall Legal Skills Faculty come to the School with diverse but expansive practice experience, including medical malpractice litigation, commercial litigation, administrative law, domestic relations practice, and corporate/transactional work. The Legal Skills Faculty are active in the Georgia legal community, involving practitioners in judging student oral arguments, guest speaking, and sponsoring workshops.

The Legal Skills and Professionalism Program at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School

The Legal Skills and Professionalism Program at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School takes a holistic approach to preparing students for success during and after law school. John Marshall developed its Program with two goals in mind: higher bar passage rates and developing client-ready graduates who can practice law independently after obtaining a law license.

The Program offers a cohesive approach to legal problem solving: students utilize tools they learn in their first year to solve increasingly complex and varied legal problems in the courses that follow. The Program begins with Legal Research, Writing & Analysis I and II in the first year. Building upon what is learned in the first year, students further develop their analytical and writing skills in two upper-level writing courses – Pretrial Practice and Procedure and Legal Drafting. Upper level elective courses such as Negotiation, Mediation, Trial Advocacy, Client Interviewing and Counseling, and Advanced Appellate Advocacy offer further opportunities for students to hone their legal problem solving skills. A professionalism component is built into every course in the Program, preparing students to confront and resolve real-world professionalism and ethics issues as they learn to solve legal problems and meet client goals.

The Program relies heavily on a hands-on approach – each Program course provides opportunities to participate in simulated oral arguments, client conferences, negotiations or other exercises. The Program also provides support for several national and intra-state mock-trial, moot-court and other skills-based competitions, in which John Marshall students compete against other law schools. In addition, students can gain valuable experience in the field through the school’s Externship Program.

John Marshall Legal Skills Faculty come to the School with diverse but expansive practice experience, including medical malpractice litigation, commercial litigation, administrative law, domestic relations practice, and corporate/transactional work. The Legal Skills Faculty are active in the Georgia legal community, involving practitioners in judging student oral arguments, guest speaking, and sponsoring workshops.

Faculty CLE Program on hosted by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School

Receive five CLE hours including one hour of Professionalism presented by full-time and adjunct John Marshall Law School faculty. This program is offered to alumni at cost: $5.00 for each general hour and $15.00 for the hour of Professionalism. Non-alumni fees are $10.00 for each general hour and $30.00 for the hour of Professionalism. Register for one hour or for the entire program! A box-lunch is included in the cost of the program. Please call (404) 872-3593 or email vrichardson @ johnmarshall.edu. Payment must be made at the time of the program. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, personal checks (made payable to JMLS) and cash.

Faculty CLE Program on hosted by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School

Receive five CLE hours including one hour of Professionalism presented by full-time and adjunct John Marshall Law School faculty. This program is offered to alumni at cost: $5.00 for each general hour and $15.00 for the hour of Professionalism. Non-alumni fees are $10.00 for each general hour and $30.00 for the hour of Professionalism.

Register for one hour or for the entire program! A box-lunch is included in the cost of the program.

Please call (404) 872-3593 or email vrichardson @ johnmarshall.edu.

Payment must be made at the time of the program. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, personal checks (made payable to JMLS) and cash.