April 12, 2024

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Welcomes Judge Ronald B. Ramsey, Sr., Class of 1992, as Commencement Speaker


Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is pleased to announce Judge Ronald B. Ramsey, Sr., Class of 1992, as the Law School’s 2024 commencement speaker. Commencement exercises are scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2024. The ceremony will be held at the Rialto Center for the Arts, located at 80 Forsyth St., NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303. The event will be live streamed at this link. Tickets are required for entry and have been distributed to graduates individually, additional tickets will not be available at the door. For general information you can visit our graduation page here and/or our logistics page here for further details.

“We are delighted that Judge Ramsey accepted our invitation to be this year’s commencement speaker. We have been celebrating our 90th anniversary this past academic year and his journey to the bench truly embodies what it means to leave a lasting legacy and inspire the next generation of legal professionals. We are proud of his success and look forward to welcoming him back.”

– Dean Jace C. Gatewood

“I am honored to have the opportunity to congratulate the commitment and resolve of those who have navigated the arduous, yet rewarding experience of law school and to impart some sage words to facilitate their journey into proficient, charitable and integrous legal careers.”

– Judge Ronald B. Ramsey, Sr.

About Judge Ronald B. Ramsey, Sr.

Judge Ronald B. Ramsey, Sr., is the immediate past Presiding Judge of Division –B and led the court through the recent world-wide pandemic by leading a team to develop technology innovations, including virtual proceedings and other platforms that will serve the court and citizens of DeKalb County for years to come. Judge Ramsey also successfully negotiated with county leadership for relocation and construction of a new State Court – Division B, courthouse with expected occupancy in early 2025. In 2021, Judge Ramsey was also instrumental and reshaping legislation to transform the governance and equity of the court. Judge Ramsey is the immediate past District Chair for the Council of State Court Judges, where he also served as Co-Chair of the Legislative Committee.

Ramsey began his professional career in Atlanta, with the National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency, after graduating with honors from North Carolina Central University in 1981. While working full-time as a federal investigator and hearing officer, Judge Ramsey enrolled as an evening student at John Marshall Law School. Immediately upon being admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1992, Judge Ramsey became a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) legal team for the ensuing two years. He also became a certified mediator during that period and remained a key member of the Justice Center of Atlanta’s mediation team for eighteen years.

Judge Ramsey left government service in 1994, to become the Southeast Regional Counsel for the Laborers International Union. During that period, he also served as an adjunct professor at John Marshall Law School. Three years later, Judge Ramsey became the Director of Labor Relations and Legal Affairs for the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, where he served for nearly 2 years.

In 2000, the Honorable Ronald B. Ramsey, Sr. was appointed as the first African-American to serve as a Municipal Court Judge in the City of Stone Mountain, Georgia, where he served until 2007. While serving on the bench, Judge Ramsey engaged in the private practice of law in the areas of criminal defense, labor and employment, business and probate law. His mediation and arbitration services also comprised a significant portion of his practice.

In 2015, Ramsey resigned his nine-year tenure as Georgia State Senator and his ten-year tenure Chief Legal Officer for the DeKalb County School District to accept an appointment by Governor Nathan Deal as an Associate Judge on the DeKalb County State Court.

Judge Ramsey is a past Judicial Section Chair of the historic Gate City Bar Association. Judge Ramsey is also past District 4 Representative of the American Bar Association/ Judicial Division/ National Conference of Specialized Court Judges, where he was subsequently elected to the executive committee and ultimately served a successful term as Chair of the Conference. In 2022, Judge Ramsey was the second African American Judge appointed to serve as a Judicial Outreach Liaison for the American Bar Association/ Judicial Division. Most recently, in 2023, Judge Ramsey was elected to serve on the House of Delegates for the American Bar Association.

Judge Ramsey has been married to his wife, Doris, for over 38 years and they are the parents of two adults, both of whom are graduates of the University System of Georgia.