John Marshall Law School Volunteers with the Atlanta Community Food Bank

On April 14, 2010, volunteers from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School helped the Atlanta Community Food Bank to distribute 3,448 pounds of food to 2,298 families. Volunteers included faculty, staff and students of the school, with Professor Renata Turner, Shannon Keef, Randi Moore, Anne Bowerman, Carlos Nauedo, Alpa Amin, Barbara Herzberg, Lauren Wallace, Cliff Turner and Gregory Gelpi all lending a hand to this great cause. The Atlanta Community Food Bank works with more than 800 nonprofit partner agencies including food pantries, community kitchens, childcare centers, night shelters, senior centers and other service programs to distribute almost two million pounds of food each month to low-income Georgians. To learn more about The Atlanta Community Food Bank, please visit their website at www.ACFB.org Volunteers pictured (from left to right): Barbara Herzberg, Shannon Keef, Alpa Amin, Randi Moore and Greg Gelpi

Professor Jonathan Rapping Receives a Federal Grant to Launch National Public Defender Fellowship Initiative

The Southern Public Defender Training Center (SPDTC), founded and run by Professor Rapping, was awarded $700,000.00 to partner with Equal Justice Works to develop the Public Defender Corps (PDC), a national fellowship program for public defenders based on the SPDTC model. The PDC will place its inaugural class of Fellows in public defender offices throughout the U.S. beginning Summer 2011. In a highly competitive process, approximately 500 applicants have applied for 18 Fellowship positions. Read more about this initiative in the Daily Report. Professor Rapping’s work is also highlighted in a recent article on the national state of indigent defense in The American Prospect.

Professor Jonathan Rapping Receives a Federal Grant to Launch National Public Defender Fellowship Initiative

The Southern Public Defender Training Center (SPDTC), founded and run by Professor Rapping, was awarded $700,000.00 to partner with Equal Justice Works to develop the Public Defender Corps (PDC), a national fellowship program for public defenders based on the SPDTC model. The PDC will place its inaugural class of Fellows in public defender offices throughout the U.S. beginning Summer 2011. In a highly competitive process, approximately 500 applicants have applied for 18 Fellowship positions.

Read more about this initiative in the Daily Report. Professor Rapping’s work is also highlighted in a recent article on the national state of indigent defense in The American Prospect.

Shirley Franklin to Launch Leadership Lecture Series at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School will kick off its 77th academic year with former Mayor Shirley Franklin addressing members of Atlanta’s legal community and the largest incoming class in the school’s history. On Monday, August 23rd at noon, Franklin will discuss the role of public service in Atlanta, and the need for ethical professionals to provide structure and security for our communities. The Leadership Lecture Series is presented by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, whose mission is to prepare highly competent professionals who possess a strong social conscience, demonstrate high ethical standards, and are committed to the improvement of the legal system and society. “This program was developed by our students to explore the fundamental values of the legal profession and engage civic leaders at the highest levels and to inspire ethical public service upon graduation,” according to Dean of Students Sheryl Harrison. “What we do, as lawyers, is greater than ourselves; we serve our fellow man. John Marshall Law School strives to instill a high level of responsibility in our students to uphold the values of our profession, beginning the first day of their legal education.” Known for her commitment to improving diversity, infrastructure, and security, Franklin will share her experiences as a public servant and professional leader in Atlanta. She will discuss the changes she initiated while Mayor, her interactions with Atlanta’s legal community and her vision of how attorneys can help the public at large. “Atlanta has a rich and diverse civic and human rights history of people working together across lines and aisles to make this community better and brighter,” noted Franklin. “I commend John Marshall for encouraging a student body who is also working for the betterment of our communities through leadership with a social conscience.” Within the last academic year, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School obtained full accreditation from the American Bar Association, welcomed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as Commencement speaker, and launched Atlanta’s first online LLM degree program for Employment Law. The Leadership Lecture Series will continue on Thursday, September 16th, featuring Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle. Since 1933, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School has been committed to developing lawyers with a strong social conscience. The school continues on its historic path, remaining faithful to its mission, while looking to the future with innovation, new programs, and unmatched faculty from across the country. For more information on the Leadership Lecture Series or to attend Shirley Franklin’s Lecture on August 23 at noon, please contact Dean of Students Sheryl Harrison at sharrison@johnmarshall.edu or Carlos Vilela at crvilela@johnmarshall.edu.

Shirley Franklin to Launch Leadership Lecture Series at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School will kick off its 77th academic year with former Mayor Shirley Franklin addressing members of Atlanta’s legal community and the largest incoming class in the school’s history. On Monday, August 23rd at noon, Franklin will discuss the role of public service in Atlanta, and the need for ethical professionals to provide structure and security for our communities.

The Leadership Lecture Series is presented by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, whose mission is to prepare highly competent professionals who possess a strong social conscience, demonstrate high ethical standards, and are committed to the improvement of the legal system and society.

“This program was developed by our students to explore the fundamental values of the legal profession and engage civic leaders at the highest levels and to inspire ethical public service upon graduation,” according to Dean of Students Sheryl Harrison. “What we do, as lawyers, is greater than ourselves; we serve our fellow man. John Marshall Law School strives to instill a high level of responsibility in our students to uphold the values of our profession, beginning the first day of their legal education.”

Known for her commitment to improving diversity, infrastructure, and security, Franklin will share her experiences as a public servant and professional leader in Atlanta. She will discuss the changes she initiated while Mayor, her interactions with Atlanta’s legal community and her vision of how attorneys can help the public at large.

“Atlanta has a rich and diverse civic and human rights history of people working together across lines and aisles to make this community better and brighter,” noted Franklin. “I commend John Marshall for encouraging a student body who is also working for the betterment of our communities through leadership with a social conscience.”

Within the last academic year, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School obtained full accreditation from the American Bar Association, welcomed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as Commencement speaker, and launched Atlanta’s first online LLM degree program for Employment Law.

The Leadership Lecture Series will continue on Thursday, September 16th, featuring Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle.

Since 1933, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School has been committed to developing lawyers with a strong social conscience. The school continues on its historic path, remaining faithful to its mission, while looking to the future with innovation, new programs, and unmatched faculty from across the country.

For more information on the Leadership Lecture Series or to attend Shirley Franklin’s Lecture on August 23 at noon, please contact Dean of Students Sheryl Harrison at sharrison@johnmarshall.edu or Carlos Vilela at crvilela@johnmarshall.edu.

Students Volunteer with Hosea Feed the Hungry & Homeless

On Saturday, August 14, 2010, first year evening students of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School participated in a community service project with Hosea Feed the Hungry & Homeless (HFTH). The law school is dedicated to pro bono work that furthers its mission of “promoting the development of a student body and faculty with a strong social consciousness and dedication to improving the legal system and society” and is thankful to our students for volunteering their time and assistance towards this worthy cause.  HFTH was also thankful for our students who worked through the rain to pass out food and sort clothing. Last year, Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless’ Prevention division’s on-going programming provided over 160,000 individuals with food, clothing, toiletries, transportation and other supplies and prevented homelessness through rent and utility assistance for nearly 300 families. For more information on Hosea Feed the Hungry, please visit www.HoseaFeedTheHungry.com

Students Volunteer with Hosea Feed the Hungry & Homeless

On Saturday, August 14, 2010, first year evening students of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School participated in a community service project with Hosea Feed the Hungry & Homeless (HFTH). The law school is dedicated to pro bono work that furthers its mission of “promoting the development of a student body and faculty with a strong social consciousness and dedication to improving the legal system and society” and is thankful to our students for volunteering their time and assistance towards this worthy cause.  HFTH was also thankful for our students who worked through the rain to pass out food and sort clothing.

Last year, Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless’ Prevention division’s on-going programming provided over 160,000 individuals with food, clothing, toiletries, transportation and other supplies and prevented homelessness through rent and utility assistance for nearly 300 families. For more information on Hosea Feed the Hungry, please visit www.HoseaFeedTheHungry.com

John Marshall Law School Hosts State Bar of Georgia Diversity Program's Pipeline Program

John Marshall is proud to have once again hosted the two-week State Bar of Georgia Diversity Program’s Pipeline Program, which brings young high school students together for classes and real life experiences. This year’s class of 18 included 8 students who participated in the first and second years of the program, some of whom have been accepted to college for the fall. After morning classes of training in grammar, writing, speech, and library usage, the students visit law firms and corporate legal departments for lunch and mentoring. Congratulations to all the participants!

Atlanta's John Marshall Law School Offering LL.M. in Employment Law

Now enrolling for Fall 2010, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School announces an innovative, graduate-level program for attorneys seeking to develop or strengthen an employment law practice. In recent years, employment law claims of all types have increased in number and scope, requiring attorneys to develop new strategies to serve their clients on both the employer and employee side. Experts predict that the number of claims will continue to climb due to many factors, including new legislation, increased knowledge of rights by employees and changes in the economy. The LL.M. in Employment Law is specifically designed for busy practitioners who want to develop or expand their expertise in the field. Small class sizes, in-depth curriculum and innovative distance learning technology combine to set the program apart. The unique structure of the LL.M. program allows students to earn their degree without taking time away from work. Classes will be offered consecutively, one class at a time, and exclusively online. To learn more about the program, please visit theLL.M. Program section of our site.

2010 Distinguished Alumni: Neera Bahl

Neera Bahl founded Neera Bahl & Associates in 2009. She received her J.D. from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2000 after a career of more than twenty years in medical and scientific research. Neera is active in professional and community organizations, including the State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta Bar Association, Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Raksha, Georgia Indo American Chamber of Commerce, and India Cultural and Religious Center.

2010 Distinguished Alumni: Judge James G. Bodiford

James G. Bodiford, Judge, Cobb County Superior Court, was honored by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School as a 2010 Distinguished Alumni. Judge Bodiford was elected Superior Court Judge in 1994 and has since been re-elected three times to this position, most recently with an 83% majority. He was Chief Judge of the Cobb County Superior Court during 2005-2006. Judge Bodiford has presided successfully over a number of high-profile, media-intensive cases, including State of Georgia v. Brian G. Nichols in Fulton County. He is a 1976 graduate of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.

Justice Clarence Thomas is Keynote Speaker at John Marshall Commencement

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas was the keynote speaker at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s Commencement, held Saturday, May 15, 2010, at the Georgia World Congress Center. During the ceremonies, the law school conferred more than 160 Juris Doctor degrees. Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, on Justice Clarence Thomas for his unparalled career in public service and dedication to the rule of law.

2010 Distinguished Alumni: Neera Bahl

Neera Bahl founded Neera Bahl & Associates in 2009. She received her J.D. from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2000 after a career of more than twenty years in medical and scientific research. Neera is active in professional and community organizations, including the State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta Bar Association, Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Raksha, Georgia Indo American Chamber of Commerce, and India Cultural and Religious Center.

Justice Clarence Thomas is Keynote Speaker at John Marshall Commencement

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas was the keynote speaker at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s Commencement, held Saturday, May 15, 2010, at the Georgia World Congress Center. During the ceremonies, the law school conferred more than 160 Juris Doctor degrees. Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, on Justice Clarence Thomas for his unparalled career in public service and dedication to the rule of law.

2010 Distinguished Alumni: Judge James G. Bodiford

James G. Bodiford, Judge, Cobb County Superior Court, was honored by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School as a 2010 Distinguished Alumni. Judge Bodiford was elected Superior Court Judge in 1994 and has since been re-elected three times to this position, most recently with an 83% majority. He was Chief Judge of the Cobb County Superior Court during 2005-2006. Judge Bodiford has presided successfully over a number of high-profile, media-intensive cases, including State of Georgia v. Brian G. Nichols in Fulton County. He is a 1976 graduate of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.

Bobby Lee Cook Endowed Scholarship Fund

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School acknowledges the unparalleled generosity of Bobby Lee Cook for his $100,000 donation to establish the Bobby Lee Cook Endowed Scholarship Fund. Bobby Lee Cook is widely recognized for his career as a prominent trial attorney and his representation in some of the most controversial criminal trials in the state. His long-term commitment to the school includes past service as a member of the Board of Directors and sponsorship of the annual Bobby Lee Cook Practical Legal Symposium, held at the law school each Spring for the past 8 years. The Bobby Lee Cook Endowed Scholarship Fund will support a number of scholarships each year. We hope to sustain the fund through the continued generosity of friends and alumni of the law school.

Bobby Lee Cook Endowed Scholarship Fund

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School acknowledges the unparalleled generosity of Bobby Lee Cook for his $100,000 donation to establish the Bobby Lee Cook Endowed Scholarship Fund. Bobby Lee Cook is widely recognized for his career as a prominent trial attorney and his representation in some of the most controversial criminal trials in the state. His long-term commitment to the school includes past service as a member of the Board of Directors and sponsorship of the annual Bobby Lee Cook Practical Legal Symposium, held at the law school each Spring for the past 8 years. The Bobby Lee Cook Endowed Scholarship Fund will support a number of scholarships each year. We hope to sustain the fund through the continued generosity of friends and alumni of the law school.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s 3rd Annual Youth and the Law Summit

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School held its annual Youth and the Law Summit on Saturday, April 17, 2010. More than thirty middle-school students attended this year’s Summit. The students came from various schools from the Atlanta and Clayton County school districts. Their day started with a continental breakfast and ice-breaker conducted by Darrick McDuffie, an attorney from King and Spalding. The students were then broken up into four groups. Each group, led by a John Marshall law student, participated in two separate lessons/activities designed to teach them how to analyze the impact of laws, think critically, and write persuasively. After a pizza lunch, the students listened to a panel of three attorneys, Willie Lovett, Jr., Candiss Collins, and Prof. Kamina Pinder, discuss their paths to becoming a lawyer. Students were able to ask of questions about the panelists’ educational and career choices. In the afternoon, the students broke into two teams for a very spirited debate on the First Amendment rights of students using MySpace. Closing remarks were made by Shukura Ingram, President of the Gate City Bar Association. In addition to DiscoverLaw.org back packs, students also received a portfolio, a U.S. Constitution and a certificate to mark the occasion.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s 3rd Annual Youth and the Law Summit

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School held its annual Youth and the Law Summit on Saturday, April 17, 2010. More than thirty middle-school students attended this year’s Summit. The students came from various schools from the Atlanta and Clayton County school districts. Their day started with a continental breakfast and ice-breaker conducted by Darrick McDuffie, an attorney from King and Spalding. The students were then broken up into four groups. Each group, led by a John Marshall law student, participated in two separate lessons/activities designed to teach them how to analyze the impact of laws, think critically, and write persuasively. After a pizza lunch, the students listened to a panel of three attorneys, Willie Lovett, Jr., Candiss Collins, and Prof. Kamina Pinder, discuss their paths to becoming a lawyer. Students were able to ask of questions about the panelists’ educational and career choices. In the afternoon, the students broke into two teams for a very spirited debate on the First Amendment rights of students using MySpace. Closing remarks were made by Shukura Ingram, President of the Gate City Bar Association. In addition to DiscoverLaw.org back packs, students also received a portfolio, a U.S. Constitution and a certificate to mark the occasion.

Equal Justice Works Honors Atlanta Area Law Schools

Equal Justice Works hosted a reception at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. on April 15, 2010 to honor Equal Justice Works Fellows Atlanta area law schools. One of the keynote speakers was Steve Reba, a 2008 graduate of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Steve, a member of the Equal Justice Works Fellows Class of 2009, works at the Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic of the Emory University School of Law. He gave a moving speech about his work to free and rehabilitate incarcerated juveniles. Class of 2010 Fellows were also in attendance, including Alpa Amin, a 2010 graduate from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Alpa was awarded a fellowship to work with GAIN, the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network. We are very proud of both Steve and Alpa and the positive impact they are making in our community. The Equal Justice Works Fellowship Program creates partnerships among public interest lawyers, nonprofit organizations, law firm/corporate sponsors and other donors in order to afford underrepresented populations effective access to the justice system. Equal Justice Works is currently supporting 108 Fellows in the field: 54 Fellows who began in September 2007 and 54 new Fellows who began last fall. Equal Justice Works is committed to recruiting attorneys who represent a variety of experiences and backgrounds and to providing them with a strong foundation on which to build a public interest career. For more information about the program, please visit: http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/programs/fellowships/general.

Equal Justice Works Honors Atlanta Area Law Schools

Equal Justice Works hosted a reception at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. on April 15, 2010 to honor Equal Justice Works Fellows Atlanta area law schools. One of the keynote speakers was Steve Reba, a 2008 graduate of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Steve, a member of the Equal Justice Works Fellows Class of 2009, works at the Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic of the Emory University School of Law. He gave a moving speech about his work to free and rehabilitate incarcerated juveniles. Class of 2010 Fellows were also in attendance, including Alpa Amin, a 2010 graduate from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Alpa was awarded a fellowship to work with GAIN, the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network. We are very proud of both Steve and Alpa and the positive impact they are making in our community.

The Equal Justice Works Fellowship Program creates partnerships among public interest lawyers, nonprofit organizations, law firm/corporate sponsors and other donors in order to afford underrepresented populations effective access to the justice system. Equal Justice Works is currently supporting 108 Fellows in the field: 54 Fellows who began in September 2007 and 54 new Fellows who began last fall. Equal Justice Works is committed to recruiting attorneys who represent a variety of experiences and backgrounds and to providing them with a strong foundation on which to build a public interest career. For more information about the program, please visit: http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/programs/fellowships/general.

Bobby Lee Cook Practical Legal Symposium

John Marshall proudly presents its 8th Annual Bobby Lee Cook Practical Legal Symposium on Friday, April 9, 2010 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, which will include J. Vincent “Jay” Cook, R. Price Nimmo, Chilton Davis Varner and Judge Alvin T. Wong. 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 these distinguished lawyers and the “dean” of Georgia’s criminal defense attorneys. 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. J. Vincent “Jay” Cook is a veteran trial lawyer, having achieved significant judgments and settlements for clients in cases involving wrongful death, personal injury, business torts, and commercial and construction litigation. He is a respected leader in Georgia’s legal community, is past president of the State Bar of Georgia, president of the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation, and former president of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the Georgia Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Western Circuit Bar Association. Mr. Cook has written and edited numerous publications on the law and has conducted seminars on medical malpractice. He is the Managing Partner of Cook Noell Tolley & Bates LLP in Athens, Georgia. R. Price Nimmo is a partner with Nimmo, Hoehn & Nimmo in Nashville, Tennessee. He is an experienced litigator, focusing his practice on matters of personal injury, insurance defense, criminal defense, products liability, and family law. Chilton Varner has 30 years of courtroom experience as a trial lawyer defending corporations in product liability, business torts, contract and other commercial disputes. Ms. Varner was appointed by Chief Justice Rehnquist in 2004 and re-appointed by Chief Justice Roberts in 2007 to the Federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee, where she has participated in the Committee’s drafting of amendments governing electronic discovery and consideration of changes to the Rules governing summary judgment and expert discovery. Ms. Varner speaks regularly on women’s issues for the American Bar Association and DRI. She currently practices with King & Spalding in Atlanta, Georgia. Judge Alvin T. Wong has served on the State Court of DeKalb County, Georgia for eleven years. A 1976 graduate of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Judge Wong is the only Asian Pacific American to be elected judge in the Southeast. Judge Wong serves on the Fernbank Museum of Natural History Board of Trustees, the Georgia Commission on Access and Fairness in the Courts, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Law Foundation Board.

John Marshall Law School Volunteers with the Atlanta Community Food Bank

On April 14, 2010, volunteers from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School helped the Atlanta Community Food Bank to distribute 3,448 pounds of food to 2,298 families. Volunteers included faculty, staff and students of the school, with Professor Renata Turner, Shannon Keef, Randi Moore, Anne Bowerman, Carlos Nauedo, Alpa Amin, Barbara Herzberg, Lauren Wallace, Cliff Turner and Gregory Gelpi all lending a hand to this great cause.

The Atlanta Community Food Bank works with more than 800 nonprofit partner agencies including food pantries, community kitchens, childcare centers, night shelters, senior centers and other service programs to distribute almost two million pounds of food each month to low-income Georgians. To learn more about The Atlanta Community Food Bank, please visit their website at www.ACFB.org

Volunteers pictured (from left to right): Barbara Herzberg, Shannon Keef, Alpa Amin, Randi Moore and Greg Gelpi

Judge Blackburn Presented with First Annual Public Interest Law Award

The Honorable G. Alan Blackburn (’67 Alumnus) was honored by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s Public Interest Law Society with the First Annual Public Interest Law Award at the Public Interest Law Society’s Silent Auction and Networking Mixer on Friday, April 9, 2010. The award recognizes Judge Blackburn’s more than thirty years of public service.

Public Interest Law Society’s 1st Annual Silent Auction and Networking Mixer

Great fun and entertainment was had at the Public Interest Law Society’s 1st Annual Silent Auction and Networking Mixer on Friday, April 9, 2010. The silent auction was followed by a live auction and included items such as dinner and snooker with Dean Lynn, mentoring lunches donated by various faculty members and alumni, “stay-cation” packages, cultural events and sporting tickets, jewelry and art work. Thank you to the Zweifel Law Firm for their generosity in sponsoring the event and to the many contributors. JMLS Alumnus The Honorable G. Alan Blackburn was presented with the first annual Public Interest Law Award for his more than thirty years of public service. Proceeds of the auction will be used to sponsor a JMLS student engaged in pro bono work during this summer.