Remembering Real Covenants: PINT + Wings

Written by: Scot Goins, Assistant Dean of Academic Achievement and Bar Success

When it comes to preparing for the bar exam, one of the hardest concepts for students is the dreaded ‘covenants running with the land.’ The terms ‘real covenant’ and ‘equitable servitude’ conjure up almost as much dread as the acronym ‘RAP,’ but the reality is that identifying and understanding these concepts to do well on the bar exam isn’t so bad if you have ever been to your local Wild Wings or Applebee’s, and you remember, ‘Pint + Wings.’

PINT + Wings

Although I do love wings, the picture above isn’t meant to make your tastebuds water, but rather to provide you a quick and easy mnemonic to remember the requirements for real covenants. PINT + Wings is an easy way to memorize the requirements for covenants running with the land, as follows:

P:Privity (Horizontal and Vertical)
I:Intent
N:Notice (burden only)
T:Touch and Concern
+
Wings:      Writing

As a starting point, remember that real covenants (and equitable servitudes) generally either restrict the right to use real property or, alternatively, impose obligations on the owners of real property. In a fact pattern, if you see someone seeking damages to enforce a covenant, that should be a tip-off that the covenant will be a real covenant. Alternatively, if an injunction is sought to enforce a covenant, then that will be an equitable servitude.

AJMLS Law Journal Elects 2022-2023 Editorial Board for Volume 16

The 2021-2022 Law Journal Editorial Board and its Faculty Advisor Editor since 2015, Professor Van Detta, are pleased to announce the election of the six new members of the Editorial Board of the Law Journal for 2022-2023. Be sure to visit the Law Journal site here to see all past publications.

Editor-in-Chief, Chauncey Graham

A Florida native, Chauncey Graham is a graduate of the Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. School of the Arts (Music Performance) in West Palm Beach and Florida Atlantic University where he studied history and political science.

Prior to relocating to Georgia to pursue his law degree at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Chauncey served as an outreach director for South Florida’s agricultural community, responsible for connecting Palm Beach County’s diverse population to its agricultural history and importance.  He began his professional life in state government as a staffer in the Florida House of Representatives working on a wide range of legislative research and policy initiatives.  At the end of his legislative career, he served as Chief Legislative Aide to former Senator Jeff Clemens, rounding out more than a decade in the Florida Legislature, employed in various capacities in both the House and Senate. 

Chauncey has an extensive and varied community involvement history that has included serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC); volunteering as a program mentor for Take Stock in Children; and chairing the Civic Engagement and Advocacy Committee of the Urban League of Palm Beach County’s Young Professionals Network. He was also selected as a member of the Mayor’s Task Force for Racial and Ethnic Equality by Mayor Keith James, City of West Palm Beach; as a fellow of Leadership Florida’s Connect Class 11; and a 2018 Fellow of New Leaders Council Palm Beach.

Currently, Chauncey is a rising 3L at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. He sought the position of Editor-in-Chief of the Law Journal to continue to refine his legal writing and research skills, develop his collaborative ability, and hone a competent and effective leadership style. He aims to use his strong organizational, leadership, and consensus building skills to maintain, and propel, the momentum of the Law Journal. As a staff editor, Chauncey wrote a legislative summary on Georgia House Bill 18. Sponsored by Representative Sandra Scott and cited as the Police Accountability Act, House Bill 18 was filed as a part of a criminal justice reform package to address police conduct. If enacted, House Bill 18 would require specific procedures to be followed by law enforcement officers when interacting with members of the community and the use of body-worn cameras, revise use of force standards, and create a statewide reporting database for use of force incidents. To date, there has been no movement on House Bill 18 in the Georgia Assembly and it has not been assigned to any committees.

Executive Managing Editor, Monique Cherry

Monique is a rising 3L law student at AJMLS. A Washington D.C. native, Monique journeyed to Atlanta to start her legal education and to be closer to her cousins and siblings who all happened to live in the Atlanta area. Prior to coming to AJMLS, Monique worked in D.C. for a boutique immigration law firm. It was her work in immigration that inspired her to take the leap to becoming an attorney. Of course, since starting law school she has discovered several new passions and areas of interest. Her dream career now would be to get into space law – specifically,  working with the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs. 

During her first year as a staff member on the AJMLS Law Journal, Monique wrote her legislative summary on House Bill 534 which amends Article 2 of Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the O.C.G.A., relating to offenses for illegal drag racing and laying drag. Drag racing in the metropolitan area of Atlanta has become of increasing concern to the general public, as well as law enforcement and legislatures. In addition to the destruction of streets, road signs, and electrical posts, drag racing has caused several unnecessary deaths and injuries. As a result, Governor Kemp amended the old O.C.G.A statute to now include penalties for those who organize the drag race, not just the drivers. This is done in the hopes of reducing the illegal drag activity in the city, to better ensure the safety of Atlanta citizens. 

Monique is overjoyed to be joining the 2022-2023 Editorial Board for the AJMLS Law Journal as its newest Executive Managing Editor. Inspired by her interaction with the current board members, Monique wanted to join the editorial board to better support the journal and implement her ideas to streamline the various projects and assignments. Her goal for next year is to facilitate more a community feel amongst the journal members. 

Executive Legislative Editor, Jacob Gregory

Jacob Gregory is a 3L in the Part-Time Evening Division and is from Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Gregory holds a degree in Automotive Technology from Southern Crescent Technical College as well as a Bachelors of Science from Clayton State University. Additionally, he has a Film Production Certificate from the Georgia Film Academy and was the Editor-in-Chief for Clayton State’s Bent Tree News. He sought out the position of Executive Legislative Editor because of his adoration for writing and passion for the law as well as to help draw the path of his new career. Moreover, he wrote his Legislative Summary on Senate Bill 241, a Bill creating newfound implications for Absentee Voting in the State of Georgia.

Online Access & Internet Presence Editor, Austin O’Neill

Austin O’Neill was born August 9th, 1995, in Snellville, GA. He graduated from the University of North Georgia in 2018 with degrees in Criminal Justice and Chinese Language and Literature. During that time, he worked as part of a research group that studied the prison GED programs and their barriers to completion. Austin wrote onto Atlanta’s John Marshall Law Journal in the summer of 2021. He sought a position on the Editorial Board because he wanted to use his prior experience with the editorial process to aid in the publication of the law journal. The bill that he chose to write his legislative summary on is HB 290. This bill was introduced to address visitation rights of patients in hospitals and long-term care facilities. The sponsors’ goal was to ensure that patients had visitation rights for their legal representatives even when a pandemic would restrict that right.

Co-Annual Symposium Editor, Richard Mejia

Richard Mejia is a rising 3L in the full-time day program at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Before attending AJMLS, Richard attended Troy University where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 2017. Since enrolling at AJMLS, Richard has received numerous awards, including being named Outstanding Student of the Quarter in Fall 2021, Outstanding Peer Mentor for 2022, as well as earning CALI awards in Contracts I, Legal Research and Writing II, Administrative Law, and Evidence. During the Summer between his 1L and 2L years, Richard worked as a judicial intern for the Honorable Judge Walter Johnson, Federal Magistrate for The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Outside of his law school responsibilities, Richard spends his time playing soccer as semi-professional soccer player for Atlanta Rovers F.C. in the U.P.S.L.

As an associate staff editor for the Journal, Richard wrote a legislative summary on S.B. 202, The Election Integrity Act of 2021. He chose to write about this bill because he is passionate about the democratic electoral process and ensuring that all citizens are afforded equal access to the polls. Richard sought a position on the Law Journal Editorial Board because he saw the opportunity as a chance to build a more prominent reputation for the Journal and to leave a legacy after graduation.

Co-Annual Symposium Editor, Ashley Starnes

Ashley Starnes is a rising 3L at AJMLS who graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) with a bachelor’s degree in Business Strategy and Innovation in 2019. During her first two years at law school, Ashley clerked for two Superior Court Judges and received CALI awards in Torts II, Property I, and Property II. As a Canton, Georgia native, the rich culture of Atlanta has shaped her into the person she is today. Her dream is to “hang her own shingle” or open her own law firm in the city. In her free time, Ashley enjoys gardening, long walks with her Frenchie and boyfriend, and trying new things with her family.

As a junior member of the law journal, Ashley wrote her legislative summary on H.B. 485, a bill attempting to repeal the death penalty in Georgia. Focusing on the political and ideological divide under The Gold Dome with regards to the death penalty, the summary also highlights the existing inequities in the application of capital punishment, including racial biases and the impossible standard of proof for mental disability. Ashley is humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be the 2022-2023 Symposium editor alongside all the unique talents on the journal. She wanted to join the board after having a transformative experience learning from Professor Van Detta and after being inspired by the hard work of the 2021-2022 editorial board. She hopes to continue growing the AJMLS Law Journal by producing one of the best Symposium programs AJMLS has ever seen in February of 2023.

May 2022 Outstanding Student of the Quarter Award

The Office of Student Affairs is pleased to announce the names of the students who were selected for the Outstanding Student of the Quarter Award. This award is designed to recognize the contributions and efforts of students who excel in and/or out of the classroom and are dedicated to enriching the law school and greater communities.

The following students won the 2022 Outstanding Student of the Quarter Award for the fourth quarter:

Full-Time Division:

Allyssia Andrews

Jade Green

Dean Moore

Shinnay Richards

Part-Time Division:

Wendy Carlyle

Wendi Lucas

The Selection Committee was impressed by all of the students whose names were submitted for the award. We look forward to continuing to hear about the hard work of our students in and out of the classroom. We are #AJMLSproud!

Law School Graduation: Appreciate the Moment

Written by: Scot Goins, Assistant Dean of Academic Achievement and Bar Success

Law school graduation is an easy thing to overlook. For the past years, you have been stressing about arriving at this point in your life, and yet now that final exams are over the entire world seems to be encouraging you to solely focus on the bar exam and your preparation process. And, in full transparency, I am one of those people who will be pushing you to put your time, effort, and energy into making the bar exam a successful experience. My belief in your abilities and my desire for your success mean that I will constantly push you to do more, to do better, and to achieve.

However, that said, I wanted to take a moment and encourage you to take time this weekend to reflect on all that you have accomplished to get to this point, all of the successes you have experienced along the way, and the amount of time and energy you have invested in becoming a law school graduate. Right now, your Juris Doctor status to be conferred on Saturday puts you in the top percentage of educated people in the United States, and that in and of itself is something to be proud of and appreciate. No matter how well anyone knows you, there are things that you have overcome, moments that you have experienced, and challenges that you have faced that no one else knows, and yet here you are, graduating. You absolutely should take time to be proud and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

I also want to encourage you to take time, prior to getting fully immersed in the world of bar preparation, to take time to thank your significant other, your family, your friends, your co-workers, professors, staff members, and/or anyone else that has been part of your journey. It is all too easy to get focused on the “next big thing” and to forget to stop and appreciate the moment and the people that are a part of it. Graduation is a big deal, and I want you to see it as such.

I share these thoughts with you because time is the most important and precious resource we have, and this week marks the passing of my own father, who died shortly after I graduated and passed the bar exam. One of the most painful moments in my life was attending my own law school graduation and knowing that I was there, alone, and that my father was too sick to attend and unlikely to survive much longer. My mom could not attend because she was taking care of him, and a combination of other family factors meant that I walked across the stage, was hooded, received my diploma, and walked off alone. My friends and peers were there, but I remember watching with envious eyes and a lonely heart as others celebrated with family. All I was thinking then was how much I wished that my family could be there to see all of their hard work in providing me opportunities pay off beyond their dreams. It was a tough day, but it made me realize the importance of taking time to appreciate every single day, and more importantly, taking the time to appreciate those around you who are part of your journey.

The bar exam is a big deal and it is important for your career, but life is about balance. This weekend, regardless of where you are at in the beginning stages of your bar exam process, I highly encourage you to focus on the moment. Express your gratitude, show your love, and be proud of yourself for all that you have accomplished in getting to this point in your life. No one walks alone in this journey of life, and although the next milestone of the bar exam is important, do not forget to stop and appreciate the milestone you are achieving this weekend. I’m very excited for you, your family, and your friends as you move forward. I have no doubt that your graduation will inspire others to walk paths beyond what you can imagine.

Congratulations!

Warmest regards,

Dean Goins

Spring 2022 Outstanding Student Organization of the Semester Award

The Office of Student Affairs is proud to award the Spring 2022 Outstanding Student Organization of the Semester Award to the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Charlotte E. Ray Legal Society (CERLS), and the Public Interest Law Society (PILS). This award recognizes student organizations that have excelled in leadership and made positive contributions to the student experience, the law school, and the surrounding community in a given semester. Included below are some of the events that the organizations featured this semester:

Black Law Students Association (BLSA)

Civil Rights Museum Outing, Community Service Events (5), Black History Month Trivia Night, Speed Networking Event, Study Hall Event, Ice Cream Social, Monthly Fitness Challenge, and BLSA Scholarship (Creation and Fund-Raising)

Charlotte E. Ray Legal Society (CERLS)

Round Table Discussion with Houston 19 (19 judges were invited and participated in the virtual event for law students), Speed Networking Event, Mentoring Program, and CERLS Night In

Public Interest Law Society (PILS)

PILS Auction ($12,000 raised for scholarships), Legal Aid Run, and Legacy Museum Trip 

The Selection Committee was impressed by the effort and hard work of BLSA, CERLS and PILS- congratulations on being chosen as the Spring 2022 Outstanding Student Organizations. The Office of Student Affairs would also like to give an honorable mention to the Student Bar Association (SBA) for quality programming this semester to include the: SBA Headshot Event, Black History Month Museum Tour, Barrister’s Ball, Spring Picnic, and SBA Care Packages. The Office of Student Affairs is proud of all of the student leaders’ hard work, quality programming and positivity. We look forward to continuing to work with all students to make the law school and the community better!

We are AJMLS Proud!

Meet the Atlanta’s John Marshall 2022-2023 Executive Board

Keith Collins, President

Where were you raised: I was born and raised in Newport News, Virginia.

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: I am an incredibly proud graduate of Norfolk State University, an HBCU (Historically Black College or University). Behold!

What are your future career plans: My immediate interests are split somewhere between Criminal Law and Entertainment and Production Law. However, my ultimate career goal is still to become a Supreme Court Justice.

What do you look forward to as the President: There is so much to look forward to at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. As President, I am eager to see the growth of our law school community as we continue to define the standard of our law school experience and encounter the legal profession.

What are your goals in the position this academic year: There are several goals I wish to accomplish this academic year. I plan to lead with kindness, respect, and professionalism. Above all, I am excited to see an even greater display of student involvement and I want all AJMLS students to experience and recognize the remarkable value that our law school community has to offer. 

What do you want your classmates to know about you: I want my classmates to know that while it is my distinct honor to serve as SBA President, I am a student first, and that makes me no different from any one of them. Reach out to me. I’m accessible and I look forward to this journey.

Mercedes Dickerson, Vice President

Where were you raised: I was raised in Fortson, Georgia.

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: I went to Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia, and I studied Political Science and Spanish.

What are your future career plans: I want to be a criminal defense attorney, but I am open to many fields of law, including family law and environmental law.

What do you look forward to as the Vice President: I am looking forward to supporting the SBA President to lead our executive board and to guide class representatives in their task to advocate for their classmates. I am also excited about collaborating with student organizations to plan school events to increase camaraderie and networking opportunities.

What are your goals in the position this academic year: My primary goal is to implement a unique system of communication between SBA and the student body to ensure students’ needs are met effectively and consistently. Another goal of mine is to collaborate with the AJMLS faculty and staff to educate students about on-campus and off-campus resources, so they can be more successful.

What do you want your classmates to know about you: I want my classmates to know they can always approach me if they need someone to talk to. If I do not readily have an answer, I will contact someone who can help. I care about my classmates and will continue to advocate for them.

Joshua Sachs, Treasurer

Where were you raised: I moved all over for most of my life- roughly 22 times before graduating. I was born in El Paso, TX and spent most of my childhood in Burlington, NC.

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: I graduated from North Carolina State University with a BA in Sociology.

What are your future career plans: I plan to work exclusively in Criminal Defense for the foreseeable future, and am considering entering politics later down the road.

What do you look forward to as the Treasurer: The opportunity to evaluate and reallocate our current budget, to maximize the amount of money we are able to spend on items that directly improve the student experience.

What are your goals in the position this academic year: My first and largest goal is to identify items that students are interested in having our dues spent on and find a way to purchase them. Because we all contribute to this fund, I see all students as stakeholders who deserve input into where these funds are allocated. As such, I would like to solicit a “shopping list” from students, so that we can purchase items students request such as coffee in the breakroom, an ice machine, coffee cups, etc. A smaller goal is seeing if we can partner with a local bar and grille housed in our food court to offer student discounts, to encourage a sense of community and a place for us to gather and get to know each other in a casual setting.

What do you want your classmates to know about you: Leaving behind a career and taking a leap of faith into the practice of law was a difficult decision, and I couldn’t be more happy that I took that leap of faith. I am genuinely passionate about pursuing this career path and each step along the way, and as such I am genuinely passionate about making the law school student experience the best possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any suggestions or questions I can assist with!

Katherine Collins, Secretary

Where were you raised: I was raised in Gainesville, Georgia.

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: I received my Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in Sociology from Kennesaw State University. I also previously received my A.A. in Social Work from the University of North Georgia.

What are your future career plans: I am keeping all my options open as I journey through law school, but my passion lies in family law. As a previous foster parent, I also would love to work with juveniles in the foster care system as well as building legislation to fix the issues I have personally seen within the system.

What do you look forward to as the SBA Secretary: I look forward to working on the SBA Newsletter – the Dispatch, and I want to really focus on using communication like that to the best of our abilities to ensure everyone is “in the know.”

What are your goals in the position this academic year: My aim is to build off the momentum we have made in the previous year in ensuring open access to information, clear open lines of communication, and finding new ways to build transparency and openness between the students and the various student organizations to ensure we are all able to get involved and help build the community we desire at AJMLS.  

What do you want your classmates to know about you: I understand how hard it is to juggle everything — as a part-time, evening student with a full-time job and the added load of children at home, I understand that we are all juggling a lot, and if there is ever something I can do within my role to help ensure our communications are done in such a way that helps you keep it all organized, never hesitate to reach out!

Lamone Graham, Parliamentarian

Where were you raised: I was raised in Atlanta, Georgia.

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: Kennesaw State University

What are your future career plans: In the future, I plan to be a business owner and a practicing attorney. The business plans are under wraps for now but in terms of law, I am currently interested in four areas: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property, Employment, and Entertainment. It may sound like a lot of different things but I am excited, open to learning, and going to go where God leads me.

What are your goals in the position this academic year: As Parliamentarian, my goals are to promote an orderly environment for the SBA and to help my peers feel heard and supported. Law school is not without its own challenges; so having a safe space where student concerns and needs can be shared in hopes of finding lasting solutions, is something I strive to create.

AJMLS Participates in 15th Annual Youth and the Law Summit

On Saturday, April 23, 2022, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) sponsored and participated in the 15th annual Youth and the Law Summit. Each year, Fulton County Juvenile Court has partnered with the Gate City Bar Association; AJMLS; and Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP. 

Hosted by former AJMLS administrator and current Fulton County Juvenile Court Judge, Renata Turner, this year’s summit was titled “Straight Talk… No Cap” and welcomed more than 100 teenagers. Dr. Bridgett Ortega, AJMLS Associate Dean of Career Services and Professional Development, served as a co-chair to the annual event. The event fostered open dialogue for teens to communicate the challenges they face, brainstorm and discuss solutions, and exchange information on what they need to be successful. This year’s presenters included Hank Stewart, President of The Stewart Foundation; Aakeem Woodard, author and certified speaker, coach, and trainer for The John Maxwell Team; Lisa Thomas, Certified Resilience Coach with Dovetail Learning; Coty Martin, founder and President of Adversity University and Executive Director of the MBK Foundation; Reginald Emanuel, Year Up Atlanta; and Julious Khalid, founder of The Young Generation Movement.

The Annual Youth and the Law Summit is held every year during the month of April and continues to be a bridge between our youth and tools they can use to pursue brighter futures. Many organizations helped support this effort and AJMLS is proud to be a part of such a great group. 

AJMLS Announces the Retirement of Professor Robert D’Agostino

After over 28 years of distinguished service, Professor D’Agostino, “Dag”, has announced his retirement from teaching at the end of May 2022. He will continue to serve as Dean Emeritus for an additional academic year to complete various projects and publications.

It is with mixed feelings that we announce the retirement of Professor Robert D’Agostino. It is difficult if not impossible to sum up all of his achievements over 28 years of dedicated service.

Professor D’Agostino began his career at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 1995. Prior to joining the Law School and after practicing law for some 15 years, Professor D’Agostino was a tenured professor at what is now Widener Law School in Delaware. From 1981 to 1982, he took a two year leave of absence from Widener to serve as a presidential appointee to the U.S. Department of Justice under President Ronald Reagan, where he served as an Assistant Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights. Professor D’Agostino also served as Dean of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School from 1996 to 2000, during some tumultuous times for the Law School. He is responsible for Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in how it operates today.

Professor D’Agostino has authored more than 30 publications prior to and during his tenure in academia. His publications deal with topics related to bankruptcy, civil rights, and constitutional law. In addition, over the course of his career, Professor D’Agostino has also participated in several U.S. Supreme Court amicus briefs dealing with bankruptcy issues. Professor D’Agostino is a graduate of Columbia University, and he received his J.D. from Emory University.

Please join us in congratulating Professor D’Agostino on his impressive career, and wishing him a long and healthy retirement with his family.

Dean Jace C. Gatewood

Thank you for your contributions to PILS Auction 2022

The Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Public Interest Law Society (PILS) hosted its annual “PILS Auction” on March 11, 2022 at Atlanta Tech Village. The event was a success with more than 100 people in attendance and over 65 live and silent auction items. Notable auction items included an Atlanta United Jersey signed by many members of the team, stay-cations at The Candler Hotel and the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, and a Royal Caribbean Cruise. The fundraising event raised $11,817 for the Renata Turner Award for Public Interest Law. The Award recognizes students who have made an extraordinary contribution to our community through public interest work and who have demonstrated an interest to continue that commitment.

A heartfelt “thank you” to the students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and event sponsors that made this year’s event one to remember. See you next year at PILS Auction 2023!

From the PILS Society President

Our Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Community,

The Year of The Phoenix! The name that I have given this year for the Public Interest Law Society (PILS). As a reactivated student organization that was dormant for a number of years, the Board and I had our work cut out for us. Not only were we working to establish ourselves as a respected presence on campus, but we also had to make students aware that we were back and ready to be of service. The difficulty of gaining awareness was compounded by us having to return to remote learning for several weeks, shortly after the academic year began.

Nonetheless, the Board and I refused to lower our initial goals and expectations. We knew that our law school community missed PILS. We also knew it was necessary to get the organization back up and going. Public service was needed.

PILS ended the year with over 25 active members. In addition, our social media had significant engagement; one of our videos arguably may be considered to have gone “viral” as the views and comments came in abundance almost immediately after publicly posting it.

Further, our big, culminating event was the 2022 PILS Auction. The AJMLS community, both past and present students, faculty, and administrators, attended in person and showed their support. These groups showed up to the auction in the spirit of the “Masquerade” theme or quickly got into it as soon as they arrived by adorning complimentary masquerade masks. Those who were not able to attend the event donated and sent words of encouragement. The support was massive! We raised almost $12,000 for the next recipients of the 2023 Renata Turner Award!

On behalf of PILS, we want to thank you for your enthusiastic support and belief in our organization and its mission. Our minds are already dancing with thoughts and ideas to make a bigger and better impact next year, as well as how we may host an auction that will have the uphill challenge of topping the most recent one.

PILS is back! Rising from its ashes like the phoenix. Now, PILS is well-positioned to be here to stay! This accomplishment is because of you.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Carlton ‘Cal’ Lewis

President, Public Interest Law Society

2022 Renata Turner Award Recipients

Allyssia Andrews

Our healthcare system is extremely broken and so many people are being victimized by an institution that is necessary for a healthy life, thus my interest in helping others through health care law came about and I am currently pursuing internships in this field. Being awarded this scholarship has blessed me with the opportunity to be able to fully engage in my public interest work this summer. If we want to see true change in this system we have to do everything we can to fix it, and this scholarship will allow me to continue my journey as an advocate for others.

I want to thank everyone who made this scholarship possible. I am so grateful for this support and will do everything in my power to ensure that others will also benefit from it through my service this summer. 

Esther Ko

I plan to use the Renata Turner Scholarship to fund my unpaid summer internship at Georgia Legal Services Program in Gainesville. This scholarship will help with my transportation to and from the office as well as giving me a hopeful assurance of being free from financial constraints. I want to personally give a gracious thank you to all the donors who made this possible. Funding for students pursuing a career in Public Interest Law is not easy to obtain, but because of all the wonderful donors of the Renata Turner Scholarship, I am able to adamantly pursue my career in Public Interest Law.

2021-2022 Public Interest Law Society Officers

President – Carlton ‘Cal’ Lewis
Vice President / Treasurer – Allyssia Andrews
Secretary – Tishana Springer
Historian / Special Events Chairwoman – Esther Ko
Engagement, Recruitment/Retention Director – Daniela Martinez
Outreach Committee Chairman – Darryl Ford II
Academic Chair – Dean Moore

Faculty Advisory: Dr. Bridgett Ortega

2021-2022 Georgia Association for Women Lawyers Officers

President – Sharon Hansrote
VP – Ashley Starnes
Treasurer – Wendy Carlyle

2022 Sponsors

Gold Level
Foxit PDFEditor


Silver Level
AJMLS Alumni Association


Silver Level
Pride Electric

Blue & White Level
David Windecher (’12)


Blue & White Level
Danielle Whittaker (’18)

Blue & White Level
Sharif Fulcher (’18)

Blue & White Level
The Fry Law Firm


Blue & White Level
Green  Line Brewery


AJMLS Announces the Retirement of Dr. Bridgett Ortega, Associate Dean of Career Services and Professional Development

After 11 years of distinguished service, Dr. Ortega has announced her retirement at the end of July 2022.

Dean Jace C. Gatewood stated, “Dr. Ortega has been a steadfast colleague and friend to all who have worked with her. I personally consider her my mentor and have appreciated her guidance and counsel during my time as Dean. It has been my absolute privilege working with her.”

Dr. Bridgett Ortega, a veteran of the United States Air Force, is the Associate Dean of Career Services and Professional Development at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. She has been a key administrator since joining the team in early 2011 and is also a Sr. organizational consultant and trainer for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, American University’s Justice Program Office and the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence. She is a lawyer, researcher, and the Past President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Juvenile Defender Center in Washington, D.C. She is also currently the Equity and Inclusion Officer for the Georgia affiliate of the ACLU.

As the Law School has evolved, so has Dr. Ortega, having earned her master’s and doctorate degrees while also serving in roles such as Assistant Dean of Externship and Pro Bono Services and Assistant Dean of Experiential Learning. She has also managed department programs such as Street Law, Re-entry Forum, and Youth and the Law Summit. As a teaching administrator, Dr. Ortega developed and teaches the Learning from Practice course which includes modules on Cultural Competency, Equity and Inclusion, and Navigating Cultural Difference. 

Dr. Ortega has spent over 30 years advocating for criminal and juvenile justice reform. She is a passionate advocate for the incarcerated and their children with an emphasis on compassionate practice in the justice system. She is a National Trainer on subjects dealing with Juvenile and Adult Drug Courts, Compassionate Practice in Problem Solving Courts, Compassionate Communication, Compassionate Family Engagement, Domestic Violence, Equity and Inclusion, Cultural Competency, Improving Outcomes for Children of the Incarcerated and all things Juvenile Justice. Dr. Ortega is the former Deputy Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Reclaiming Futures Initiative, a juvenile justice reform initiative aimed at creating strategies for intervening in the lives of young people with substance disorders and other issues that bring them into the justice system.

She has been featured in the ABC Nightline “Kids in Court” series and the Frontline Juvenile Justice documentary. Dr. Ortega is the recipient of the ABA Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award for outstanding advocacy in juvenile justice, the NAACP Freedom Fund Civil and Human Rights Award and in December of 2018 she was recognized by the National Juvenile Defender Center as a champion for juvenile justice for her work in defending youth rights. She co-founded the Santa Clara County California Juvenile Drug Treatment Court with the Honorable Judge Thomas Edwards for which she received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for invaluable service to the community. Dr. Ortega holds a Master of Arts degree, Juris Doctorate and a Doctorate Degree in Organizational Management and Leadership. Her published research dissertation is entitled, Compassionate Jurisprudence: As Praxis for Justice.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Ortega on her incredibly impactful career, and wishing her a long and healthy retirement with her beloved family.

AJMLS Awards Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award to Louise Thornton Hornsby, Class of 1965

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) established the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022 and named its inaugural honoree from the Class of 1965, Louise Thornton Hornsby. The purpose of this award is to recognize a graduate of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School who has attained more than 50 years of extraordinary distinction and success in their field of endeavor, and whose achievements have brought credit to the Law School and benefited their fellow citizens.

Louise Thornton Hornsby

Born on May 2, 1937, Louise Thornton Hornsby is a true Atlanta native. She graduated from David T. Howard High School in 1954 and attended Spelman College. After graduation, she attended an apprenticeship program at Matthews School of Law – In the 1960s, students could earn a law degree through apprenticeship programs. Unfortunately, Hornsby attempted the bar exam for the first time and was not successful.

Later in the 1960s, when previously segregated schools were opened for African American students to attend, she enrolled at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School to prepare for the bar exam. She graduated in 1965, passed the Georgia Bar Exam in 1966, and was one of the first Black alumni to receive an education at AJMLS. Louise was also the sixth Black woman to pass the bar in the State of Georgia.

After law school, she worked in the Fulton County Public Defender’s Office and also served as a part-time judge for the City of Atlanta Traffic Court. She was appointed by former Mayor Andrew Young as the Solicitor General for the City of Atlanta where she served for a few years before deciding to run for public office.

Louise opened her private practice, The Hornsby Law Firm, LLC in 1996, where she practiced until her retirement in 2022.

Through more than 56 years as a practicing attorney, she has received numerous recognitions, awards, and accolades, and held positions such as: member of the State Bar of Georgia (1966); founder of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program in the City of Atlanta traffic court; recognition for Georgia Bar for civil rights work, and 50 years of practicing law (by National Bar Association); recipient of the R. Prudence Herndon Award; President and Founder of Pyramid Recovery Center (women’s recovery center); President of the Georgia Women’s Political Caucus; member of Leadership Atlanta; member of the Governor’s Georgia Juvenile Master Plan Committee; member of the Revising Atlanta City Chapter; former owner and operator of Entertainment Corporation of America; CEO of DHMRF Foundation, Inc.

Louise is a mother of five children, including Class of 2012 graduate, Kristie Hornsby Battle, and grandmother to ten. She still lives in the Atlanta area, and at 85 years old, is active in her community.

It is the pleasure of the Law School to recognize Louise and her outstanding career at the upcoming graduation ceremony this May.

AJMLS Honors Judge Ashley Drake and Judge Rhonda Kreuziger as 2022 Distinguished Alumni

On Saturday, May 21, 2022, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) will present The Distinguished Alumni Award to two incredible alumni at the 2022 commencement ceremony. This year’s honorees are Judge Ashley Drake, Class of 2011, and Judge Rhonda Kreuziger, Class of 2001. The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to alumni who have obtained distinction in their professional careers. Those honored share the same characteristics of leadership, progressive thinking, high standards, uncompromising integrity, commitment, courage, and confidence. Their careers serve as models for Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School students and alumni. Click here to view past award recipients.

Honorable Ashley Drake

Judge Ashley Drake was born in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Journalism. She graduated in the top 15 of her class at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and was a member of the moot court team where she competed nationally. She served on the Atlanta’s John Marshall Law Journal where her legislative summary was published in 2011 and was the student founder of the Law School’s mentorship program. She also received the CALI Award for Immigration Law and received academic scholarships from Just the Beginning Foundation and the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers Foundation.

Judge Drake began her legal career as a prosecuting attorney for the Fulton County Solicitor General’s Office and eventually transitioned to prosecuting felonies for the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney. As a criminal prosecutor, she gained a significant amount of trial experience and helped thousands of crime victims.

After years of criminal prosecution, Judge Drake left the criminal arena and entered a new area of practice: civil litigation. She started her civil practice career at Bey & Associates, LLC as an Associate Attorney in the litigation section, handling various personal injury matters. She eventually worked her way to becoming the lead associate on the partner’s team, representing victims and their families in medical malpractice, wrongful death, and trucking litigation cases. During this time, she flew to Washington, D.C. twice to lobby Congress on both sides of the aisle regarding the unconstitutionality of mandatory arbitration clauses in civil practice, in hopes of preserving and protecting our 6th amendment right to a trial by jury in civil cases. She successfully completed the prestigious ATLA Ultimate Trial Advocacy Course: Art of Persuasion at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, MA and was a featured panelist at the American Association for Justice Women’s Caucus in Denver Colorado.

In 2020, Judge Drake joined two of her best friends from law school at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers where she served as a Captain overseeing other Personal Injury Attorneys. She was appointed to the bench as a full-time Magistrate Judge in May 2020 by Fulton County Magistrate Court Chief Judge Cassandra Kirk. She presides over criminal and civil cases in Georgia’s most populated county and is the first female judge of Persian heritage in Georgia.

Judge Drake is a group leader for her local Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (GAWL) mentoring circle and serves on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Bar Association Women in the Profession Section. She also serves on the Technology Committee for the Fulton County Magistrate Court and is co-chair of the Awards Committee for the Georgia Council of Magistrate Court Judges. She also serves as a mentor for law students, including her nominator, Mr. Carlton Lewis.

Judge Drake resides in Atlanta with her husband and dog. She keeps a copy of the Georgia Bar Association General Aspirational Ideals on her desk and lives by the ideal that: “The dignity and the integrity of our profession is an inheritance that must be maintained by each successive generation of lawyers.”

Honorable Rhonda Kreuziger

Rhonda Bender Kreuziger is a Superior Court Judge in the Griffin Judicial Circuit which covers Fayette, Pike, Spalding, and Upson Counties. She received a law degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in December of 2000, and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Northwestern State University in Louisiana in May of 1991. Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked as a Forensic Serologist with the North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory, in Shreveport, Louisiana, and as a Forensic Toxicologist for SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories in Dallas, Texas. During her last semester of law school, she completed an externship in the Special Prosecution Division for the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Georgia.

After law school, she worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the Griffin Judicial Circuit where she prosecuted felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile matters for Fayette, Pike, Spalding, and Upson Counties from approximately 2002 until 2006.

In 2006, she left the District Attorney’s Office to start her private practice, The Kreuziger Law Firm, P.C. During this time, she also served as Solicitor for the City of Senoia, Solicitor for the Town of Tyrone, and subsequently as a conflict defense attorney for the Georgia Public Defender’s Council in the Griffin Judicial Circuit. In her private practice she represented litigants in the following matters: Criminal Law – both felonies and misdemeanors in Superior, State, Juvenile, Magistrate, and Municipal Courts throughout the State of Georgia and handled matters pro hac vice in Florida; Family Law/Domestic Relations matters, including but not limited to, divorces, child custody, child support, legitimations, contempt actions, temporary protective orders, and, modifications; Personal Injury related cases; Landlord/Tenant matters; Breach of Contract cases; and Criminal and Civil Appeals to both the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court.

She was appointed as Interim Judge for the City of Fayetteville Municipal Court from July 2018 until December 2018 and subsequently appointed to the position of Chief Judge for the City of Fayetteville Municipal Court on January 2019 and served in this capacity until August 2020, when she was appointed by the Griffin Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judges and the Presiding Juvenile Court Judge to be the full-time Associate Juvenile Court Judge.

In July of 2021, Governor Brian Kemp appointed her to the Superior Court for the Griffin Judicial Circuit, and she was sworn in on August 17, 2021. Judge Kreuziger is the first woman and first person of color to serve on the Superior Court bench for the Griffin Judicial Circuit. She is a member of the Fayette County Bar Association; Spalding County Bar Association; Georgia Council of Superior Court Judges (CSCJ); Georgia Association of Women Lawyers; Federalist Society; Gate City Bar Association – Judicial Section; Atlanta Lawyer’s Club; State Bar of Georgia; State Bar of Wisconsin; and, Save R Kids, International, Board of Directors (2017 – 2020). She is also a former member of Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges (CJCJ) and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ).

She has also served as a presenter to the Fayette County Bar Association – “Preamble – A Great Place to Start! (Preamble to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct)” (February 2022); Thomaston-Upson County Civic Center 1st Annual Black History Month Honoree (2022); recognized by the Mayor of Fayetteville and City Council for “Exceptional Service to the City of Fayetteville” (2020); Leadership Academy for the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, 2009; Guest Instructor for the DUI Case Preparation and Courtroom Presentation at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (2009 – 2011); CLE presenter – “How to Try a Case in a Conservative Jurisdiction – The Importance of Understanding Venue” (2010); CLE presenter – “Preparation and Investigation of a Criminal Case” (2011); Judge for the NCFCA Speech and Debate Competition (2012); State Bar of Georgia Transition into Law Practice Program, Mentor (2010 – 2011); Youth Challenge Academy – Mentor (2013 -2014); AV Pride Career Exploration Program Internship Program – Mentor (2013 – 2014); Regional Mock Trial Competition Judge (2015 and 2022); and, The Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Award for Outstanding Service to School and Community Recipient (2001).

Forensic Scientist to Superior Court Judge, AJMLS Welcomes Judge Rhonda Kreuziger, Class of 2001, as 2022 Commencement Speaker

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is pleased to announce Judge Rhonda Kreuziger, Class of 2001, as the Law School’s 2022 commencement speaker. Commencement exercises are scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. on May 21, 2022 at the Georgia World Congress Center Sidney Marcus Auditorium located at 285 Andrew Young International Blvd, Atlanta, Georgia 30313. A live stream of the ceremony will be made available at www.johnmarshall.edu.

“On a year that we honor one of the first African American women to graduate Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, it is befitting to honor another history-making graduate, who is the first woman and the first African American to serve on the Griffin Judicial Circuit Superior Court bench. I am proud to welcome back Judge Kreuziger as both our commencement speaker and a 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.”

Dean Jace C. Gatewood

About Judge Rhonda Kreuziger

Rhonda Bender Kreuziger is a Superior Court Judge in the Griffin Judicial Circuit which covers Fayette, Pike, Spalding, and Upson Counties. She received a law degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in December of 2000, and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Northwestern State University in Louisiana in May of 1991. Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked as a Forensic Serologist with the North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory, in Shreveport, Louisiana, and as a Forensic Toxicologist for SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories in Dallas, Texas. During her last semester of law school, she completed an externship in the Special Prosecution Division for the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Georgia.

After law school, she worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the Griffin Judicial Circuit where she prosecuted felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile matters for Fayette, Pike, Spalding, and Upson Counties from approximately 2002 until 2006.

In 2006, she left the District Attorney’s Office to start her private practice, The Kreuziger Law Firm, P.C. During this time, she also served as Solicitor for the City of Senoia, Solicitor for the Town of Tyrone, and subsequently as a conflict defense attorney for the Georgia Public Defender’s Council in the Griffin Judicial Circuit. In her private practice she represented litigants in the following matters: Criminal Law – both felonies and misdemeanors in Superior, State, Juvenile, Magistrate, and Municipal Courts throughout the State of Georgia and handled matters pro hac vice in Florida; Family Law/Domestic Relations matters, including but not limited to, divorces, child custody, child support, legitimations, contempt actions, temporary protective orders, and, modifications; Personal Injury related cases; Landlord/Tenant matters; Breach of Contract cases; and Criminal and Civil Appeals to both the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court.

She was appointed as Interim Judge for the City of Fayetteville Municipal Court from July 2018 until December 2018 and subsequently appointed to the position of Chief Judge for the City of Fayetteville Municipal Court on January 2019 and served in this capacity until August 2020, when she was appointed by the Griffin Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judges and the Presiding Juvenile Court Judge to be the full-time Associate Juvenile Court Judge.

In July of 2021, Governor Brian Kemp appointed her to the Superior Court for the Griffin Judicial Circuit, and she was sworn in on August 17, 2021. Judge Kreuziger is the first woman and first person of color to serve on the Superior Court bench for the Griffin Judicial Circuit. She is a member of the Fayette County Bar Association; Spalding County Bar Association; Georgia Council of Superior Court Judges (CSCJ); Georgia Association of Women Lawyers; Federalist Society; Gate City Bar Association – Judicial Section; Atlanta Lawyer’s Club; State Bar of Georgia; State Bar of Wisconsin; and, Save R Kids, International, Board of Directors (2017 – 2020). She is also a former member of Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges (CJCJ) and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ).

She has also served as a presenter to the Fayette County Bar Association – “Preamble – A Great Place to Start! (Preamble to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct)” (February 2022); Thomaston-Upson County Civic Center 1st Annual Black History Month Honoree (2022); recognized by the Mayor of Fayetteville and City Council for “Exceptional Service to the City of Fayetteville” (2020); Leadership Academy for the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, 2009; Guest Instructor for the DUI Case Preparation and Courtroom Presentation at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (2009 – 2011); CLE presenter – “How to Try a Case in a Conservative Jurisdiction – The Importance of Understanding Venue” (2010); CLE presenter – “Preparation and Investigation of a Criminal Case” (2011); Judge for the NCFCA Speech and Debate Competition (2012); State Bar of Georgia Transition into Law Practice Program, Mentor (2010 – 2011); Youth Challenge Academy – Mentor (2013 -2014); AV Pride Career Exploration Program Internship Program – Mentor (2013 – 2014); Regional Mock Trial Competition Judge (2015 and 2022); and, The Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Award for Outstanding Service to School and Community Recipient (2001).

Tickets are not required for entry and the event will be live streamed. For general information you can visit our graduation page here and/or our logistics page here for further details.

Dean Jace C. Gatewood Signs Letter to Support Supreme Court Justice Nominee

On March 2, 2022, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Dean and CEO, Jace C. Gatewood, signed his support for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic nomination, which was sent to Senate Leadership and the Committee on the Judiciary. Dean Gatewood was one of 38 Black Law Deans that submit the letter of support.

The letter begins,

“We, the Black Deans of U.S. Law schools, write to express our strong and unequivocal support for the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States. As leaders in the American legal academy, we believe this confirmation would represent a triumph for this nation. By confirming this honors graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, who has participated in civil cases at the highest levels and has also represented indigent criminal defendants, the Senate will not only add a supremely qualified justice to the Supreme Court, but will also ensure that people from all communities across our nation enjoy the promise emblazoned over the Court architrave that declares “Equal Justice Under Law.””

After a summary of the Judge’s credentials, the Deans conclude with,

“We, the undersigned Black Law Deans, are leaders of the legal academy educating the next generation of lawyers who will serve on our courts, in our legislatures, and in other roles in our justice system. We have signed this letter in our individual capacities, noting our institutional affiliation for identification purposes only. Yet, we are unified in our conviction that Judge Jackson is exceptionally well qualified and well prepared to serve on this nation’s highest Court.”

Click here to read the full letter

Spring 2022 Development and Alumni Relations Scholarship Recipients

The Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Development and Alumni Relations Office is pleased to offer scholarship opportunities each semester. Our donors give generously to AJMLS and the John Marshall Law School Foundation, Inc. to help students cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and educational expenses. AJMLS offers merit-based, need-based, and service-based scholarships. Applications were carefully reviewed by the scholarship committee and we thank the committee for their time.

All inquiries related to the Development and Alumni Relations scholarships below should be directed to Wendy Aina, Chief Development Officer, at waina@johnmarshall.edu. If you are a donor and would like to contribute to the scholarships, please visit our Giving pages or contact Wendy Aina directly.

Congratulations to the Spring 2022 scholarship recipients!

John E. Ryan Endowed Scholarship

Shombraya Goodman

J.D. Candidate, 2022

Judge G. Alan Blackburn Scholarship

Maria Velasco

J.D. Candidate, 2024

Melissa Hamrick Scholarship

Katherine Collins

J.D. Candidate, 2024

Merchant & Gould Scholarship

L. Graham

J.D. Candidate, 2025

Merchant & Gould Scholarship

Dean Moore

J.D. Candidate, 2023

February 2022 Outstanding Student of the Quarter Award

The Office of Student Affairs is pleased to announce the names of the students who were selected for the Outstanding Student of the Quarter Award. This award is designed to recognize the contributions and efforts of students who excel in and/or out of the classroom and are dedicated to enriching the law school and greater communities.

The following students won the 2022 Outstanding Student of the Quarter Award for the third quarter:

Full-Time Division:

Jacob Belcastro

Lance Carruth

Derek Fernandes

Brooke Harrison

Esther Ko

Part-Time Division:

Carolina Melguizo

Chayenne Rodriguez

Rochelle Walker

The Selection Committee was impressed by all of the students whose names were submitted for the award. We look forward to continuing to hear about the hard work of our students in and out of the classroom. We are #AJMLSproud!

AJMLS 2L, Rhea Frison, Honored by the White House and Department of Justice for COVID Eviction Crisis Work

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) joins the White House and Department of Justice in honoring 2L, Rhea Frison, for her volunteer work with the Georgia Legal Services Program’s (GLSP) Rent Assistance Program, addressing the housing and eviction crisis exasperated by COVID-19 in our communities.

On Friday, January 28, 2022, the White House and Department of Justice hosted a virtual event celebrating the work of the legal community and law students in response to the Attorney General’s Call to Action to the Legal Profession, issued on August 30, 2021, to address the housing and eviction crisis. The Call to Action asked lawyers and law students to take immediate action to help their communities through Emergency Rental Assistance application support, volunteering with legal aid providers, helping courts implement eviction diversion programs, among other initiatives aimed at increasing housing stability and access to justice. 

Of the 2,100+ law students that dedicated over 81,000 hours serving over 10,000 households, AJMLS 2L Rhea Frison was one of only three students asked to present her volunteer experience at the event. Senior officials in attendance were Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Vanita Gupta (Associate Attorney General of the United States), Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo, and Gene Sperling (Senior Advisor to the President, American Rescue Plan Coordinator).

Ms. Frison answered the AJMLS “call for pro bono heroes” during October’s Pro Bono Month where she first volunteered at the Georgia Free Legal Answers Help-A-Thon event assisting the attorneys research and answer inquiries. Through that experience she was introduced to the Rental Assistance Program that GLSP was working on and expressed to leadership that she was ready for more work. She then began serving as a student volunteer at the Rental Assistance Program in October 2021 where she interviewed rental assistance applicants to help complete applications for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, aided high risk evictions in receiving legal help and preventing evictions or utility disconnections, and informed applicants on program incentives and necessary documents to complete applications. Working alongside other Atlanta-area law students, the student volunteers assisted over 350 tenants and obtained more than $2.5 million for clients in need across 100 cities in Georgia.

When asked of her plans for the future, Ms. Frison noted,

“My plans were to go into trans-national or international business law, however, it seems I keep being redirected to public service.” Immediately following her volunteer work she accepted an internship to work with the Council of Superior Court Judges this legislative session, tracking and summarizing bills. “It seems here is where my career is headed towards, but we will see what the future brings.”

The Law School is proud of Ms. Frison’s initiative in answering the Attorney General’s Call to Action and of how she is continuing to serve her community. We look forward to following her journey as she completes her study at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.

AJMLS students seeking pro bono opportunities should connect with the Office of Experiential Learning and Pro Bono Programs for additional information.

AJMLS Director of Recruitment and Outreach, Marc Reece, Appointed to SAPLA Board as Diversity Outreach Coordinator

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates Marc Reece, Director of Recruitment and Outreach, for his recent appointment to the Southern Association of Pre-Law Advisors (SAPLA) Board of Directors as the Diversity Outreach Coordinator. SAPLA brings together pre-law advisors and law school admissions staff in an effort to provide everyone in the law school admissions process with up-to-date information and expert guidance. Deciding to go to law school, preparing for the application process, deciding where to send applications, and selecting which law school to attend, are all difficult and important decisions and they believe everyone considering a career in the law can benefit from expert pre-law advising. 

Reece joined the AJMLS admissions team a decade ago in 2012 as the College Relations Manager. During his time at the Law School he has earned a number of honors, including his induction into the Southern Polytechnic State University’s Athletics Hall of Fame, acquiring his Master’s in Business Administration from Kennesaw State University, and serving as a former Secretary/Treasurer of the Southern Poly Athletic Association. Reece is a frequent panelist and speaker at pre-law events, most recently in 2021 as a panelist at the National Black Law Student Associations Workshop, guest speaker at the Georgia Latino Law Day, featured panelist at the HBCU Pre-Law Summit, panelist at the Spelman, Morehouse, and Clark-Atlanta Law School Panel, Admissions Advisor for the Ronald H. Prep Program, and the Featured Law School representative at Oakwood University’s Virtual Law Week. He will be kicking-off his 2022 serving as the Featured Admissions Representative for the upcoming Road To Law School Workshop hosted by Albany State University on February 12.

We look forward to supporting and following Marc’s journey as he contributes to the mission of the SAPLA Board and it’s goals. 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information

The policies and updates located on this page should be considered valid for the 2022-2023 academic year until an update has been announced. We follow the lead of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), as well as other local, state, and federal agencies to make sure we have the most up-to-date information available, therefore, our policies may change as we approach the 2022-2023 academic year. Any changes will be promptly communicated by email and posted to this page.

The Law School is actively monitoring the situation and is keeping the well-being of our community our top priority. Dean Gatewood will be communicating by email with all updates, which will also be summarized below.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may resemble the common cold or seasonal flu, which is a far greater risk this time of year. The best way to prevent infection with any respiratory virus is to use the same preventative strategies used during a normal cold and flu season: get a flu shot, wash hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home when experiencing symptoms of illness until they resolve. It is important to remember that viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities or racial backgrounds and this type of stigma should be avoided.

Click here to review all COVID-19 relief funding: CARES Act (HEERF I), CRRSAA Act (HEERF II), ARP Act (HEERF III)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (updated 3/31/20)

Note: you must be signed into your AJMLS email account to access the graphic below

COVID Vaccination Policy and FAQ

Note: you must be signed into your AJMLS email account to access the policy links below.

AJMLS COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

AJMLS COVID-19 Vaccination FAQ

AJMLS COVID Related Announcements

March 1, 2022 Updated Mask Policy

Dear Community:

On Friday, February 25, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it is relaxing its mask guidance for communities where hospitals aren’t under high strain. Under the new guidance, nearly 70% of the U.S. population lives in an area considered to be low or medium risk, including the Atlanta Metropolitan area, and residents there are advised they can go indoors without masks. Following suit, the City of Atlanta Mayor announced Friday that the city’s indoor mask mandate has been lifted, but still requires masks at public meetings and programs in city facilities. Given this change in the CDC’s policy, the Law School is lifting the mask mandate. While all students, faculty, staff, and visitors within the Law School are strongly encouraged to wear a facial covering or mask over the mouth and nose at all times, the wearing of masks will be optional. However, in accordance with CDC recommendations, anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms should be tested and wear a mask until you receive negative test results. Please note that, while masks are not required generally, faculty and staff may require masks for in-person meetings or other face-to-face gatherings so you should still bring a mask with you to campus for that possibility.  

The Law School reserves the right to require masks at any time based upon new CDC guidance or COVID-19 Community Levels, including COVID-19 levels within the Law School community. The Law School also reserves the right to require masks in specific situations, such as during the final exam period or at large Law School functions, including graduation.

Thank you, Dean Gatewood

February 23, 2022 Policy Modification

The policy announced January 27, 2022, will be modified to allow vaccinated students to submit the results of a negative FDA- or DOH-authorized PCR, rapid PCR, or nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) COVID-19 test collected within 24 hours of the start of an event to participate in any Law School or student-run programming, including the PILS Auction, Barristers’ Ball, Spring Picnic, or Graduation in lieu of a booster shot. Please note, however, that this modification is for the Spring 2022 semester only and shall not operate as an exemption to the booster requirement for the Summer 2022 or Fall 2022 registration. Until further notice, if you are fully vaccinated you will be required to submit evidence of a booster shot prior to summer and fall registration to be permitted to attend classes. Vaccinated individuals may seek a medical exemption only based upon such student’s reaction to the initial vaccinations. Such students must provide a written statement from a healthcare provider licensed to practice medicine in the United States stating that a specific immunization is medically contraindicated and giving the reasons for and duration of this contraindication for review.

Students who previously received an exemption during the Fall 2021 semester will continue to be exempt and must continue to provide on a weekly basis a negative COVID-19 test result to continue in the upcoming Summer or Fall semesters. 

Notwithstanding the above modification, each student is strongly encouraged to obtain a booster shot at their earliest convenience and not wait until summer or fall semester arrives.

January 27, 2022 Re: Booster Requirement

Dear Students:

As we begin the process of returning to campus and in-person instruction, it is extremely important that we remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides real-world support for the effectiveness of boosters against both the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19. After reviewing this new information, talking with representatives at several other law schools and considering the actions of many other educational institutions, we have decided to require that each fully vaccinated student receive a COVID-19 booster shot as soon as they are eligible, but in any event not later than Friday, March 4, 2022. We believe that this policy will best protect the health, safety and welfare of everyone on campus. If you have already received your booster vaccination, you must submit proof of the vaccination HERE as soon as possible but not later than Friday, March 4, 2022.

Any student who fails to meet this deadline will not be permitted to participate in any Law School or student-run programming, including the PILS Auction, Barrister’s Ball, Spring Picnic, or Graduation.

Students who received an exemption during the Fall 2021 semester must continue to provide on a weekly basis a negative COVID-19 test result. In addition to the weekly reporting requirement, to participate in any Law School or student-run event, each unvaccinated student with an exemption will be required to submit the results of a negative FDA- or DOH-authorized PCR, rapid PCR, or nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) COVID-19 test collected within 24 hours of the event start. 

Thank you for your cooperation as we continue to make our community safe for all.

Dean Gatewood

January 24, 2022 Re: Return to Campus

We are excited to welcome everyone back to campus on Monday, January 31, 2022, when classes will resume entirely in person. As we return to the in-person format, we are committed to maintaining protocols protecting the health and safety of students, faculty and staff on campus. Prior to your return, please familiarize yourself with the CDC-based protocols below that will be in effect for the Spring 2022 semester. Any unvaccinated student will need to email to COVID19@johnmarshall.edu a copy of a negative COVID test result taken within 3 days of the start of class on Monday, January 31, 2022, to be permitted on campus. Failure to provide such a test will result in an absence for each day until submitted.

General protocols:

  • The mask policy will remain in full effect. While on campus, everyone is required to wear a mask that fully covers their nose and mouth.
  • To the extent possible, you should practice social distancing and keep a distance of at least six feet between yourself and other people.
  • The Vaccination Policy, including its weekly reporting requirement for all unvaccinated individuals, will remain in full effect.

If you test positive for COVID-19:

  • Students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and received a positive COVID-19 test result should send a copy of the test results to the Law School via email at COVID19@johnmarshall.edu and notify Associate Dean Barger at jbarger@johnmarshall.edu.
  • Those who test positive should follow the following CDC isolation and quarantine guidelines: 
  1. Stay home for 5 days.
  2. If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you may return to school with a negative COVID Test result. Negative test results should be sent to the Law School via email at COVID19@johmarshall.edu.
  3. Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  4. If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves. You may return to school after a negative COVID Test result. Negative test results should be sent to the Law School via email at COVID19@johmarshall.edu.
  • Classes will be recorded as an accommodation for students who are absent due to a positive COVID-19 test and the required quarantine period.
  • When students report having a positive COVID-19 test and report that they attended class during their infectious period, the professor of the class will be contacted by an Associate Dean. The professor will be notified that a positive case has been identified in their class. The identity of the individual will not be revealed to the professor unless needed to identify close contacts. An Associate Dean will notify those students who are considered to have had a close contact consistent with the CDC definition of close contact.  

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Per CDC guidance, fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms should be evaluated by a healthcare provider and get tested.
  • Students who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should closely monitor their health and get tested if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms.

Thank you, Dean Gatewood

December 30, 2021 Re: Omicron

Dear Students:

There has been a recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country and in Georgia. Accordingly, and in-line with other Georgia institutions, classes will begin on time for spring semester in a remote format only. Specifically, all classes will be conducted online from Monday, January 10, 2022 through Friday, January 28, 2022, with the intent to resume in-person learning on Monday, January 31, 2022, as health and safety conditions permit. During this time, the Law School will remain closed to students. No students will be permitted on campus during this time and all programming scheduled during this period should be done exclusively online. All students who have been fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to receive a booster shot, and if you remain unvaccinated due to an exemption, you are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and boosted at your earliest convenience.  Upon our return to in-person (or hybrid) learning, the Mask Policy and Vaccination Policy, including providing a weekly negative COVID test for those unvaccinated, will be strictly enforced. We will continue to monitor and assess the situation daily and announce any changes as necessary consistent with CDC guidelines. 

November 22, 2021 Re: Spring 2022

Based upon recent CDC statistics, COVID 19 cases have significantly decreased while those vaccinated have significantly increased. The result is that we have had far fewer incidences of COVID being reported this semester since resuming in-person instruction. With cases on the decline and vaccinations on the incline, it’s time that we get back to a sense of normalcy while maintaining safety protocols. Accordingly, to continue our efforts to enhance the educational experience, beginning January 3, 2022, we will discontinue the hybrid format of instruction and continue classes 100% in-person while adhering to CDC safety guidelines. Classes will no longer be conducted remotely via Zoom. To accommodate the in-person format and maintain safety protocols consistent with CDC guidance, the Vaccination Policy, including its weekly reporting requirement for all unvaccinated individuals, and Mask Policy shall remain in full effect. Any changes to these policies will be announced prior to the Spring 2022 semester.

Thank you and Happy Holidays, Dean Gatewood

October 4, 2021 Return to Campus Plan

Over the last several weeks, we have heard from many students who have expressed a strong desire to return to in-person learning because they have found it to be a more effective learning experience. We have also heard from students who have expressed concerns with regard to returning to in-person learning during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The concerns on both fronts were confirmed in the student survey that was sent out this weekend. This survey revealed that 49.1% of students preferred some form of in-person learning (whether all in-person, or some hybrid form) while 50.9% of students preferred to remain online for the remainder of the semester. Based on comments made in the survey, many of those who preferred to remain online cited the failure of some individuals to abide by the school’s mandatory mask policy as a major consideration for their preference. 

In consultation with the faculty, and taking all student concerns into consideration, we have decided that the best educational model moving forward this semester is a hybrid option that will permit both in-person and remote classroom experiences. This option provides students the opportunity of receiving some level of in-person instruction for each course, while addressing COVID-related safety issues by having fewer students on campus at the same time and minimizing the interaction between cohorts. To further address safety concerns, the mandatory mask and vaccination policies will remain in effect and be strictly enforced during this period, and enhanced cleaning protocols have been arranged.

Accordingly, beginning October 11, 2021, the Law School will operate on a hybrid schedule that combines in-person learning with synchronous remote learning via Zoom. Under this schedule, courses that meet twice/week will have one in-person class and one synchronous remote class each week. Courses that meet once/week will be adjusted in a different manner. Associate Dean Scott Boone will be sending out a modified schedule course later this week indicating which classes will be held in-person and which classes will be held remotely. Under this modified schedule, class schedules and classroom assignments will remain largely the same, with only a few changes to enable the COVID-19 safety provisions noted above. Social distancing guidelines should be adhered to as much as practicable given the size of the class. Again, masks must be worn at all times while on campus.

The hybrid option will remain in effect for the remainder of the semester, subject to the discretion of the Law School. The Law School reserves the right to return to 100% in-person learning or 100% remote learning at any time at its absolute discretion if the Law School determines it is in the best interest of the entire community.

Thank you, Dean Gatewood

September 9, 2021 Midterms

In an effort to keep our positivity rate low, we have developed a plan that strives to balance the educational and safety concerns of all. Pursuant to this plan, we will be administering midterm exams on-campus during the midterm period from September 27, 2021 – October 8, 2021. This format will provide the best formative feedback on your progress and better prepare you for the final exams, which will also be administered on-campus. To permit the implementation of social distancing during the midterm period (which requires the use of multiple classrooms for each exam), and to permit us to exercise added caution prior to the midterm period, classes will remain in the online format through the end of midterms, October 8, 2021. The Vaccination Policy, Mask Mandate and other preventative measures will remain in effect during the midterm period (and for the foreseeable future). Students who are required to submit a weekly negative COVID test, will be required to submit a negative COVID test taken within 3 days prior to the start of midterms, Monday, September 27, 2021 (i.e., you must take the test between Friday, September 24 and Sunday, September 26, 2021, for submission by Monday, September 27, 2021, via covid19@johmarshall.edu) and weekly thereafter, with each subsequent test being taken between Friday and Sunday of that week for submission on Monday of the following week. Associate Dean Boone will distribute the midterm schedule in a separate email. Midterm testing policies will also be distributed separately.

Starting next week and continuing through the midterm period, access to the Law Library will be limited to appointment only. Students needing to access the library need to make an appointment at least 24 hours prior to the time they need to come in. Currently the library staff can accommodate appointments on Tuesday – Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Later appointments are available for evening students upon request and prior appointment. As a precautionary measure, no group meetings will be permitted. If you are required to submit a weekly negative COVID test, no appointments will be scheduled unless and until you have emailed your test results to covid19@johnmarshall.edu pursuant to the Vaccination Policy. Other than scheduled library appointments and midterm exams, the campus will be closed to student traffic.

Students can schedule a library appointment by emailing askthelibrarian@johnmarshall.edu. Library staff will attempt to accommodate late requests, but requests made less than 24 hours in advance may be declined and may require the student to instead request an appointment for the following business day. 

We are planning to resume in-person learning starting on Monday, October 11, 2021, utilizing a modified schedule that will limit the number of days students must be on campus and keep the total number of students in the building at any given time to a minimum. A separate email will be sent outlining the plan, which provides for alternating in-person and remote learning weekly by class and section, to give everyone an opportunity for in-person learning. There will be no occasion in which a class will be conducted both in-person and remotely simultaneously.  

In addition to the Vaccination Policy and Mask Mandate, other preventative measures will be in place for all in-person classes and exams including, but not limited to, hand sanitizers, cleaning cloths to sanitize seating areas and extra masks for anyone who needs an emergency replacement.

August 26, 2021 Temporary Shut Down

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

We have been informed that an additional five (5) students (beyond the two previously referenced) who attended classes last week have tested positive for COVID-19 this week. These students are in different sections, members of different class years, and consist of members of both the day and the evening programs. Some were fully vaccinated, and some were not, and this continues to illustrate the need for continued vigilance and mindful engagement with the school Mask policy and safety procedures. For the continued safety of everyone, if you attended school last week, or otherwise have any concerns or symptoms, you should consider being tested for COVID-19 this week, whether or not you have been fully vaccinated or are required to submit testing results to the school on a weekly basis. A list of classes that one or more of the students who tested positive for COVID-19 attended is included below so that you may determine whether you might have been in close contact with one of them.

Considering the new information regarding positive tests, and in an effort to proactively take measures to protect the health and safety of our community, the Law School has decided that from Monday, August 30, 2021, through Friday, September 10, 2021, all classes, both day and evening, will be conducted online via Zoom and Canvas to minimize the number of individuals in the Law School at any one time. The Law School will remain closed to students during this time to allow proper cleaning and disinfecting to take place, as well as to proactively engage in other protective measures.  All requirements of the Vaccination Policy and Mask Policy will still be in effect.  Staff and faculty who are required to submit weekly negative COVID-19 tests must continue doing so during the two-week period. Students who are required to submit a weekly negative COVID test, will not have to do so for the weeks of August 30 or September 6 while they are off campus, but must resume the submission of weekly COVID-19 tests within 3 days prior to return on the week of September 13, 2021 (i.e. You must take the test between Friday, September 10 and Sunday, September 12 for submission by Monday, September 13, 2021, via covid19@johmarshall.edu.) 

Thank you, Dean Gatewood

August 23, 2021 Campus Exposure FAQ

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

Students who test positive for COVID-19, are required to notify Associate Dean Barger (jbarger@johnmarshall.edu) and stay home until:

–  He or she has had no fever for at least three (3) days without taking medication to reduce fever during that time; AND

–  Any respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath) have improved; AND

–  At least ten (10) days if vaccinated or fourteen (14) days if unvaccinated have passed since the symptoms began; AND

–  He or she provides a negative COVID test within three days prior to returning to school.

We will make every effort to record classes during the period of any quarantine. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that students contact their professors and arrange virtual meetings during the quarantine period to remain on-track with the course materials.

What do I do if I have COVID-related symptoms?

Students who experience COVID-related symptoms (see below) should be tested for COVID-19 prior to coming on campus. Students who test positive for COVID-19 are required to notify Dean Barger immediately and follow the instructions for a positive COVID-19 test (noted above). Students who test negative may come to campus.

What do I do if I have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Students who have had close personal contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should be tested 3-5 days after the exposure, even if not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. If a positive COVID-19 test result is returned, the student is required to notify Associate Dean Barger immediately and follow the instructions for a positive test (noted above). Students should also, consistent with the AJMLS Mask Policy, continue to wear a mask at all times while on campus. “Close contact” is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period of time (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes).

Students who have a sick family member or roommate at home with COVID-19 should notify Associate Dean Barger (jbarger@johnmarshall.edu) and seek further direction, even if they are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. 

Known symptoms COVID-19 may include the following:

·         Fever or chills

·         Cough

·         Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

·         Fatigue

·         Muscle or body aches

·         Headache

·         New loss of taste or smell

·         Sore throat

·         Congestion or runny nose

·         Nausea or vomiting

·         Diarrhea

August 3, 2021 Mask Policy

Mask Policy (You must be logged into your AJMLS account to access this link)

July 29, 2021 Mask Policy

Dear Law School Community:

As you know, the CDC recently issued its recommendation that all Americans regardless of vaccination status wear masks in indoor public places in regions where the coronavirus and especially the Delta variant are spreading rapidly, which would include Georgia. Yesterday, the City of Atlanta issued a mandatory mask mandate that masks must be worn in all indoor places. Accordingly, the Law School will now require that everyone wear a mask while in public settings within the Law School or while in the presence of others. This is a mandatory requirement for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.  

Thank you, Dean Gatewood

July 8, 2021 Vaccination Reminder

As you have been notified, there is a Vaccination Requirement in order to attend school for all students. There are three exemptions you can apply for (Religious, Medical (including Pregnancy), or by Agreement), each of which requires you to agree to submit and upload a weekly negative COVID test in order to attend class in any given week. Failure to comply will result in a student being sent home and marked absent from the class until a negative COVID test is presented. You must upload a valid Vaccination Card, apply for an exemption, and/or execute an agreement to submit a weekly negative COVID test by August 2, 2021 by clicking the link at the top of this page. If you fail to meet this timeframe, you will be unregistered for all classes which may prevent you from attending school in the fall. These matters are serious and should be taken as such.

Students who are planning to get the vaccination or have not been fully vaccinated by the time school starts will be required to submit and upload a weekly negative COVID test and sign an agreement to that effect until such time as a valid vaccination card is uploaded showing you have been fully vaccinated. Applying for an exemption does not relieve you of the obligation to agree to and submit a weekly negative COVID test. 

June 9, 2021 Vaccination Update

Dear Students:

I hope this email finds you well and that you are preparing for a terrific summer. With final exams behind us, we are in the midst of planning for relocating and for re-opening in the fall at our new facility, One Marquise Tower. The recent data from the CDC and other local governments, and recent actions by the Governor, have been influential in allowing us to develop a plan for the fall semester. Based upon the latest CDC guidance regarding fully vaccinated individuals, and after conferring with the Board of Directors, and the Deans of many independent law schools like ours, we are planning to return to normal operations in August. In doing so, we will implement a vaccination requirement (with medical and religious exemptions, including pregnancy) for all faculty, staff, and students. Please refer to the Policy regarding requests for exemptions or to provide proof of vaccination.

Students with exemptions will be accommodated consistent with student accommodations afforded students who need accommodations due to illness or other afflictions that prevent them from attending class. In no event shall accommodations include hybrid, online, remote or distance education options.

Any student that refuses to be vaccinated and does not otherwise qualify for an exemption will be treated similar to those with exemptions. Students needing accommodations should contact Associate Dean Barger (jbarger@johnmarshall.edu) for further details.

July 1, 2020 Fall 2020 Update

Dear Students:

First, I hope you and your families are all well and safe.  As I am sure you are aware, the trajectory of the pandemic is of increasing concern, statewide and nationally. And I know that you, like many across the globe, are feeling the impacts in your personal and professional lives. In light of this, I write to share important news about the coming Fall semester. 

After careful consideration and continued evaluation of the current Coronavirus situation, I have decided that the entire Fall 2020 semester will be taught remotely. This decision was not an easy one, but it was one that needed to be made now to give everyone some level of certainty and to provide ample opportunity to adjust your schedules and prepare for the fall. Our paramount responsibility during this time is the health and safety of our entire Law School community.

While courses will be taught remotely, the Law School will be open and there may be a time in which you may need to visit the campus to access the Library or other services, or for limited face-to-face meetings with faculty, staff, or administrators. In these cases, the Law School has developed a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan applicable to the entire Law School Community. Our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) guidelines, federal OSHA standards related to COVID-19 and Executive Order 20-48.

Below is a list of pertinent provisions applicable to students while visiting the Law School so long as the Plan is in effect:

  • Students are encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Students are required to execute and return the COVID-19 Acknowledgement (see email from Dean Gatewood), acknowledging the that they are aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and commit to self-monitor and report any symptoms to an Associate Dean before entering the Law School. Students who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are required to notify an Associate Dean and stay home until they are free of fever (100.4°F or greater using an oral thermometer), have no signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Students who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify an Associate Dean and seek further direction. Students will have access to a touch-less forehead/ temporal artery thermometer to self-check their temperature if they should become ill or sick while at the Law School. Any student who reports a fever (100.4°F or greater) shall be sent home and shall not be allowed to return to the Law School until: 
  • He or she has had no fever for at least three (3) days without taking medication to reduce fever during that time; AND
  • Any respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath) have improved; AND
  • At least fourteen (14) days have passed since the symptoms began.
  • A student may return to school earlier if a doctor confirms the cause of a student’s fever or other symptoms is not COVID-19 and releases the student to return to school in writing.
  • Basic infection prevention measures will be implemented at the Law School at all times. Students shall wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day. All students will be required to wash or sanitize their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the Law School. Hand-sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60% alcohol) will be placed at the entrance and throughout the Law School so it can be used for hand hygiene in place of soap and water.
  • All students shall be required to wear a mask while in common areas of the Law School, including classrooms, library, hallways, stairwells, elevators, and restrooms. 
  • Social distancing of six feet will be implemented and maintained between employees, students, and visitors in the school, including the library and classrooms whenever possible.

Until the start of school, on August 10, 2020, the Law School will remain closed to students except by a prior scheduled appointment with a faculty member, staff member, or administrator. However, the Library will reopen Monday, July 6, 2020 exclusively for recent graduates who will be taking the September bar exam. The hours of the Library will be Monday-Thursday, 10:00am to 4:00pm. You must make an appointment with a member of the Library staff, either AJ Doucett (ajdoucett@johnmarshall.edu) or Mary Wilson (mewilson@johnmarshall.edu) to visit the Library. 

Although this Plan provides a level of certainty regarding Fall 2020 instruction, I realize that the changes I am announcing will be welcome news to some and disappointing to others. I spoke at length with the senior leadership team, and we wrestled with the issues and conflicting interests inherent in this situation. Our decision affirms prioritizing the health and safety of our students and other community members.

Dean Boone and the Registrar’s Office will follow up with additional information about instruction, registration, grading, and exams. For now, please note the Law School will return to traditional grading scales. As Dean Boone will explain, Fall 2020 exams will be either online or take‐home, as designated by your professor, though we may adopt remote‐proctoring software that supports closed‐book exams for some classes, including bar classes, if available.

We will not reduce tuition, despite the switch to all‐remote courses this fall. The cost of providing an outstanding legal education for our students is essentially the same, whether it is delivered in person or online. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, our faculty and staff will provide students with an innovative and engaging educational experience—one that builds community and fully prepares students for a successful professional career.

I want to thank you for your patience and wish you well as you plan for the year ahead. I look forward to seeing many of you on campus in the fall, even if classes are remote. I remain hopeful that the spring will bring solid ground on which to build more in‐person instructional choices. You have all shown great patience, resilience, and fortitude, which lives up to the School’s hashtag #JohnMarshallProud. 

Dean Gatewood

April 17, 2020 Georgia Bar Exam Update

The Georgia Supreme Court has made the important decision to postpone the July 2020 Georgia Bar Exam. Please read the full post and read the executive order here.

April 2, 2020 Law School Update

Yesterday, the Governor of the State of Georgia issued a statewide shelter-in-place order effective Friday, April 3, 2020, until April 13, 2020. As such, the Law School building will be closed until April 13, 2020. Distance learning is not impacted by this physical closure. Please check your email frequently for updates.

March 18, 2020 Law School Update

Based upon the most recent recommendations from the CDC, and local and national governmental officials, the best course during this time is for everyone to stay home. Effective immediately, the building will be closed to all students and visitors (other than deliveries) except by previous appointment. Students wishing to use the library or other resources, such as the computer lab or Zoom rooms, must make an appointment with AJ Doucett or Mary Wilson for library services, or Dean Boone or Dean Barger for other services or needs, or your professor. No student should come to the building without having made a previous appointment with someone who will be present on campus and available to you. When present on campus, students should practice “social distancing” and vacate the building as soon as your business on campus has been concluded. Most meetings that might have otherwise happened face-to-face will be held by telephone or Zoom video conference until further notice.

Faculty and Staff will still have access to the building to conduct essential work. Students should use email to communicate with the various departments in which they have business. 

Of course, any face-to-face meeting or events that were scheduled during this time are canceled. As members of the community, we must all exercise caution for the betterment of society. This is bigger and more important than all of us, but if we do our small part, we become a part of the solution and not the problem.

Please continue to review your email and social media sites for continuous updates.

March 18, 2020 Course Delivery Update

The Law School will begin offering all courses through virtual learning principally through Zoom technology, beginning Monday, March 23, 2020. However, some professors may choose another form of online teaching, such as TWEN live chat or recorded lectures uploaded to TWEN, Google Drive, or sent via email. Courses that were already online will continue using the same format. Each Professor will notify you as to how they intend to conduct their particular class. Unless otherwise advised by your professor, classes will be conducted on the same days and times as your normal class schedule. We will be operating in the virtual format for the remainder of the semester and through final exams. Please monitor your emails and TWEN site frequently for updates from your professor regarding your course.

Most Professors will opt to use Zoom Technology. A Zoom account isn’t required to attend a meeting. Users do need a Zoom account to host a meeting, but anyone can join a meeting by clicking on the zoom link sent to you by your professor. When you join a zoom meeting for the first time, the necessary zoom app will download into your device automatically. You also may manually download the necessary apps by clicking on the following link: https://zoom.us/download. If you don’t have a computer, you may access the zoom app through a mobile app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for Android users or Apple Store for Apple users.

To ensure a pleasant experience with your first Zoom Meeting, we highly encourage students to download and install the Zoom Application beforehand. 

To download and install the Zoom Application:

  • Go to https://zoom.us/download and from the Download Center, click on the Downloadbutton under “Zoom Client For Meetings”.
    • This application will automatically download when you start your first Zoom Meeting.
  • Once the download is complete, proceed with installing the Zoom application onto your computer or mobile device.

Below is a link of Zoom Video Tutorials that you may find useful as you navigate our new virtual reality for the remainder of the semester. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Professors if you have any additional questions regarding your particular course.

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-Video-Tutorials

March 12, 2020 Library Update

Please see following Library Hours for remainder of the week and next week (Spring Break):

Thursday, March 12 through Friday, March 13: Library staff will respond to the doorbell from noon until 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 14 through Sunday, March 15: Closed

Monday, March 16 through Thursday, March 19: Library staff will respond to the doorbell from noon until 7:00 p.m.

Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 22: Closed

Monday, March 23: To be announced, depending on class schedule and building closing times.

March 12, 2020 Law School Update

Dear Law School Community:

We are fortunate to have no known cases of COVID-19 within our community. Though we continue to believe the risk of transmission on our campus is currently low, we know that community spread is happening in parts of the United States and the World Health Organization has officially declared the outbreak a pandemic. While much remains unknown about COVID-19’s epidemiology and impact, we know the best time to put policies in place to effectively slow the spread of the virus is now rather than later—even when there are no cases on our campus of which we are aware. Our goal is not to react to fear in the midst of this complex time, but to be proactive in the preventative measures we can take as an institution.  Accordingly, we take the following steps towards that goal:

SPRING BREAK

After much thoughtful consideration, we have decided to extend Spring Break effective today, March 12, 2020, through Sunday, March 22, 2020. All classes scheduled for today, March 12, 2020, and tomorrow, March 13, 2020, are canceled. The Law School will remain open.

ONLINE COURSE DELIVERY

Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, the Law School will transition to online delivery of all classroom content via Zoom or other distance learning technology for up to the remainder of the semester. Your Professors in each course will notify you as to the platform they will utilize to deliver their online content. The online classes will be conducted at the same time and on same days as your normal in-class schedules unless otherwise directed by your Professor. Zoom technology can be accessed through your computer or other internet-based device or by downloading the free Zoom app on your phone through Apple Store or Google’s Play Store. If your professor prefers TWEN, TWEN is accessed using your normal TWEN account. Please be prepared to resume classes online beginning March 23, 2020 until further notice.

EVENTS

In order to reduce the risk of exposure to and transmission of the virus, all events, including but not limited to, the Barrister’s Ball, are canceled until further notice. This decision is based on the CDC’s recommendation of “social distancing,” i.e., decreasing the number of instances that require community members to gather in large groups or spend extended periods of time in close proximity with each other.

Please know that these decisions were not made lightly. We understand these measures will cause a level of disruption to our law school community, but we strongly believe that by being proactive now, we have the greatest chance of decreasing our risk. The potential consequences of not acting far outweigh these short-term disruptions as these are indeed unprecedented times that call for unprecedented measures.

I would like to thank the members of our staff and faculty who have been working on these issues daily. We are fortunate to have a team of dedicated, knowledgeable, and committed professionals here to help us navigate this complex situation. We will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners to address the impacts of COVID-19 to plan accordingly. 

I ask all of you to join in supporting these policies. John Marshall is an extraordinary community of care and concern, especially in trying situations, and now is a time to exercise generosity and support for each other. Acting in that spirit, I have every confidence we will meet the challenge before us and come out of this stronger and more resilient.

Dean Gatewood

March 11, 2020 Law School Update

The decision of whether to move to online course delivery will be made during the Reading Period/Spring Break. Please monitor your email during the break and be prepared if the school decides to deliver classes online after the break. Thank you for your ongoing support.

March 6, 2020 Law School Update

At this time, there does not appear to be a basis for canceling classes or law school activities. In consultation with the faculty, Dean Gatewood has implemented the following policy:

  1. We will continue to hold classes and other events until advised otherwise.
  2. In the event it becomes necessary, we will endeavor to record/Zoom all classes to the extent we have the capacity to do so. Our IT Department will work with individual professors to devise the best instructional approach for each class. We are immediately embarking to train all instructors in the use of Zoom, which will allow instructors to teach their students remotely. Classes will continue to meet in regular fashion unless advised otherwise.
  3. Although students are strongly encouraged to attend classes, we, of course, do not want students to feel any pressure to come to school if they are feeling ill or in a high-risk category. We recognize that law school classes are inherently interactive and something is lost when an in-person class is transformed into a distance learning class by the use of recording or streaming technology. But under these extraordinary circumstances, we ask every professor to be flexible with regard to attendance requirements during this time. Nevertheless, professors will be instructed to continue to record attendance and students may be asked to provide a doctor’s note or other documentation in the event they are sick or in a high-risk category.
  4. In the event it becomes necessary, professors are being asked to create some capacity during office hours to be available by phone or some other technology, such as Zoom.

Thank you for your patience, this situation is unprecedented and poses many challenges for all involved. This is a time when our community will work together to support and assist each other. As always, please wash your hands.

Vendors and Campus Guests

Vendors and Guests

The campus is currently closed to vendors and guests unless expressly invited for a planned event or meeting.

Vendor and Guest Procedures

Vendors and guests conducting on-premise projects at AJMLS are expected to complete the Health Screening Form.

Health Screening Form, to be completed upon arrival at the front desk (updated 9/16/2021)

Testing Sites Near Downtown Campus

Testing Sites Near Downtown Campus

The Law School has identified the closest COVID rapid-test testing sites to our new downtown campus. This list was correct at the time of posting (6/30/21), please independently verify with each location their availability and cost.

Urgent Care 24/7

285 Centennial Olympic Park Dr. NW CU-2A, Atlanta, GA 30313

Walgreens

2893 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

CVS

865 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

CDC COVID-19 Page

Georgia Department of Public Health COVID-19 Page

December 2021 Outstanding Student of the Quarter Award

The Office of Student Affairs is pleased to announce the names of the students who were selected for the Outstanding Student of the Quarter Award. This award is designed to recognize the contributions and efforts of students who excel in and/or out of the classroom and are dedicated to enriching the law school and greater communities.

The following students won the 2021 Outstanding Student of the Quarter Award for this quarter:

Full-Time Division

Tiara Clemmons

Keith Collins

Mercedes Dickerson

Daniela Martinez

Part-Time Division

Beverly Fratto

Lamone Graham

Marquez Jones

The Selection Committee was impressed by all of the students whose names were submitted for the award. We look forward to continuing to hear about the hard work of our students in and out of the classroom. We are #AJMLSproud!

Black Law Students Association (BLSA) Named Outstanding Student Organization of Fall 2021

The Office of Student Affairs is proud to award the Fall 2021 Outstanding Student Organization of the Semester Award to the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). This award recognizes student organizations that have excelled in leadership and made positive contributions to the student experience, the law school, and the surrounding community in a given semester.

Included below are some of the events that the Black Law Students Association sponsored this semester:

  • Flying Into Success Event
  • Breast Cancer Virtual Walk
  • Tailored Tuesdays
  • Black Law Students Association Mixer and Brunch
  • Positivi-Tea *This event was co-sponsored with the Charlotte E. Ray Legal Society, Christian Legal Society, Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, Student Bar Association, and the Student Trial Lawyers Association. 

The Selection Committee was impressed by the effort and hard work of the Black Law Students Association. Congratulations, Black Law Students Association, on being chosen as the Fall 2021 Outstanding Student Organization.

The Office of Student Affairs would also like to recognize the Student Bar Association for all of the leaders’ hard work, quality programming and positivity. We look forward to continuing to work with all students to make the law school and the community better! We are John Marshall Proud!

October 2021 Employee of the Month, AJ Doucett

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) established its Employee of the Month Program in 2021 to recognize hard working employees, especially as we navigate uncharted times in legal education during COVID-19. AJMLS appreciates the efforts of its employees who strive to achieve goals and fulfill the vision of Atlanta’s John Marshall. Outstanding employees deserve to be recognized both as a reward for exceptional performance and as a model to others. The program seeks to recognize hard work and achievement in the workplace and is a peer-to-peer recognition program.

The October 2021 Employee of the Month recipient is AJ Doucett, Director of Alumni Relations.

AJ is a proud alumnus of AJMLS, who began his journey as a student in 2004. After successful completion of the Georgia bar exam, he worked as the Law School’s Reference Librarian and got to know so many students who came in to print or study. Now, he says, the best part of his job as the Alumni Director is reconnecting with all those students who are now alumni.

When asked of his work, his coworkers commented, “He has embraced his new position and continues to jump into more involvement, above and beyond what he is required” and “AJ is such a kind and outgoing team player who is genuinely invested in the success of his alma mater!”

AJ enjoys hiking, reading, and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs. His passion for volunteering with youth began when he was in college. He has volunteered with the Buckhead Church High School ministry since 2009 and with kids at the Atlanta Mission since 2014. One of his favorite quotes that drives him to volunteer with kids is “Be the person you needed when you were young.”

AJ is well-known and liked by faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and we are thankful to have him on our team.

AJMLS Welcomed Sam Mullman, Chair of Southeastern Intellectual Property Job Fair

The Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Office of Career Services welcomed Sam Mullman, intellectual property expert, to speak to AJMLS students on October 19, 2021.

Sam is an attorney at Wellborn & Wallace, LLC specializing in intellectual property, corporate, and business litigation. In 2020, Sam was a recipient of Georgia State University, 40 under 40 award. Sam currently serves as the Chair of the Southeastern Intellectual Property Job Fair, the largest IP job fair in the Southeast and the second largest IP job fair nationally.

Sam discussed with students, faculty, and staff his journey into the practice of IP Law, the distinctions between common terms such as copyright vs. trademark, and how the area of IP Law touches so many other practice areas.

This guest speaker event was a collaboration among many departments at the Law School, and the AJMLS community thanks Sam Mullman for his time, and for sharing his expertise with our students.

October 2021 Outstanding Student of the Quarter Award

The Office of Student Affairs is pleased to announce the names of the students who were selected for the Outstanding Student of the Quarter Award. This award is designed to recognize the contributions and efforts of students who excel in and/or out of the classroom and are dedicated to enriching the law school and greater communities.

The following students won the 2021 Outstanding Student of the Quarter Award for this quarter:

Full-Time Division

Nina Fisher

Carlton Lewis

Richard Mejia

Mats Rosen

Part-Time Division

Katherine Collins

Edward Hardrick

Rose Love

Tierra Monteiro

September 2021 Employee of the Month, Steven Jaudon

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) established its Employee of the Month Program in 2021 to recognize hard working employees, especially as we navigate uncharted times in legal education. AJMLS appreciates the efforts of its employees who strive to achieve goals and fulfill the vision of Atlanta’s John Marshall. Outstanding employees deserve to be recognized both as a reward for exceptional performance and as a model to others. The program seeks to recognize hard work and achievement in the workplace and is a peer-to-peer recognition program.

The September 2021 Employee of the Month recipient is Steven Jaudon, Lead Faculty Coordinator.

Steven joined the AJMLS family in 2017 as a Faculty Coordinator and was later promoted into his current role. Steven has always demonstrated a high degree of excellence, professionalism, and integrity in his job performance and continues to provide an exceptional level of support to faculty and instructors. He is always prepared to do his best and to take one for the team.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Steven flew south one winter and never looked back! His hobbies include taking road trips, writing poetry, reading comic books, and discovering new restaurants.

We are very fortunate to have Steven on our team and are so glad he made that trip to Atlanta.