Spring 2023 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.

The Fry|Goehring Law Firm Scholarship

Shinnay Richards

J.D. Candidate 2024

“I would like to extend a warm thank you to Attorney Fry, Attorney Goehring, and the scholarship committee for creating the Fry|Goehring Law Firm Scholarship. It is an honor to be selected as the recipient of this scholarship. The honor goes beyond financial assistance and speaks to the core understanding that our voices and journey through life can open many doors. I plan to use this scholarship to assist with paying my tuition, and I vow to one day give others the same support that our outstanding and continuously present alums have given me.”

Georgia Bar Success Endowed Award Scholarship

Keith Collins

J.D. Candidate 2023

“The gift of this award is immeasurable. I feel humbled, motivated, and so incredibly grateful; thank you! Your donation has provided me with a tangible means to secure my academic success and has allowed me to recognize the strength of my own worthiness.”

Georgia Bar Success Endowed Award Scholarship

Daniela Martinez

J.D. Candidate 2023

“I would like to thank Dr. Michael Markovitz, AJMLS, and everyone else who made this incredible opportunity possible. Finances have been a big hindrance for me reaching my full potential in law school. This scholarship will allow me to focus on studying for the bar, without worrying as much about the expenses of it all. I am beyond grateful!”

John E. Ryan Endowed Scholarship

Ashley Darling–Feuer

J.D. Candidate 2024

“I would like to extend my thanks to all of the donors that have made this scholarship possible. This scholarship has given me financial freedom to continue pursuing my dream of working for the state to help indigent populations. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that the John E. Ryan Scholarship has afforded me.”

John E. Ryan Endowed Scholarship

Maria Velasco

J.D. Candidate 2024

“I want to thank the John E. Ryan Endowed Scholarship committee. This scholarship is an opportunity to further my legal education and continue to pursue my goal of becoming a lawyer in my second language.”

Melissa Hamrick Scholarship

Elizabeth Harding

J.D. Candidate 2026

“I am thrilled to be a recipient of the Spring 2023 Melissa Hamrick Scholarship and extremely appreciative of Melissa’s classmate, Attorney Henderson (Class of 2010) for organizing this scholarship in her memory. Being a part time student, it is always difficult to balance work, family, and school. Receiving this scholarship will ease the financial pressure on me during the Spring semester so that I can focus more attention on my studies.”

Merchant & Gould Scholarship

Lamone Graham

J.D. Candidate 2025

Merchant & Gould Scholarship

Lloyd Jean

J.D. Candidate 2023

“I want to say thank you for your generosity and choosing me as the recipient for the Merchant & Gould Scholarship. I was extremely happy and appreciative to learn that I was chosen out of all the students who applied for it. By awarding me this scholarship, you have lightened my financial burden allowing to me to put more focus into my educations.”

Merchant & Gould Scholarship

Dean Moore

J.D. Candidate 2023

Merchant & Gould Scholarship

Jennifer Wilson-Walker

J.D. Candidate 2023

“I admire Merchant and Gould’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the practice of IP law.  To be awarded this scholarship confirms that my dreams are valid, and that there is space in the field of IP for women who look like me.  I look forward to boldly advocating for and protecting the work of creatives, innovators, and change-makers as an intellectual property and entertainment attorney.”

Winter preLaw Magazine Ranks Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School #10 Best Law School for Black or African Americans

As we celebrate our 90th anniversary this year, our core values have remained true in serving all students. Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) being ranked the 10th Best Law School for Black or African Americans by preLaw Magazine is truly a recognition we are proud of.

Providing a diverse learning environment for students is important to the faculty and administration at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. While this diversity enriches the academic environment, it also challenges the law school to meet the educational needs of all students, many of whom are either returning to the rigors of an academic experience, or are simply seeking a supportive environment for the study of law. Therefore, it is a great honor for preLaw Magazine and National Jurist Magazine to name Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School one of their Best Law Schools for Diversity the past six years.

The 2022-2023 student enrollment is 65% female and 69% minority and the 2022 entering class is 69% female and 69% minority. The entering class also boasts scholars who represent 15 birth countries.

We thank preLaw Magazine and National Jurist for their ongoing recognition and are incredibly proud of our diverse and welcoming community. 

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School – different on purpose.

Nine AJMLS Alumni Admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States Bar

On December 7, 2022, Director of Alumni Relations, A.J. Doucett, moved for nine Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumni to become members of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Bar. To be sworn into the Court, an attorney must have been sworn into the highest court in the state in which they are licensed for at least three years and be in good standing with that court. Those who were sworn in were: Lisanne Edelman (’17), Meaghan Eustice (’15), Randy Fry (’99), Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert (’12), Fernanda Hottle (’10), Shilpa Jadwani (’12), Megan McClinton (’13), Calina Plotkey (’12), Mary-Anne Uzoka (’14).

The applicants arrived at the SCOTUS with their guests and were escorted to the Natalie Cornell Rehnquist Dining Room, where they had a chance to mingle with each other and have their photos taken. Applicants and guests were escorted in shortly before the Court was gaveled into session. Doucett was called to the rostrum where he moved for the applicants to become members of the SCOTUS Bar, the applicants arose as they were called, and took the oath administered by the Clerk of the Court. After being sworn in, the newly admitted attorneys and guests remained in the courtroom to hear the case of Moore v. Harper. This case will have major implications on the States’ Legislatures’ power to determine the “time, place, and manner” of elections and the States’ Supreme Courts’ oversight.

Later that evening, the new bar members and their guests met at The Old Ebbitt Grille for appetizers and a celebratory toast to their accomplishment. Despite rain clouds throughout the day, everyone raved about this once-in-a-lifetime experience. AJMLS will continue to offer this trip annually to the alumni of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and Savannah Law School in late fall/early winter. Registration information will be announced in the alumni newsletter and will be first come first served once the application period opens. If you are not receiving the newsletter, please notify A.J. Doucett by email to be included in the distribution.

AJMLS Ranked Top School for Criminal Law by preLaw Magazine for 4th Year

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is pleased to report its most recent “A” ranking as a top school for criminal law by preLaw Magazine. The 2022 top ranking marks the fourth year in a row receiving the distinguished nod.

Since 2011, AJMLS has proudly offered a specialized curriculum to students interested in the field of criminal law. The curriculum prepares graduates to practice criminal law, whether as a prosecutor or a defender. The Criminal Justice Certificate Program is led by Professor Jonathan Rapping, Professor of Law, MacArthur Genius Fellow, and Founder of Gideon’s Promise. 

Students may decide to pursue the Criminal Justice Certificate upon completion of their second year, after having the benefit of taking Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. Students working towards the Criminal Justice Certificate would take the remainder of the required coursework during their 3L year along with a mandatory Criminal Justice Workshop. Interested students could also begin fulfilling their 300 hours of approved field work requirement during the summer between their 2L and 3L year.

Students graduate equipped with strategies to allow them to shape the criminal justice arena rather than simply being shaped by it. The Criminal Justice Certificate Program provides an integrated, applied approach to legal education that equips students with the necessary strategies to be ethical, professional, and moral lawyers in less than perfect systems.

preLaw Magazine grades law schools based on the breadth of their curricular offerings. The scores were weighted as follows: 30% for a concentration, 24% for a clinic, 12% for a center, 12% for an externship, 9% for a journal, 8% for a student group, 5% for a certificate and added value for other offerings.

1999 Alumnus, Adam Malone, Establishes Memorial Scholarship Honoring Classmate, S. Bradley Houck

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is honored to announce that Adam Malone, Class of 1999, has established the S. Bradley Houck Memorial Scholarship honoring his friend and classmate. Houck, Class of 1997, succumbed to complications related to an extended illness in the fall of 2021. The gift establishing the memorial scholarship is the largest in the Law School’s nearly 90-year history.

S. Bradley “Brad” Houck was born and raised in a small coal-mining town in Mullens, West Virginia. He attended Marshall University and graduated with honors in 1993 earning a BA degree in Criminal Justice. Brad attended Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School graduating with the highest honor and Valedictorian of his class in 1997. After law school, Brad worked with attorneys Tommy Malone and Adam Malone, handling catastrophic personal injury cases, and serving as second chair at trial for both Malones. After starting his law firm in 2003, Brad served as lead counsel in dozens of cases involving personal injury and medical malpractice. Brad is survived by his lovely wife and two children.

The S. Bradley Houck Memorial Scholarship was created by Malone with support from Senetha Houck, and Wes Jordan, Class of 1997. The scholarship seeks to honor Brad and continue his legacy of excellence in academics and service to the community.

“I am proud to announce the endowment of the S. Bradley Houck Memorial Scholarship. While he was taken from us too soon, his spirit is with us always in his work and the good that he inspired. He always spoke of his time at John Marshall and the positive way it shaped his life and career. Now, we will have the opportunity to give many future lawyers a chance to experience the same,” said Adam Malone, owner of Malone Law.

Adam Malone is a longtime supporter of his alma mater, having served as a past president of the Alumni Board and now as a current member of the Board of Directors. He was the Class of 1999 Valedictorian and has also been honored as a Distinguished Alumni in 2008. Thank you, Adam, for honoring Brad’s life and establishing the memorial scholarship in his name. 

Inquiries related to establishing named scholarship funds may be directed to Chief Development Officer, Wendy Aina.

2004 Alumna, Sonja Brown, Elected Cobb County Superior Court Judge

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates 2004 alumna, Sonja Brown, who was recently sworn in as a Cobb County Superior Court Judge after winning a runoff election this past summer. Judge Brown was honored by AJMLS as a Distinguished Alumni recipient in 2009.

Prior to her election win in Cobb County, Judge Brown had served as a Cobb County magistrate judge, Fulton County Assistant District Attorney, Director of Offender Re-Entry Services with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, and as Staff Counsel at Convergent Media Systems Corporation. 

Outside the courtroom, Judge Brown is the past president of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA), member of the State Bar of Georgia, Corporate Counsel for Women of Color, and served on the Board of the Restorative Justice Center of the Atlanta Community Court Division (Atlanta Municipal Court), and the Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition Foundation. In 2006, she co-wrote “Fueled by Greatness – 10 Cutting Edge Strategies for Accelerating Your Destiny Now.”

While at AJMLS, Judge Brown was the Student Bar Association President and won the Aspen Book Award for Remedies, Civil Procedure I, and Civil Procedure II.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is pleased to celebrate alongside Judge Brown and wishes her much success as she takes the bench.

November 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.

1L Class

Timecca Cordero

Timecca Cordero is a 1L student who is a Student Representative of the SBA, and serves on the SBA’s Academic Advisory Committee. Timecca is also a member of the Charlotte E. Ray Law Society (CERLS). She devotes her time to working pro bono at the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and believes an outstanding law student is “one who has drive to achieve academically by accessing all of AJMLS’s academic resources and being an AJMLS resource!”

Rubi Garcia-Manzo

Rubi Garcia-Manzo is a 1L at AJMLS. Before moving to Georgia in 2019, Rubi held many different leadership positions in college, from student government representative to Vice President of the Mexican American Student Association. In 2018, Rubi found an interest in leadership after interning at the York County Economic Alliance, where she and several other interns created the “YoCo Bloom” Micro-Grant. This grant serves as a stepping stone for organizations and businesses and has created lasting change for the beneficiaries in her hometown of York, Pennsylvania.

During the summer of 2019, Rubi interned in the Office of Governor Tom Wolf, where she assisted with public outreach. After moving to Georgia to pursue a law degree, Rubi received the role of policy co-chair with HYPE (the Hispanic Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs). While Rubi was the policy co-chair of HYPE, her team was able to raise more than ten thousand dollars in funding. One of the most memorable events during her two-year tenure was “pups and politics”, an event that would later be featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Rubi has also served as the Leyendas chair for the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials and was selected to participate in GALEO’s Georgia Institute of Leadership. Rubi’s definition of an outstanding law student is “one who never gives up on their dreams and aspirations and one who takes error and uses it as a mechanism for growth. An outstanding student is one who looks fear and anxiety in the face and says, ‘I will not let you win’, even if that means getting up and trying again tomorrow.”

Suzanne Oldweiler

Suzanne Oldweiler, a 1L in the full-time program, is an Ann Kimsey and John Marshall Scholarship recipient and holds a B.S. in Business Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology. As a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), Suzanne advocates for children in foster care, and she volunteers as a coach for Partners in Change. Suzanne spent four years on Morningside Elementary’s Family Science Night Planning Committee and has volunteered with the Suzuki School, the American Red Cross, and First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta. Suzanne served as a Board Member for the Georgia Tech Business Network and as President of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s Intown Atlanta Network. Currently, Suzanne holds student memberships with the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Georgia.

Prior to law school, Suzanne was promoted to Key Accounts Sales Manager at GRAPHISOFT, a global company providing industry-leading Building Information Modeling software solutions for architecture and design. Suzanne led key account strategy and development in support of business objectives and revenue goals, while launching initiatives such as the Annual Business Review program and the DEI Council. After nearly two decades in the AEC industry, Suzanne brings extensive client advocacy, technology sales, and professional leadership experience to the AJMLS community. In addition, Suzanne is a finisher of the New York and Miami marathons, as well as 17 half-marathons. Suzanne believes that “growth, grit, and curiosity are key traits of outstanding law students. In addition to demonstrating humility and professionalism, such students foster a growth mindset, recognize strengths and blind spots are solution-focused, and stay true to their values. Outstanding law students pair their purpose in law with an unwavering commitment to progress and service.” Suzanne resides in Atlanta with her husband, two daughters, and adopted Chihuahua.

Jodi–Ann Salters

Jodi-Ann Salters is a 1L Student Bar Association Student Representative for Section B. She is a non-traditional student and a UGA alumnae with more than twelve years of leadership and management experience. Jodi-Ann believes in a balanced lifestyle and encourages her peers to do the same. With this in mind, she planned a Section B group study session and a social event to foster inclusivity and team building. Beyond studying and preparing for classes, Jodi-Ann enjoys spending quality time with her husband, children, and friends. Every Saturday, it’s “go Dawgs,” and every Sunday, it’s “go Browns!” Jodi-Ann is interested in becoming an entertainment and immigration lawyer, is a member of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, and is working tirelessly to expand her professional network. She is also an active member of C.E.R.L.S. (Charlotte E. Ray Legal Society) and BLSA (Black Law Students Association). Jodi-Ann’s definition of an outstanding law student is “a student who is supportive, ethical, scholarly, charitable, and well-balanced. Outstanding law students motivate and encourage those around them to do their best. Law school is challenging but fun, tiring but purposeful, and sometimes depressing but rewarding.” Jodi-Ann believes “the relationships she builds are as meaningful as the new language she is learning.” She is thankful for the collective effort in section B, the team they have assembled, and the honor of representing them.

2L Class

Tiara Clemmons

Tiara L. Clemmons is a 2L student at AJMLS. Tiara currently serves as a Staff Editor for the Law Journal. She has earned CALI awards for both Civil Procedure and Criminal Law and has also received two Outstanding Student of the Quarter Awards. She serves on the Induction Committee for Charlotte E. Ray Legal Society and as a peer mentor, working to bridge the gap between Black women and the legal profession. She is also an active member of the Black Law Students Association. Tiara is passionate about uplifting others and regularly seeks out opportunities to make a positive impact in her community. She volunteered as a student contributor on the fourth edition of “Home for Good: Overcoming Legal Barriers to Reentry in Georgia.” She worked diligently with her colleagues to draft a comprehensive guide aimed at answering practical, legal questions to help those recently released from prison or jail remain in their community. Tiara’s definition of an outstanding law student is one who is “kind, respectful, professional, and always willing to lend a helping hand.”

3L Class

Taylor Blumenthal

Taylor Blumenthal is a 3L in the part-time program. She has received CALI awards in Legal Writing and Civil Procedure, and she recently joined Law Journal as a Staff Editor. Taylor juggles part-time classes, a full-time job as a legal assistant at an immigration law firm, a busy family life, which includes a seven-year-old daughter, two dogs, a cat, and three horses. Before deciding to pursue a legal career, Taylor worked on staff for the Georgia General Assembly. Being immersed in the political world opened her eyes to the important role attorneys play in our everyday lives. Currently, Taylor is undecided about her desired practice area, but she was surprised to find she has an interest in criminal law during a recent judicial clerkship. For now, she plans to continue exploring different options, while working towards graduation in the Spring of 2024. Taylor describes an outstanding law student as, “someone who manages the challenges of law school with integrity, hard work, and intellectual curiosity, showing that they will be a positive force in the world after gaining the power that comes with a law degree.”

Monique Cherry

Monique Cherry is a full-time 3L student and will graduate in May 2023. She has received CALI awards in Criminal Law, Legal Writing, Research & Analysis II, Domestic Relations, and Negotiations. She has served as a teaching assistant for Professor Dalton’s Legal Writing, Research & Analysis I and II courses since the Fall of 2021. Monique is also an academic peer advisor for the Law School, and assists students in navigating course requirements, selecting electives, understanding the requirements for graduation, and finding general course information. She currently serves as the Managing Editor of the Law Journal, where she has been a member since 2021. Monique was invited to join the Journal because she was ranked in the top 10% of her class.

Outside of class, Monique works for two law firms (one in Washington, DC and another in Atlanta, GA). Her work focuses primarily on immigration and criminal litigation. While she is unsure of the area of law in which she will practice upon graduating, her ultimate goal is to break into the world of space law! Monique’s definition of an outstanding student is “someone who is not only dedicated to their schooling and excelling in their courses, but who also demonstrates a commitment to their law school community and student development.” Recognizing that every student at AJMLS is undergoing stress and uncertainty, Monique aims to be a helping hand and voice of encouragement.

Grace Gomez

Grace C. Gomez is a 3L part-time evening program student. Despite working full time as a paralegal and attending AJMLS part time in the evening, she has found the time to be a student ambassador, a staff editor on Law Journal, and a vice-chair of the Advocacy Board. Grace holds a B.A. in Psychology, with a concentration in Sociology, from SUNY Stony Brook University, and an ABA-approved Paralegal Certificate from Marist College. In the 2022 National Appellate Advocacy Competition, she placed in the region’s top 10 oral advocates; that event confirmed that she is interested in litigation, specifically family law and in appellate work. Grace’s definition of an outstanding law student is “someone who tries their best in and out of the classroom, excels academically, and exemplifies the ideals of the profession.”

Chauncey Graham

Chauncey Graham is a 3L in the full-time program. He serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the John Marshall Law Journal for Volume XVI, 2022-2023. He is also a member of the Black Law Students Association, BLSA’s Fundraising Committee, and the Public Interest Law Society. Chauncey’s definition of an outstanding law student is one “who not only exhibits a passion for learning, but who also is well-rounded and committed to fostering an environment where all students are encouraged to thrive.”

MarQuita Jones

MarQuita Danielle “Danni” Jones is a 3L at AJMLS. She has received a CALI award in Legal Writing, is a member of the John Marshall Law School Law Journal, and has served as a peer mentor. Danielle is also a member of the executive board of the DeKalb Bar Association.

For the past 11 years, Danielle has worked as the Litigation Paralegal and Trial Assistant for Attorney Joe A. Weeks, an alumnus of AJMLS, and she provides mentorship to paralegals at other law firms. Danielle wants to become a trial lawyer, and has a passion for speaking on behalf of those who are unable to speak for themselves. Although Danielle loves civil litigation, her heart and passion are centered around changing lives and helping to restore hope, faith, and trust in our judicial system. Danielle believes that an outstanding law student is “not a perfect student, but a student who works diligently in her academic performance; someone who demonstrates sincere respect and concern for her fellow classmates and her professors; someone who displays a commitment to service within her community and abroad; someone with strong ethics and morals; and someone who, despite obstacles, has a positive attitude, while maintaining integrity and respect for the legal profession.”

Rose Love

Rose Love is a New Jersey-born Georgia Peach and is a 3L student with a background in marketing. She has a desire to bridge the education and wealth gap between black Americans and their counterparts from other racial and ethnic groups. Rose is the founder and Chief Justice of the Charlotte E. Ray Legal Society, and it is the largest organization on campus. Along with the executive board, Rose works diligently to increase the 1L retention rate among black female law students. Rose also serves as a peer mentor and a member of the President’s Corner. Rose also sits on the AJMLS chapter of GAWL’s executive board and is a student mentor for the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers (Big GAWL). This year, Rose was chosen out of thousands of applicants to be 1 of 100 female law students to attend the “Ms. JD” Women in Law Conference in Malibu, California. Moreover, Rose is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and The Order of Eastern Star P.H.A.

During her tenure at AJMLS, Rose interned at Immigration Hope Atlanta, where she worked on cases
regarding VAWA (Violence Against Women Act). At Immigration Hope Atlanta, Rose helped women of color who were victims of abuse obtain their green cards and a path to legal citizenship. Rose has also had the opportunity to intern at BAJI (Black Alliance for Just Immigration), the country’s largest non-profit organization that caters specifically to black immigrants. It led her to advocate for the injustices inside the immigration camps that house mostly black and brown people, and she has worked on projects involving the murder of George Floyd and its protest. Rose has also done work and research regarding the mutilation of black women’s bodies in Africa. She currently works as a legal redress agent for the NAACP, where she is advocating for criminal justice reform and to correct the inhumane conditions in Georgia’s prison system.

In addition to her many other obligations, Rose also works as an associate at Martin and Associates and has her 3L practice certificate. Rose has already been the first chair in two cases and argued in court, and she settled and won her first case in November. Rose credits Jesus, her parents, and her ancestors for her many accomplishments and is pursuing a law degree in their honor. She believes that an outstanding law student “understands that failure is not final, and that it is the courage to get up and continue that matters”.

Diamond Nimene

Diamond Nimene is a 3L at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. She has received a CALI award in Legal Writing and Research II, and is vice-president of both the Black Law Students Association and the Sports and Entertainment Law Society. Additionally, Diamond serves as a Student Ambassador for the school, the Secretary for the Charlotte E. Ray Legal Society, and a student representative for LexisNexis. She also regularly volunteers her time and efforts to mentor some of her younger classmates, while finding a balance between life and school.

Diamond is interested in becoming a transactional entertainment lawyer (although she has been told she has a knack for litigation). Diamond is a member of many Bar Associations, including the Atlanta Bar, Georgia Bar, Gate City, and the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyer Association. She is working tirelessly to expand her professional network while reaching down to ensure others are able to advance similarly. Diamond’s definition of an outstanding law student is one “who has faced adversity but still journeys forward with humility, ensuring that those experiences instill a commitment to service and devotion to the highest ideals of this wonderful profession.” Diamond is grateful for this honor!

Grant Schrantz

Grant Schrantz is a full-time 3L who serves as the Executive Student Director of the Peer Mentoring Program and the SBA Treasurer.

Under Grant’s leadership, the Peer Mentoring Program has significantly expanded its operations to include taking a larger role in 1L Orientation and setting up a booth at the student organization fair, partnering with the SBA for a Fall Community Service Event with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, producing a PMP Impact video, taking part in producing a promotional video for the PMP/SBA/GAWL/OSA Dream Closet Initiative, starting a PMP Newsletter, and creating a PMP Instagram account for greater 1L and AJMLS awareness of the PMP’s contribution to the AJMLS community.

Under Grant’s leadership, the SBA Treasury has decreased the processing time for Student Organization funds requests, created a routine purchasing schedule for restocking the student lounge through the Beautify AJMLS Committee, and has several more plans for the future, as it is still early in Grant’s tenure.

Grant wants to practice corporate law after passing the bar. He is interested in business transactions and litigation because he prefers to gain a broad base of knowledge.

Grant’s definition of an outstanding student is “a student who goes above and beyond to benefit the AJMLS community through service and leadership.”

4L Class

Jacob Gregory

Jacob Gregory is a 4L in the part-time evening program and is from Atlanta, Georgia. Jacob has received over 20 CALI awards during his time at AJMLS and also has received the Best Oralist Award in his LWRA III class. He currently serves as the Executive Legislative Editor for the school’s Law Journal and wrote his Legislative Summary on Senate Bill 241, a Bill creating implications for Absentee Voting in the state of Georgia. Jacob serves as a Legal Writing Teaching Fellow, assisting in all things Legal Writing. In the future, he seeks to be a civil rights lawyer. Jacob’s definition of an outstanding law student is “one who can explain the law simply.”

Bethany Keyes

Bethany Keyes is a part-time 4L day student. Bethany works part time as a student associate at a local Atlanta law firm. When Bethany is not in school, studying, or working, she enjoys cooking, shopping, and spending time with her significant other, family, and friends. On any given day, you can typically find Bethany with an iced coffee in hand and a smile on her face. One of Bethany’s most recent accomplishments was having an opinion published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Bethany’s definition of an outstanding law student is “one who demonstrates the desire to learn, one who is kind and helpful, and one who is always willing to engage in debate to expand their horizon of knowledge.”

Joseph Maggiano

Joseph Maggiano is a 4L at AJMLS and has achieved Dean’s List three times throughout his law school career. He is a recipient of various awards. Joseph also works as a law clerk for a personal injury firm in the New York/New Jersey area. Joseph is a father of three, and is happily married to his teenage sweetheart, Yralka Maggiano. He proudly says that without her love and support, he could not have embarked on his law school career. Joseph’s goal is to become barred in New York, New Jersey, and Georgia, and to achieve civil trial certification.

Joseph believes that “outstanding students, like outstanding trial lawyers, learn and benefit from their mistakes. A wise man said, ‘there are no lessons in victory, but 1,000 lessons learned from defeat.’ Understanding that we are all imperfect, we learn from our mistakes and move on. We, as students, should not coast on a successful grade or sulk on a bad one. Every day matters in a law student’s career. It is important to start each day with optimism and close with the confident feeling that you gave the day your best effort.”

Introducing the 2022-2023 SBA Class Representatives

Originally introduced in the October 2022 AJMLS Dispatch, an SBA publication, we are pleased to introduce the 2022-2023 SBA Class Representatives.



I’m a Louisiana native who has developed a passion for justice and law through life experiences and social activism. My plans are to use my law degree to forge a career in civil rights and public interest law. As a class representative, I will ensure that all of our concerns regarding school-sponsored events are heard, that class offerings and course curriculums are decided with our concerns in mind, and that our events are executed smoothly and professionally. My goal with the Student Bar Association this year is simple: to make sure the voice of the people is heard and their needs are addressed.


I’m originally from Los Angeles, California and attended Louisiana State University for undergrad. Currently, I am living in Atlanta to attend law school. I plan on taking the Florida Bar and envision myself practicing in the corporate law sector. My goal for SBA is to be a voice for people who don’t feel comfortable speaking out for themselves. I also want to encourage more networking events. I think students put a lot of pressure on themselves when it comes to getting perfect grades. However, it is also important to make connections and network because knowing the right people makes a difference when it comes to getting various job opportunities.



My name is Jade Green, and I am a part-time evening 2L. I studied criminal justice at Dalton State and became the first person in my family to graduate from college. I am interested in becoming a criminal defense attorney and hope to one day work for the Innocence Project. I intend to serve as class representative to the best of my abilities and provide the 2L evening students with answers to their questions and ensure they have access to the resources they need to be successful. I hope to represent my class as well as the previous representatives did before me and appreciate this opportunity to do so!


I was born in Burlington, NJ and went to The University of Alabama for undergrad where I received a B.A. in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. Later, I obtained my paralegal certificate from the University of Richmond. At AJMLS, I have immersed myself in various student organizations: Criminal Law Society, Student Advisory Board for the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, Charlotte E. Ray Legal Society, Peer Mentoring Program, and the Advocacy Board. After passing the Bar, I plan to work as a prosecutor in Fulton County, Georgia. My goal is to make a difference in the lives of domestic violence survivors and loved ones of those who have been lost in the fight against domestic violence.



My name is Tahirah I. Scott and I was born and raised in Somerset, NJ. I graduated from the State University of New Jersey, Rutgers University, with a dual degree in Criminal Justice and Women & Gender Studies, and a minor in Creative Writing. Currently, I am very interested in intellectual property law, entertainment law, and sports law. As an SBA representative, it is my goal to make sure that not only students’ concerns are heard, but that there are also some solutions being offered as well.


My name is Tylore Bell, I am the oldest of three girls, and you know what they say about the oldest daughters. Being from the west coast, I am a true California girl! I went to Cal State Dominguez Hills, where I also played basketball. I am currently interested in criminal defense, but as one of my favorite professors told me to do, I am keeping my options open. My goals for SBA are to create a safe space for social events for students to relax and de-stress while making connections, create better relationships among the student body, and help create a better environment for students to feel confident as we all work to pass the bar and become amazing lawyers.



My name is Timecca Cordero and I’m a community advocate. I strive to enhance the lives of others through awareness by working together with other community representatives and officials. I aspire to further my initiatives of advocating for the vulnerable population, which includes those that are economically disadvantaged, people with disabilities, and children, by becoming their legal resource. It’s my desire to be a part of the greatness AJMLS has to offer its students by being a great Student Bar Association representative. As an SBA representative, my goal is to ensure each student has an exceptional learning experience by receiving the adequate learning resources within AJMLS’s excellent learning environment.


My name is Pariese J. Lewis and I am from Phoenix, AZ. I have a background in Biology, Management and have worked in pharmaceutical research for over 12 years. With my passion in law, my goal is to use my legal degree in conjunction with my pharmaceutical experience to work on clinical research contracts. As an SBA representative, my goal is to be a voice for the evening students. As evening students, we face particular issues that may not be faced by the larger body and it is important that these be brought to light, especially safety. I look forward to the journey ahead and working together as a team. We are stronger together!



My name is Gizelle Lamastus and I am a 1L part-time day time student. Before attending AJMLS, I graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in Psychology. It was through an experience during an undergraduate study abroad program in Morocco that I decided to change paths and become a lawyer with a focus on family law! I have a passion for people and want to ensure that people are confident that they are being advocated for. This passion for people that led me towards law school has now led me to the SBA. I will make it a priority to be consistent and effective in addressing your concerns. I am excited to experience the AJMLS community as one of your SBA representatives. We will have the opportunity to get to know one another throughout our years here, but until then, here is a bit about me! I enjoy dancing (not very well I might add), thrift shopping (always here for a good bargain), and hiking/traveling. Remember, we are all in law school and although challenging, it is something we should be proud of!



I am a proud wife and mother to three adorable children. I was born in Jamaica and raised in the Bronx, New York. In 2006 I moved to Georgia, and in 2012 received my BBA in Management at UGA. I am at AJMLS to continue my journey leading and serving my community as an attorney at law. I am interested in serving immigrant clients as well as entertainers. As an SBA representative, I will continue to bridge the gap for all students. My promise is to represent all students’ viewpoints to faculty and staff. I will continue this effort by maintaining open and transparent communication with students while clearly and consistently communicating our views to faculty and staff. The work we do today will impact future students and the community alike.


¡Hola, que tal! My name is Gabriella Henriquez Chavez, and I am a first-generation American, undergraduate, and now law student. My mother is from Guatemala, my father was from Chile and my husband is from Mexico. My background, as well as my experience in various immigration law firms, inspire me to find and be a voice for the community of immigrants who are living in the shadows. I have a strong interest in immigration law, but while in law school I am exploring the criminal, public interest, and civil law fields. My goal as your SBA representative is to ensure 1L students have a voice and are #AJMLSProud. My top priorities right now are to (1) help beautify the student lounge, (2) start a student safety blog, and (3) promote your workshop and fundraising ideas.



My name is Leah Robertson. I was born and raised in Suwanee, Georgia, which is about 40 minutes outside of the city (shoutout to the Northside Hospital Atlanta babies!). I graduated from Kennesaw State University in Fall 2020 with my BS in Communications (Hooty Hoo!). My areas of interest include family law and intellectual property. My goal is to explore both areas as I have an interest in helping families as well as artists, writers, and designers when it comes to protecting the rights to their intellectual property. My goal for SBA is to get as many concerns/questions/issues raised by students resolved or answered by the end of 2022-2023 school year. We have many opportunities to improve our school community and I am excited to be a part of it!


Hello all! My name is Whitney Ariana Drew, and I was born and raised in Georgia. Learning languages is one of my favorite activities, so I earned an MA in French last May from Georgia State, while I was teaching French I. Some of my hobbies include writing, playing flute, and stargazing. Regarding law, my area of interest is corporate law. I’ve wanted to be a corporate lawyer for as long as I can remember. My goal for SBA is to help create more student success events. As one of the 1L representatives for Section A, I’ve already heard great ideas that I’d love to see implemented. Thank you for letting me represent you!

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Welcomes Teri P. McClure to the Board of Directors

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Teri P. McClure, Former General Counsel and Chief Human Resources Officer, Senior Vice President of Labor Relations and Communications for United Parcel Service of America, Inc. (UPS), to the Board of Directors. Before retiring in 2019, McClure had responsibility globally for Legal and Compliance, Human Resources, Employee Communications, and Labor Relations for UPS and its 500,000 employees worldwide. She was a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team responsible for setting strategy, profit, and operating plans for UPS worldwide operations.

Prior to McClure’s history-making 24 year career at UPS, she practiced employment and labor law at Troutman Sanders Atlanta. Her 2006 appointment to the UPS Executive Leadership Team changed history, becoming the first female African American senior vice president at the company, one of the world’s largest shipping couriers. She received her B.A. in marketing and economics from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and earned her J.D. from Emory University School of Law.

As an experienced corporate director for publicly traded companies, Lennar, GMS, JetBlue, and Flour, as well as board member for privately held Board Prospects and Accelya, and board chair for the Task Force for Global Health, McClure’s leadership experience is comprehensive and diverse. She remarked about her appointment with AJMLS, “I look forward to the contributions I can bring to Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s growing organization and established team of leaders.” Her board expertise includes governance, strategic human capital and culture, executive compensation, strategic planning, performance management, and succession, global legal and regulatory compliance, government affairs, and crisis management. 

McClure joins the following members and advisor of the Board of Directors:


Dr. Michael C. Markovitz, Ph.D.
Chairman, Board of Directors

Dean Frank T. Read
Vice Chairman, Board of Directors
President & Dean Emeritus, South Texas College of Law

Kwaku C. George (KC)
Director, National Development Council

Honorable Carol W. Hunstein
Former Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia

Adam Malone
Partner, Malone Law

Patrise M. Perkins-Hooker
County Attorney, Fulton County, Georgia

Kevin Ross
President, Kevin Ross Public Affairs Group LLC
Dr. Lawrence B. Schlachter
DDS, MD, JD, Schlachter Law Firm

Dean James P. White
Consultant Emeritus, Section on Legal Education & Admission to the Bar, American Bar Association


Linda A. Klein
Shareholder, Baker Donelson

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Partners with Grady Gives Thanksgiving Turkey Drive

On Saturday, November 19, 2022, the Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) community, comprised of staff, students, and alumni, partnered with Avalon Sports, the Office of Fulton County Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman, District 6, the Cobb Justice Foundation Legal Aid’s Office, the Grady Gives Foundation, and many more to provide turkeys, hens, hams, Thanksgiving fixings, and fresh produce to single moms in need during this holiday season.

A special thanks to our student leaders of the Charlotte E. Ray Legal Society for assisting in planning and recruiting AJMLS volunteers for this event.

We were excited and thankful to partner with Grady Gives in support of their mission of “transforming and impacting lives one by one” and giving back to the community.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Hosts 12th Annual KSU Owl Classic Invitational Mock Trial Tournament

On Saturday, October 29, 2022, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) was pleased to host the 12th Annual Owl Classic Invitation Mock Trial Tournament for Kennesaw State University (KSU). The competition welcomed Lee University, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), University of South Florida (USF), University of West Florida (UWF), Auburn University, Mercer University, Georgia State University (GSU), Samford University, University of North Carolina- Charlotte (UNC- Charlotte), and Georgia College and State University (GCSU) to AJMLS’s campus in Downtown Atlanta.

Thank you to this year’s coordinators: Dr. Elizabeth Gordon, Jessica Turner, Jazmine King, and AJMLS Director of Recruitment and Outreach, Marc Reece. It was a pleasure to work with you and host the tournament.

Congratulations to the top trial teams at the Owl Classic Invitational

1st Place: Auburn University (Team Ghouls)

2nd Place: Middle Tennessee State University (Team Goblins)

3rd Place: University of South Florida (Team Werewolves)

Honorable Mention Teams: Georgia State University (Team Skeletons), Lee University (Team Zombies)

Congratulations to individual award winners at the Owl Classic Invitational!

In the 2-round tournament, it took a minimum of 9 ranks to earn a witness award and a minimum of 9 ranks to earn an attorney award.

Outstanding witnesses with 10 ranks: Abby Bauer (KSU); Alaysha Lamb (GSU); Anna McFadden (UNC-Charlotte); and Katelynn Pricer (MTSU).

Special shout out to Anna Sweet (Auburn) who earned 10 ranks as a witness on BOTH sides of the case!

Outstanding witnesses with 9 ranks: Eli Askren (MTSU); Mary Chascsa (MTSU); Sydney Fant (Lee); Manasi Giridharan (Mercer); Connor Hilly (GCSU); Olivia Kilpatrick (MTSU); Liz Medina (Samford); and Emily Wyche (GCSU).

Outstanding attorneys with 10 ranks: Lisa Calvert (GCSU); Mary Chascsa (MTSU); Zachary Ouellette (MTSU); Molley Petty (Lee); and Brayden Tompkins (UWF).

Special shout outs to the double threats: Jaida Kelley of KSU, who earned 10 ranks on BOTH sides of the case; and Caroline Deale of Auburn, who earned 10 ranks on Defense and 9 ranks on Prosecution.

Outstanding attorneys with 9 ranks: Paul Atherton (Lee); Tamia Campbell (GSU); Milla Magyar (GSU); Stelios Spirou (GCSU); and Isabella Terry (MTSU).

Employee of the Month

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) began its Employee of the Month Program in 2021. AJMLS appreciates the efforts of its employees who strive to achieve goals and fulfill the vision of the law school, especially during the unprecedented times of COVID-19. 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. Congratulations to all the honorees!

October 2022

AJ Doucett, Director of Alumni Relations

AJ graduated from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and joined the AJMLS family in 2005! For several years, he worked as the Law School’s Reference Librarian. After receiving his J.D. and passing the Georgia Bar Exam, he continued working for AJMLS and has provided dedicated hard work towards the success of our commencement ceremonies. In 2020, he was promoted to the role of Director of Alumni Relations, where he is currently serving. He has embraced his new position and continues to jump into more involvement, above and beyond what he is required. AJ is such a kind and outgoing team player who is genuinely invested in the success of his alma mater! His work in bringing the alumni base back together is invaluable to our institution’s long-term success and he is doing a great job.

September 2022

Meaghan Eustice, Office of Admissions

Meaghan is not only an alumna, but has also contributed to our admissions team for several years. Meaghan is a team player! Most recently, she provided her assistance in the Financial Aid and Bursar’s Office when they were in need. She’s always willing to contribute and she handles her business consistently and efficiently.

August 2022

Michelle Cooper, Director of Financial Aid

Michelle, affectionately known as “Coop”, rejoined the AJMLS family in April of 2018 and has tirelessly worked as a department of one in Financial Aid. “Coop” consistently demonstrates a high degree of excellence, drive, professionalism, and integrity in the performance of her duties and routinely shows a willingness to extend herself to help others at AJMLS.

July 2022

Rebecca Milter, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Recruitment

Rebecca joined the AJMLS family in 2010 and has moved through the ranks from Admissions Counselor to our Assistant Dean of Admissions and Recruitment. She has dedicated her time and passion to the law school and has been committed to its growth. Rebecca goes above and beyond with every single department and the school and always extends herself, no matter the time. She is always helpful and willing to take on extra work for orientation and other school-wide events!

June 2022

Erika Murray, Executive Assistant to the Dean

Erika joined the AJMLS family in 2012, as a Faculty Coordinator and is now the law school’s Executive Assistant to the Dean. Erika is a team player. She assists with projects upon request and always demonstrates a pleasant attitude. She is organized and timely, and is always sure to provide needed and requested information.

Paul Wilson, Career Services and Professional Development Coordinator

Paul joined our team in 2017, as the Assistant Director of Career Development and is now the Administrator of Career Services and Professional Development. Paul is an amazing colleague. He is always willing to assist all students, alumni, staff, and faculty. He is the epitome of over and above the call of duty. When out on military duty, he checks in and assists when he can. He wears multiple hats within the Career Services and Experiential Learning department and has done so with a smile and at your service demeanor. 

April 2022

Jae Wyatt-Keyton, Ph.D., Director of Career Services

Jae joined the AJMLS family during the pandemic, last year in February. She has embraced her new position and continues to jump into more involvement, above and beyond what she is required to do. Jae has done an outstanding job with the completion of the ABA Graduate Employment Survey, setting up an alumni mentorship program, and hosting several employer events that have resulted in internship and job offers for our students.

March 2022

Nicholas Smith, Academic Support Professional

Nick joined the AJMLS family during the pandemic in June of 2021. Nick goes above and beyond to make sure the students feel heard and supported. He is the consummate team player. No matter the situation, time, or place. Nick always has a pleasant demeanor, and is willing to assist the Law School community. His positivity is contagious and is a pleasure to work with!

February 2022

Wendy Aina, Chief Development Officer

Wendy joined the AJMLS family during the pandemic last year in January and has literally hit the ground running! She would be found in 1422 when no one else was there! She is an exemplary employee who arrives early in the morning and is most likely the last to leave. Wendy will be in her office diligently working on her tasks as others come in! She collaborates with other departments and her ability to take detailed notes and manage projects from beginning to end is nothing short of amazing. Her commitment to the elevation of AJMLS is undeniable and to top it off, she is pleasant, her energy is contagious, she demonstrates a positive attitude and is always eager to help.

January 2022

Hermelda Branford, Front Desk Receptionist

Hermelda began working for us on a part-time basis in 2012. During that time, she provided service to various departments on an as-needed basis. In 2021, she joined our team on a  permanent basis as the school’s Front Desk Receptionist at our new location! Hermelda is personable, and with good energy during the slowest of days! Hermelda lights up the room with her enthusiasm and charisma. She fits her role of receptionist, perfectly! Hermelda actively tries to help those that come to her. If she doesn’t know the answer to your question, she will find out!

Marc Reece, Director of Recruitment and Outreach

Marc is no stranger to AJMLS! He also started with us in 2012 and rejoined our team in 2020 as our Director of Recruitment and Outreach! Peers have said, “Marc is our Hall of Famer! Not only is he an asset to the Office of Admissions, he is an asset to the school and profession. He helps make AJMLS a better experience for the entire law school community.”

November 2021

Sophie Campbell, Catalogue Assistant

Sophie joined the AJMLS family in 2009. If you’ve ever crossed paths with her, you would notice that she is friendly and very soft spoken. Sophie always shows a willingness to extend herself to help others here at the school and abroad. Sophie recently spearheaded a campaign to send discarded furniture from our 1422 location, to Africa to assist with furnishing schools in need! This was an enormous task that stemmed straight from her heart that she tackled successfully and without placing any focus on herself!

October 2021

AJ Doucett, Director of Alumni Relations

AJ is an AJMLS alumnus who joined the AJMLS family in 2005! For several years, he worked as the law school’s Reference Librarian. After receiving his law school degree, he continued working for the law school and has provided dedicated hard work towards the success of our commencement ceremonies. In 2020, he was promoted to the role of Director of Alumni Relations, where he is currently serving. He has embraced his new position and continues to jump into more involvement, above and beyond what he is required. AJ is such a kind and outgoing team player who is genuinely invested in the success of his alma mater! AJ is well known and liked by faculty, staff, students, and alumni!

September 2021

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!

August 2021

Hal Morgan, Enterprise Systems Administrator

Hal joined the AJMLS family in March of 2015. As described by one of his co-workers, “Hal has been exemplary and a model for demonstrated zeal, conviction, and determination to provide great customer care.” Hal’s patience and kindness are ever present, even when he is in a time crunch, he will acknowledge you and make an effort to find a solution to help you. He is highly appreciated by students, faculty, and staff alike.

July 2021

Cynthia Davenporte, Director of Human Resources

Cynthia joined the AJMLS family in 2008 and has moved through the ranks from HR Assist to our now Director of Human Resources! As you know, Cynthia wears many hats, from office manager, to counselor, to graduation coordinator, and is more than Director of Human Resources. Whenever we need a helping hand, Cynthia is there to assist.

June 2021

Mike Gatewood, Facilities Assistant

Mike joined the AJMLS family in 2020, shortly before the pandemic began and he has been actively working at the school nearly every day since! Mike has been described as always nice and works with a smile! Mike operates with a high degree of excellence , professionalism and customer service! 

May 2021

Scot Goins, Director of Academic Achievement and Bar Success

Scot joined the AJMLS family during the pandemic, last year in September. He has embraced his new position and continues to jump into more involvement, above and beyond what he is required. Scot consistently demonstrates a high degree of excellence, professionalism and integrity in the performance of his duties and routinely shows a willingness to extend himself to help others at AJMLS.

April 2021

Hilary Waldo, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications

Hilary joined the AJMLS family in 2012 as the Director of Meeting and Conference Services. She made her transition to Marketing in 2013. Hilary is an awesome member of the team! She is positive, flexible, always makes herself available, and has strong communication skills!

March 2021

Hermelda Branford, Departmental Assistant

Hermelda began working for the law school on a part-time basis in 20212. She has provided assistance to multiple departments (Registrar, Financial Aid, etc.) She has been described as “collegial” and consistently dedicated to being present, almost daily, even during these unprecedented times. She greets you with a smile and is always willing to assist in any capacity that she can.

Rebecca Milter, Executive Director of Admissions

Rebecca joined the AJMLS family in 2010 as the Admissions Coordinator. She has advanced through the years in the Admissions Department and is now our Executive Director of Admissions. Rebecca goes above and beyond, ensuring that our admitted students are excited and connected! She is dedicated not just to the incoming class, but to the school as a whole. She has remained dedicated and determined to bring in an even better class, even during a pandemic! She is pleasant to work with and willing to help in other areas!

February 2021

Angela Sumpter, Career Services and Professional Development Coordinator

Angela joined the AJMLS family in 2016 as the Blackburn Conference Center Manager. She made her transition to the Career Services Department last year in 2020. Angela has been described as “Top Notch” and has received excellent feedback from her peers! She continues to avail herself whenever and wherever needed, even while being faced with pressing personal matters.

January 2021

Doug Bieber, Chief Facilities Engineer

Doug has been with Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School for several years, prior to joining the law school on a full-time basis in 2019. He has definitely hit the ground running since becoming a part of our team and has been a vital contributor during the school’s transitioning phase. He is quick to respond and is always willing to assist wherever needed. He gets excellent feedback from his peers and we are very happy to have him on our team!

Pro Bono Month 2022

Eligible hours must be completed between October 1st and October 31st

Welcome to October AJMLS, 

There are several ways to develop the professional identities of law students and new attorneys, however, none-more impactful than pro bono service.

Especially now, in this time of economic turmoil, practice by way of service provides essential representation and resources to those who need it most. During the wake of the pandemic, the rate of Americans in need of critical civil legal service grew, further widening the justice gap (Flagg, 2022). Populations including Veterans, senior citizens, and individuals from low-income households face legal issues around access to safe housing, health care, employment, and more, often without representation. To put this into perspective, in 2021, legal aid organizations across the U.S. received almost 1.9 million requests for assistance from low-income individuals. In 2022, low-income Americans were without assistance for more than 90% of their substantial legal issues. lack of representation results in further widening the justice gap and increasing costs for individuals who are already financially burdened. In addition to legal representation, pro bono services such as providing legal education, volunteering to improve voting rights, and assisting with local government issues are all meaningful ways to serve for the public good. 

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Gandhi

While each day presents an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to society at large, the month of October represents a time to showcase a renewed spirit of service through legal stewardship. As we enter into this season of pro-bono, let us demonstrate a commitment to serving the very community that has served our law school for more than 80 years.  With the law school’s close proximity to more than 100 public interest and government organizations, pro bono opportunities are boundless, and assistance is greatly needed. By participating in pro bono activities and encouraging law students to follow suit, we contribute to their development as compassionate practitioners, we build on Atlanta’s John Marshall Law school legacy, we provide critical services to individuals who may not otherwise have the means to afford them, and we demonstrate our dedication to “preparing highly skilled, ethical, and professional lawyers who possess a strong social conscience” (AJMLS Mission, 2022).

Students are eligible for the following pro bono awards,

1.    The Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears Pro Bono Award

2.    Excellence In Pro Bono Service Award

3.    Pro Bono Distinction Award

For detailed information on pro bono programs,

·  Join Us here to reach our goal of 500 pro bono hours during the month of October.

·  For a list of organizations and pro bono opportunities click here.

·  Instructions to log your pro bono hours in 12Twenty can be found here

Have a great month!

All the Best,

J.L. Wyatt-Keyton, PhD

Executive Director of Career Services and Professional Development

The Community Needs YOU!

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) has a strong pro bono culture. We recognize the growing severity of unmet legal needs of the poor and disadvantaged in the state of Georgia. As such we encourage and support the participation of our students, faculty, alumni, and staff in pro bono activities. AJMLS provides a broad range of pro bono opportunities to ensure that our law school community can participate in pro bono activities.  

October is Pro Bono Month

Fundraising Thermometer - CouponBirds Seedling Project

Professor Michael Mears Appointed to Serve on SEALS Global Outreach Committee

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Associate Professor, Michael Mears, has been appointed to serve on the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Global Outreach Committee for this coming year. SEALS is a regional association of law schools that provides annual opportunities for faculty to present and receive feedback on their ongoing research at their annual meeting, and offers legal educators panels and discussion groups to enhance their classroom teaching and scholarly works.

The International Committee has three core missions:

1)      Develop and Sustain Strong International Partnerships

SEALS is historically and still primarily focused on law schools in the Southeastern United States. However, we recognize that building good relationships with colleagues around the world is a worthy and important goal. We seek to encourage and facilitate participation in SEALS by law faculty who live and work beyond the U.S. borders.

2)     Encourage global & comparative perspectives on the law and legal education

While international and comparative law are core pillars of legal practice and legal education in most of the world, they have not attained such prominence in the United States. The A.B.A. has recognized this as an area for improvement and this committee agrees. We will propose programs, panels and events that prioritize a more global focus and/or comparative analysis.

3)     Provide international opportunities for SEALS members

This committee is very proud of the professors at our member schools and wants to showcase them to the world. Our goal is to seek out international publication, speaking and teaching opportunities and publish these to the member schools.

Thank you, Professor Mears, for your ongoing contributions to the legal community and legal education. 

Introducing the 2022-2023 Advocacy Board Executive Council

The Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Advocacy Board is a student-run academic organization dedicated to promoting the art of written and oral advocacy in moot court and mock trial competitions. The Board is governed by its Executive Council.

Professor Loren Pratt, Faculty Advisor

Executive Council

Carolina Melguizo, Chair

Carolina Melguizo was born in Medellin, Colombia, and moved to the United States at the age of 15. With a passion for learning, Carolina earned a B.S. in history and political science from Georgia State University and is currently a part-time student.

In her first year of law school, Carolina earned the CALI award in LWRA I and was invited to join the Advocacy Board. During her second year, Carolina served as SBA representative and competed in the NAAC Moot Court Competition. She has served as a peer mentor since 2021.  

Carolina is honored to lead the Advocacy Board as its Chair. She looks forward to increasing the Board’s presence in moot court and mock trial competitions. She is excited to be a part of an academic organization that celebrates practical written and oral advocacy.

Grace Gomez, Vice Chair

Grace C. Gomez is the daughter of immigrants, originally from Peru, and the first in her family to attend law school. She moved to Atlanta from Westchester County, New York in 2017 and is a part-time evening student expected to graduate in 2024. She earned her B.A. in Psychology, with a concentration in Sociology, from SUNY Stony Brook University in 2015 and earned her ABA-approved Paralegal Certificate from Marist College a few months before moving to Atlanta in 2017.

Working full-time and going to school part-time has not been an easy feat, however, having a strong support system has allowed Grace to thrive. After completing her 2L year, she accepted an invite to join Atlanta’s John Marshall’s Law Journal as a Staff Editor and was elected to Advocacy Board’s Executive Council as a Vice Chair. She has also been a Student Ambassador for the last year.

She is excited about the opportunity to help create an organization where our members can grow professionally in their written, oral, and legal research skills.

Marquez Jones, Vice Chair

Marquez Jones is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and is currently a part-time student with an expected graduation date of May 2024. He has a degree in Mass Communications and Media Studies with a focus in Broadcast/Journalism. 

Prior to law school, Marquez worked in entertainment as a tour manager and agent for artists in the entertainment industry. 

Accepting a  position as a Vice Chair was a no brainer due to Marquez’s strong desire for trial advocacy and appellate court work.

Wendi Lucas, Vice Chair

Wendi Lucas was born and raised in Rome, Georgia where she graduated with honors from Pepperell High School. Wendi attended Kennesaw State University where she graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Political Science with a minor in legal studies. In addition to academic pursuits, Wendi has worked as a paralegal handling countless complex personal injury cases since 2017. Wendi served as SBA class representative her 1L year and currently serves as a peer mentor as a 3L. Wendi accepted the position as a Vice Chair in hopes of furthering Advocacy Board competition opportunities and growing the organization.

In addition to her academic and professional pursuits, Wendi enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

The AJMLS Alumni Association Announces its 2022 Board of Directors and Officers

On August 1, 2022, the Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Alumni Association welcomed its new Board of Directors and Officers. The Officers will serve in their roles for the 2022-2023 year.

During the July 2022 Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting, six new members were selected to join the Board. It is an honor to present the newest members of the Board. You can see the returning members here.

Keren Barrios, Class of 2013

Where were you raised?

I was raised in Guatemala until I was 10 years old and then moved to Georgia.

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education?

Georgia State University (Criminal Justice Legal Path)

Tell us where you currently work, title, and what you do there/area of practice?

Owner/Founder of Barrios Virguez Attorneys, specializing in personal injury and immigration.

What do you do in your free time?

Spend as much time with my husband and two boys.

Why did you join the AJMLS Alumni Board?

To mentor and help AJMLS students in any way possible so they can succeed in their careers.

What do you want the AJMLS alumni and current students to know about you?

Anything is possible with dedication and determination.

Tianna M. Bias, Class of 2018, Savannah Law School

Where were you raised?

Augusta, GA

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education

Paine College

Tell us where you currently work, title, and what you do there/area of practice?

Criminal Defense Attorney – Hawk Law Group

What do you do in your free time?

Play with my sons; try new restaurants and travel

Why did you join the AJMLS Alumni Board?

To advocate for and assist in the inclusion of the talented alumni from Savannah Law School

What do you want the AJMLS alumni and current students to know about you?

I took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference. Many people assumed that attending smaller institutions for undergrad and law school put me at a disadvantage but these schools opened the doors for opportunities beyond my wildest dreams.

D. Wesley “Wes” Jordan, Class of 1997

Where were you raised?

Atlanta, GA

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education?

University of Georgia

Tell us where you currently work, title, and what you do there/area of practice?

Law Office of D. Wesley Jordan, P.C. — Self-employed attorney with a focus on Residential Real Estate Closings. Currently in my 25th year of practice.

What do you do in your free time?

My hobby outside of my practice is aviation. I received my pilot’s license a few years ago and am currently working on my instrument rating at McCollum Airport in Marietta. In Addition to the Real Estate Section of the Bar, I am also a member of the Aviation Section. I am an active member of Peachtree Presbyterian Church, along with my parents who I also take care of.

Why did you join the AJMLS Alumni Board?

I recently received an invitation to do so, and I am honored to join. It was last year about this time that I lost my good friend S. Bradley Houck (1997 Valedictorian) and as a result become re-acquainted with several AJMLS folks when I suggested a scholarship fund be set up in Brad’s Memory.

What do you want the AJMLS alumni and current students to know about you?

Citing the above, and as I stated in an impromptu speech at the AJMLS Open House last October… you never know where the relationships you make in law school will take you. The friendship you make along the way is a large part of the journey in shaping your path in life and the direction it will eventually take.

Kayla Kudratt, Class of 2018

Where were you raised?

Lithonia, Ga.

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education?

Georgia Southern University

Tell us where you currently work, title, and what you do there/area of practice?

Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Crimes Against Women and Children/ Domestic Violence Unit in the Henry County District Attorney’s Office

What do you do in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy traveling the world, volunteering with the youth in my community, exercising, and running Stone Mountain.

Why did you join the AJMLS Alumni Board?

I joined the AJMLS Alumni Board because I love Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and I am forever grateful for the opportunities offered to me.

As a student, I was very involved in the AJMLS community, and serving on the Alumni Board will allow me to continue my engagement with the Law School.

What do you want the AJMLS alumni and current students to know about you?

I want the alumni and current students to know that AJMLS is near and dear to my heart as this community encouraged and supported me in law school and in my career, so it is my duty and pleasure to give back. I will proudly serve on the Alumni Board to ensure current students are afforded the same opportunities I enjoyed as a student.

Emily Napier, Class of 2016

Where were you raised?

I’m a military brat so I had the gift of getting to call several places my home during my childhood. Some include Florida, New Hampshire, and now Georgia.

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education?

Georgia State University, Bachelor of Business Administration Finance

Tell us where you currently work, title, and what you do there/area of practice?

I am the Owner and Founder of Napier Law Firm LLC. Our areas of practice include Estate Planning and Probate.

What do you do in your free time?

Spend time with my family, bake, travel, work out, and plan parties for family and friends.

Why did you join the AJMLS Alumni Board?

Having run multiple businesses and now being the founding attorney of Napier Law Firm I understand the importance of networking and having a strong presence in the community. I want to share my experiences and be a resource for students.

What do you want the AJMLS alumni and current students to know about you?

I believe that anything is possible. Sometimes the current situation might seem like it is insurmountable, but I’ve found that you just have to focus on what is in front of you today and put one foot forward.

Michael Urbina, Class of 2011

Where were you raised?

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education?

Georgia State University

Tell us where you currently work, title, and what you do there/area of practice?

Urbina Law Firm, Managing Attorney, Immigration Law

What do you do in your free time?

I love to spend time with my wife and 3 daughters, we travel a lot, especially to Disney World. I like to read, watch movies, find ways to improve myself and my firm, watch NBA and MLB games, and like to play basketball.

Why did you join the AJMLS Alumni Board?

I joined because I always felt the AJMLS community has been a welcoming community and I love the opportunity to help in any way I can. I feel our alumni are very successful and have the opportunity to help current students and other alumni to connect and help each other out. The power of community is one I have been a part of since I was in high school and have seen the potential of what engaged individuals can do together. I see a lot of potential for all AJMLS alumni and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be involved.

What do you want the AJMLS alumni and current students to know about you?

My favorite quote is “Adapt of Die” and I think that in our industry, we must constantly look for ways to improve not just our legal knowledge, but also how to be efficient and innovative in our everyday practice. I love finding ways to improve my personal and work life to find new levels.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Welcomes Dr. Lawrence Schlachter to the Board of Directors

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Lawrence Schlachter, attorney and board-certified Neurological Surgeon, to the Board of Directors. Dr. Schlachter is a 2004 graduate of AJMLS and owns The Schlachter Law Firm.

Dr. Schlachter is one of the few attorneys in the United States who has a unique background combining dentistry, neurosurgery, and law, with licenses to practice in each profession. Attorneys across the United States regularly call upon Dr. Schlachter for his expertise as a neurosurgeon and lawyer. During Dr. Schlachter’s neurosurgical practice, he performed over 10,000 surgical procedures on the brain and spine. He was also the neurosurgeon on call for the President of the United States for the Atlanta area.

The proud alumnus remarked, “I have always had a special place in my heart for AJMLS as it was the place that opened doors for me and many others to advance our professional careers and to use our law degrees to improve the lives of others. The professors and staff at AJMLS were always available, supportive, kind, yet demanding of the students. I hope that my contributions to the school will continue that kind of supportive environment.”

Dr. Schlachter graduated from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1969. He received a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree in 1973 and a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1976 from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He also served as a resident in general surgery for two years and in neurological surgery for five years at Emory University and affiliated hospitals from 1976 to 1983.

After retiring from active medical practice following a hand injury in 1999, Dr. Schlachter attended Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, graduating with a J.D. degree in 2004. He is an active member of the Georgia Bar, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a Fellow of the American College of Legal Medicine, and is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery.

Dr. Schlachter joins the following members and advisor of the Board of Directors:


Dr. Michael C. Markovitz, Ph.D.

Chairman, Board of Directors

Dean Frank T. Read

Vice Chairman, Board of Directors
President & Dean Emeritus, South Texas College of Law

Kwaku C. George (KC)

Director, National Development Council

Honorable Carol W. Hunstein

Former Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia

Adam Malone

Partner, Malone Law

Patrise M. Perkins-Hooker

County Attorney, Fulton County, Georgia

Kevin Ross

President, Kevin Ross Public Affairs Group LLC

Dean James P. White

Consultant Emeritus, Section on Legal Education & Admission to the Bar, American Bar Association


Linda A. Klein

Shareholder, Baker Donelson

The American Law Institute Elects Professor Jonathan Rapping as New Member

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates and celebrates Professor Jonathan Rapping, Director of the Criminal Justice Certificate Program, for his recent election to The American Law Institute (ALI). The American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law.

As stated by the ALI, “Our membership consists of eminent judges, lawyers, and law professors from all areas of the United States and from many foreign countries, selected on the basis of professional achievement and demonstrated interest in improving the law.

To further its work, the Institute elects individuals who reflect the excellence and diversity of today’s legal profession. Membership in The American Law Institute is a distinct professional honor, and the number of elected members is limited.”

Professor Rapping is one of sixty new members elected this summer. He shared, “It is a great honor to be elected as a member of the American Law Institute. I look forward to bringing my experience as a Law Professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, my work as a criminal justice reformer through Gideon’s Promise, and my scholarship and expertise in the areas of public defense and criminal justice to this organization.”

In addition to leading the Criminal Justice Certificate Program, Professor Rapping has taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Advanced Criminal Procedure, and Criminal Justice Lawyering at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.

Congratulations, Professor!

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Honors American Cancer Society with Scholarship

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) moved into its new Downtown Atlanta campus in 2021. In connection with its move, the Law School received its largest in-kind donation from the American Cancer Society (ACS) of premium office furniture. The Atlanta nonprofit donated enough furniture to furnish every office, conference room, and common area in the new facility.

On July 28, 2022, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School welcomed friends and community supporters to its Open House, where guests toured the new facility and helped the Law School honor the American Cancer Society for its support and donation. The grand staircase was unveiled to be named after the American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society Scholarship was introduced. 

Ms. Mo Ivory, ACS Managing Counsel of Corporate Real Estate, attended the event and spoke for the Atlanta nonprofit. “On behalf of the American Cancer Society, it is my honor to be a part of the donation to Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Providing the faculty, staff and especially students a comfortable environment to study and learn and become a part of the thriving law community in Atlanta.”

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School thanks its community supporters for the work they are doing to support our students and alumni through networking, hiring, and financial support. All inquiries related to giving and scholarship creation should be directed to Wendy Aina, Chief Development Officer, at waina@johnmarshall.edu. If you would like to make a donation, please visit our Giving page.

About the American Cancer Society Scholarship

American Cancer Society’s mission is to eliminate cancer as a major health provider by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from the disease, through research, education, advocacy, and service. Families who are faced with cancer undergo severe physical, psychological, and financial strain. Many graduate students who are fighting cancer must often interrupt their education and cannot work to save money for school or participate in extracurricular activities. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery can be extremely debilitating, requiring extensive rehabilitation. Cancer survivors and caretakers face so many challenges both emotionally and financially.

Graduate students who struggle with or succeed in their fight against cancer deserve assistance in their pursuit of a law education. According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 8 million Americans have a history of cancer. Ambitious students who attend law school despite their health setbacks display impressive resolve. In an effort to acknowledge the wonderful generosity from the American Cancer Society to Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, a scholarship has been created to provide additional assistance to Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School students who are battling or have battled cancer at any point in their life. This includes those students who have a parent, sibling, or immediate family member that has battled cancer or is currently fighting cancer.

Recipients will be selected by the scholarship committee based on a brief application process which will be based on the applicants’ personal hardship and financial need. The $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to two students annually, applied to tuition and fees only. Full-time and part-time 2L, 3L, and 4L students are eligible to apply.

Fall 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 Fall 2022 scholarship recipients!

Alumni and Donor Scholarship

Griffin Hill

J.D. Candidate, 2025

Alumni and Donor Scholarship

Gavin Johnston

J.D. Candidate, 2025

Alumni and Donor Scholarship

Anna Stone

J.D. Candidate, 2026

Alumni and Donor Scholarship

Chloe Strickland

J.D. Candidate, 2026

Alumni and Donor Scholarship

Brandon Witt

J.D. Candidate, 2025

Andy Crawford Scholarship

Jesse Moore

J.D. Candidate, 2024

Bobby Lee Cook Scholarship

Esther Ko

J.D. Candidate, 2023

Bobby Lee Cook Scholarship

Melanie Stepho

J.D. Candidate, 2023

John Marshall Law School Foundation Scholarship

Monique A. Cherry

J.D. Candidate, 2023

John Marshall Law School Foundation Scholarship

Brooke Harrison

J.D. Candidate, 2023

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Volunteers Help Meet Unmet Need for Legal Services Among Homeless Veterans

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) has teamed up with the Atlanta VA Health Care System to provide legal services at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. The Homeless Veteran’s Clinic is a pro bono project of the Law School that originally started as an externship. Due to COVID-19, services at the hospital were scaled back for safety reasons. AJMLS is proud to restart this program as a pro bono program until full services are restored.

The Homeless Veterans Clinic is run by distinguished alumni, Mr. Corey Martin (Class of 2009) of Martin and Associates, Ms. Gulliana Goehring (Class of 2021) of the Fry Law Firm, and student volunteers of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. As a Veteran himself, Mr. Martin notes that this is very personal to him, “I understand the sacrifices that my fellow Veterans have given and continue to give daily to keep us all safe. I didn’t think twice about my participation as the Supervising Attorney in the Clinic.”

The Office of Career Services and Professional Development, who is responsible for the Pro Bono Program at AJMLS, administers the clinic. The Clinic is open every second Friday of the month from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and is open to homeless Veterans receiving services at the Atlanta VA Health Care Center. The services provided are for veterans with legal problems, which may include but are not limited to misdemeanors, that adversely affect the stability of the homeless Veterans.

Mr. Martin further details, “My vision is a great but attainable one. I envision AJMLS being the leader throughout the US when it comes to helping veterans navigate the criminal justice system and getting quantifiable, sustainable, and positive results. My goal is to help as many Veterans as possible to get back to a life of hope and positivity, and to help ensure that their criminal history does not prevent them from getting a job, getting a home, or reuniting with their family. I want my battle buddies to know, we are in this together.”

Currently, eight students are supporting the program and they work on a rotating basis depending on how many Veteran cases are scheduled. Students assist with client interviewing, facilitating warrant recalls, legal research, and many other tasks, under the supervision of the attorneys. Should the attorneys decide to keep the case pro bono, the students can assist with the case through completion.

Students who would like more information about the Homeless Veteran’s Clinic Pro Bono Project should contact Dr. Jymmyca Wyatt-Keyton, jwyatt@johnmarshall.edu or Ms. Angela Sumpter at asumpter@johnmarshall.edu.

Veterans with legal problems who would like to participate in the Homeless Veteran’s Legal Clinic should reach out to Ms. Thwindia Cabiness, at the Justice Program Office of the Atlanta VA Health Care System to make an appointment.

Thindwia Cabiness-Moore, LCSW

Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) Specialist

Atlanta VA Health Care System

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Email: Thindwia.Cabiness@va.gov

(404) 747-2725

Photo by Tim Mossholder

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation Partner to Launch Landlord Tenant Hybrid Clinic

Effective the Fall 2022 Semester, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) in partnership with Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) is kick-starting a new Landlord Tenant Hybrid Clinic to address the housing crisis in Atlanta. The inaugural cohort of six AJMLS students will be working with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation‘s Safe and Stable Homes Project and the Stand with Our Neighbors Initiative which helps to fight evictions and stabilize housing for families. AVLF has been a leading provider of pro bono services to Atlanta residents for over 40 years. By leveraging partnerships with the top law firms in Atlanta, AVLF has provided superior legal representation to low-income tenants to prevent illegal evictions and improve poor housing conditions.

“Thousands of Atlanta tenants have to tolerate unacceptable housing conditions and the looming threat of displacement. Addressing this crisis requires developing alternative community-based approaches,” said Michael Lucas, AVLF Executive Director, “we are excited to partner with Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors and help develop the next generation of attorneys who want to be part of the solution.”

The AJMLS Landlord Tenant Hybrid Clinic combines traditional academic learning with practical, real world law practice experience. The goal is to help students learn specific subject matter concepts and then apply them to assist Atlanta residents obtain better outcomes when conflicts arise with landlords. Participating students will become better problem-solvers, flexible thinkers, develop applicable professional skills, and explore pro bono work on a deep and concrete level.

Under the supervision of a licensed attorney, the students will put into practice basic litigation skills such as client interviews, document reviews, issue spotting, drafting pleadings, negotiation with adverse parties, and bench trial preparation for eviction clients represented in Fulton County Magistrate Court. 

The course counts for 4 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters, and will be taught by attorney and Adjunct Professor, Ayanna Jones-Lightsy, Co-Director of AVLF’s Safe and Stable Homes Project, beginning the Fall 2022 semester. Students interested in participating in the Landlord Tenant Hybrid Clinic should contact Mr. Paul Wilson at pwilson@johnmarshall.edu or Dr. Jymmyca Wyatt-Keyton at jwyatt@johnmarshall.edu. Applications can be found on the AJMLS 12Twenty platform.

Dr. Bridgett Ortega Honored at ACLU Annual Meeting

Courtesy, ACLU of GA

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) joins the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia in celebrating Dr. Bridgett Ortega, Associate Dean of Career Services and Professional Development, for her 12 years of service and leadership. After 11 years at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Dr. Ortega is closing out her last month as a full-time administrator and will return this fall as an Adjunct Professor in her retirement.

Joined by her family and AJMLS team members, Dr. Ortega attended the 2022 Annual Membership Meeting for the ACLU of Georgia on June 29, 2022 at the Atlanta History Center. At the event, she was celebrated by her peers and thanked for her long term service and contributions. 

The ACLU shared at the event, “The current ACLU of Georgia you helped build is one that brings a complex, expert, and passionate approach to the considerable civil rights and civil liberties challenges of our times. In your role as the Equity Officer, you have guided our organization to integrate Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging into all aspects of our work, and the increasingly diverse staff and Board are reflections of this.”

Dr. Ortega served the ACLU of Georgia Board of Directors as the Equity Officer from 2011-2022 and co-chairs the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee at AJMLS since its inception.

“I am honored to receive this recognition from the ACLU. I am just one of many voices for liberty and justice who work for and with the ACLU. I will continue my journey with them but as a ground soldier now.” said Dr. Ortega.

AJMLS acknowledges the incredible contributions that Dr. Ortega has made at the Law School and in our community, and we applaud her ongoing service to the ACLU.

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)
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.