Maurice “Reece” Riden II, Class of 2018

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School gave me the opportunity to pursue my education in a very small, close-knit, environment. I attended a small school for my undergraduate degree, and I wanted to experience the same environment for law school. During my time at John Marshall, I was very involved in many areas including being a Student Ambassador, which led to being voted Student Ambassador of the Year, and being a student-aide in the Michael J. Lynch Law Library. In addition, one of my most memorable accomplishments while at John Marshall was being named the National Vice Justice of the Year for Phi Alpha Delta. The sense of a family is exemplified by the students, faculty, and staff at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, and it carries over as an alumni. As the Staff Attorney to a State Court Judge in Hall County, I frequently run into AJMLS Alumni. We always treat each other like family, and I am forever grateful that I belong to a group that continues to leave a positive footprint in the legal community.

2018 Alumna, Calvana Cedant, Has Turned Her Dream Into a Reality

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) 2018 alumna Calvana Cedant has a purpose on this earth to advocate for others, inspire future leaders, and grow organizations she truly believes in. Her path to law school began early on and she has since worked hard to achieve her goals. She was a part of the pre-law magnet program in high school, obtained her undergraduate degree from Clark Atlanta University, and then transitioned to AJMLS where she became actively involved with the school and the community. Through hard work and dedication she was able to turn her dreams into a reality and now works as an Assistant Public Defender for the Henry County Public Defender’s Office.

When asked about her path to law school, her career, and her favorite part about what she does, Calvana stated:

I come from a single mother household of five children. I saw many people from the community I grew up in be processed through the Criminal Justice System and did not understand or know their rights in regards to the criminal court system. I did not grow up knowing one attorney or anyone in the military, and so I set out in life to be both. I have felt this purpose since I was twelve years old and have not deviated from this path since I realized I wanted to be an attorney. I attended Fort Lauderdale High School, a school with a Pre-Law magnet program. In the magnet program, I took Pre-Law courses and I joined the debate team. I graduated with a pre-law high school diploma and moved on to Clark Atlanta University.

Clark Atlanta University would be my next milestone in life, almost 900 miles away from Pompano Beach, Florida and no family in Atlanta, Georgia; I was ready to conquer the unknown. I went from being freshman class secretary to the Vice President of the Political Science Association. During college in February 2012, I joined the United States Army in hopes of graduating from law school and becoming part of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Joining the Army has been one of the best decisions I ever made. I was the first person in my family to serve in the military and I am currently the only member of my family serving in the military. I enjoy the Army because it gives me a sense of purpose and usefulness.

After graduating from Clark Atlanta University I quickly transitioned to Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS). During my matriculation through law school, I went from being Student Body Representative for the Criminal Justice Honors Program to being the President of the Veterans Law Student Association. I enjoyed the student organizations at AJMLS because of the diversity of each organization. I was a member of the Criminal Law Association, the Black Law Student Association, and I became a member of Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity. I was fortunate enough to work as a student coordinator in the Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs. In the office I was able to work closely with the Street Law Program at Booker T. Washington High School preparing students for a mock trial, and personally mentoring students throughout the program.

While in law school I saw how difficult it was for some students to complete the first year. So during my third year of law school I served as a peer mentor to three first year law students, two of which I am now providing guidance for the July 2019 Georgia bar examination. At AJMLS, I also enjoyed volunteering with the Fort McPherson Veterans Clinic assisting Veterans who needed legal assistance in civil and criminal matters. It’s not a surprise that most of the work that I have done so far in my life has been in the best interest and advancement of someone else. In May 2018, I graduated from AJMLS and began preparing for the Georgia bar examination. In October of 2018 I graduated from the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorney’s professional development academy. The academy provided intensive professional and personal development training for people in the legal profession. Also, in October 2018 I passed the Georgia bar and made my dream come true. I was sworn in to practice law and also selected for the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

In December 2018, I accepted a position with the Henry County Public Defender’s Office and I am still with this office. My current job as an Assistant Public Defender is to be an advocate for indigent clients that deserve zealous representation. I analyze all assigned felony cases, and preform legal research to help advance my client’s case or legal position. I also advise clients of identified defenses and recommend appropriate course of actions for their case. Through our office I have the privilege of being a part of the Henry County Veterans Court team. I assist clients who served in the United States Military be considered for the program. If accepted their mental health or drug dependency issues are addressed and their successful completion of the program can be in lieu of confinement. I have many more duties as an Assistant Public Defender but my favorite part about my career is being an advisor and educator to my clients. I truly enjoy the attorneys and staff I work with. I am challenged and learning something new every day.

My current hobbies consist of traveling when I can and mentoring young girls with aspirations of becoming an attorney. My advice for aspiring lawyers and law students is to be intentional! When you set a goal, when you make a plan, and when you make a life decision always be intentional. Law school is not easy but it is not impossible. Where I am in life is solely because I had faith and was intentional about my life choices and decisions. I am living proof that your dreams can become reality!

The Law School is proud of the work and dedication Calvana has, and we look forward to celebrating her continued success!

Alumna Nicole Fegan Sets a New Tone for Criminal Defense Attorneys

Got Proof?* Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) 2013 alumna Nicole Fegan was recently featured in the Atlanta Attorney at Law Magazine, which discussed her success, relationship with clients and the community, and her image as “the new generation of criminal defense law.” This success and reputation stems not only from her hard work and dedication, but from her ability to reach potential clients through social media and her trademark slogan, Got Proof?*. Her passion, zeal, and devotion to her clients mixed with her reputation help set her apart from other attorneys.

In 2011, Fegan received her undergraduate degree from Drexel University. Then, in 2013, she received her law degree from AJMLS and a year later started her own law firm, Fegan Law, LLC, specializing in criminal defense. She is a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and has recently started her own nonprofit, Proof Period, Inc. which helps individuals in the justice system complete their required community service hours.

To view the full feature and learn more about Fegan’s work and her nonprofit, click the picture below:

For more information on Nicole Fegan and her firm, visit Congratulations Nicole on all that you have accomplished!


*Fegan Law, LLC

**Featured image courtesy of the Attorney at Law Magazine Cover

Alumna Neera Bahl Recently Appointed to the Cobb County Board of Elections

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumna Neera Bahl was recently appointed to the Cobb County Board of Elections. In 2000, Bahl received her Juris Doctor degree from AJMLS and has since demonstrated a strong commitment of leadership and dedication towards helping society and her community. She is actively involved with many volunteer projects and professional organizations. She was also a recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award from AJMLS.

Repost from the Marietta Daily Journal:

“Cobb Republican Party Chairman Jason Shepherd has appointed Marietta attorney Neera Bahl to the Cobb County Board of Elections.

Bahl is the founder and managing partner of One Path Legal. She will replace current Republican Party appointee Joe Pettit, whose term expires June 30.

“Neera brings with her not only a vast amount of experience in the law, but a zeal for growing the Republican base in Cobb County,” Shepherd said in a news release. “I want to thank Joe Pettit for his service on the board, but given what I expect will be a contentious 2020 election, I felt we need someone with the experience and legal skills (that) Neera Bahl will bring to this position.”

A native of India and naturalized U.S. citizen, Bahl received her master’s in English from Punjab University, India; bachelor of education in psychology from D.A.V. College, India; and bachelor of science in chemistry and biology from D.S. College, India.

After moving to the United States, Bahl spent more than 20 years in medical and scientific research before graduating from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2000. She is a graduate of the 2018 class of Leadership Cobb and was appointed to the Judicial Nominating Commission by Gov. Brian Kemp in 2019.

“I am honored to be appointed to the Board of Elections for Cobb GOP and will do my best to ensure that the elections are administered with utmost fairness and accuracy,” Bahl said. “I greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve in this capacity.”

Cobb GOP Outreach Ambassador Jeff Souther said, “Neera Bahl is a natural fit for the Cobb Board of Elections. Neera’s professional experience as an immigration attorney combined with her life experience as a naturalized citizen drives her passion for civic engagement. She is committed to ensuring every citizen has their voting rights accessible and protected.”

In addition to her legal work, Bahl is a volunteer for the Truancy Intervention Project and with Raksha Inc. helping victims of domestic violence. She is the current president of the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce-South East Chapter.”

To learn more about Neera Bahl and her law firm, One Path Legal, visit their website here. Congratulations, Neera on all that you have accomplished!

*Featured image courtesy of Marietta Daily Journal

Constance Copeland Selected as a Henning Memorial Award Recipient

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School 2019 graduate, Constance Copeland, was selected as a recipient of the Edward J. Henning Memorial Award. This award focuses on recognizing the outstanding efforts of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) students within the state’s five ABA-accredited law schools, one being our very own Atlanta’s John Marshall. It is given to five winners in memory of Ed Henning, one of the “founding fathers” of mediation in Georgia.*

Henning Mediation & Arbitration Service, Inc. provides training for civil mediation, arbitration, and divorce mediation. For more information or to make a contribution towards the Edward J. Henning Memorial Award, visit their website here.

Congratulations Constance on being selected as a recipient! We look forward to celebrating your continued success.

*Henning Mediation & Arbitration Services, Inc. Facebook Post

*Featured image pulled from Henning Mediation & Arbitration Services, Inc. Facebook Post

Professor Elizabeth Jaffe Cited in Dissenting Opinion

The Indiana Court of Appeals recently issued its decision on the F.B.C. v MDwise, Inc. case. In this case, F.B.C. filed a suit against her health insurance company alleging “disclosure,” “intrusion,” and “outrage” after her husband saw personal information that was placed on a web portal and decided to continue with their divorce process. The trial court dismissed all claims except outrage; however, the Court of Appeals decided to dismiss all three claims. Judge Brown concurred, and Judge Bailey dissented with opinion.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Elizabeth Jaffe was quoted in a footnote by Judge Bailey for his dissenting opinion. The footnote used is based upon an article written by Professor Jaffe in which she discusses a cyberbullying case that dealt with an invasion of privacy and disclosing personal information. This article supports Judge Bailey’s dissent surrounding the disclosure claim.

The footnote reads:
“See also Elizabeth M. Jaffe, Cyberbullies Beware: Reconsidering Vosburg v. Putney in the Internet Age, 5 Charleston L. Rev. 379, 382-85 (2011) (noting the tort implications of tragic events involving a college student who committed suicide after his roommate used a computer camera to spy on the student’s sexual encounters, revealed the student’s sexual orientation in a post on social media, and shared a link that allowed third parties to remotely view the camera feed).”

Meet Your 2019-2020 Student Bar Association Executive Board

Congratulations to the newly appointed 2019-2020 Student Bar Association (SBA) Executive Board! The primary objective of the SBA Executive Board is to represent the viewpoints of the student body, and serve as a conduit between the students and administration. Your 2019-2020 Executive Board is already hard at work on your behalf, and looks forward to a productive academic year.

Let’s meet this year’s Executive Board!

Teana Overton, President

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

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: I earned my Bachelors from Longwood University in Virginia.

What are your future career plans: I am unsure of my legal career path as it is still developing; however, I do know that I will not be satisfied unless I am advocating for disenfranchised groups.

What do you look forward to as the SBA President: I look forward to working with the administration to provide students with the highest quality experience possible.

What are your goals in the position this academic year: My personal goal as SBA President for the 2019-2010 academic year is to be thorough in all endeavors.

What do you want your classmates to know about you: I want my classmates to know that I view my position as one of service, not of power. With that being stated, I look forward to serving as your SBA President.


Bethany Johnston, Vice President

Where were you raised: Cedartown, Georgia

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: I got my Bachelor’s Degree (Sociology Major with a minor in Mass Communications) at The University of Georgia. I got my Master’s Degree at The University of Phoenix (Health Administration with a specialty in Geriatrics).

What are your future career plans: I am not sure what area of law I would like to pursue as of yet. I am just fortunate to be chasing my dream in my mid-thirties.

What do you look forward to as the SBA Vice President: Being a part of the John Marshall Family and helping others learn ways to become involved.

What are your goals in the position this academic year: To help improve communication and student involvement. I am blessed to be working with a great group on the Executive board this year.

What do you want your classmates to know about you: I am a student, a wife, a mother, and a friend to many. Law school is hard! However, with a great support team it is possible to achieve your dreams. I am always here to help support all the students in whatever ways I can. We are a team at John Marshall!


Mario Pereira, Treasurer

Where were you raised: I was born in Colombia and came to the United States when I was three years old. I was raised in West Orange New Jersey and moved to Georgia when I was 17.

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: I completed my undergraduate degree at Barry University, a Catholic university located in Miami, Florida. 

What are your future career plans: My future career goal is to practice immigration law.

What do you look forward to as the SBA Treasurer: As SBA Treasurer I look forward to working closely with the SBA board, students, and faculty.

What are your goals in the position this academic year: My goal as SBA Treasurer is to appropriately manage our budget to have sufficient funds for the necessities of the school and our students.

What do you want your classmates to know about you: I want my classmates to know that I am very approachable and always willing to lend a helping hand.


Promiss Yarber, Secretary

Where were you raised: I was born and raised in Macon, Georgia.

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: I completed my undergraduate education at Georgia Southern University and majored in English and Writing.

What are your future career plans: My future career plans are unclear because I kind of go with the flow and don’t commit myself to one thing. However, I am seriously considering working at a real estate firm right now.

What do you look forward to as the SBA Secretary: As SBA Secretary, I look forward to being the voice of the students and being able to talk to more students, gather their concerns and ideas, and share them with the administration. I look forward to making communication between students and the SBA Board Members easier and more efficient.

What are your goals in the position this academic year: My goals are to just make everyone feel comfortable with voicing their concerns and feel as though their concerns are being addressed accordingly.

What do you want your classmates to know about you: I’m pretty much an open book. I want them to know that I’m very approachable and easy to talk to/understanding. I like playing tennis so if anyone needs a tennis partner they should befriend me!


Whitnie Carter, Parliamentarian

Where were you raised: I was raised in Woodstock, Ga. 

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: I earned my Bachelors degree at Georgia State University.

What are your future career plans: Ideally, I want to become an Athletic Director of Compliance for an institution or in-house for a conference. However, it’s all in God’s plan. 

What do you look forward to as the SBA Parliamentarian: I look forward to maintaining order at any and all meetings pursuant to Robert’s Rules of Order, and being a helping hand to our board, the students, and administration. 

What are your goals in the position this academic year: My personal goal for the 2019-2020 academic year is to allow transparency and provide as much feedback to students to allow them to have the best law school experience. 

What do you want your classmates to know about you: I want my classmates to know, I’m always here to listen and help in anyway I can. We are John Marshall Proud! 





We would also like to thank the 2018-2019 Board for your tireless work on behalf of the Atlanta’s John Marshall student body. We are excited to follow your success as new attorneys.


Congresswoman Receives Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree; Remarks From Your Valedictorians

Congratulations to this year’s graduates! On May 18, 2019, Dean Malcolm L. Morris presided over Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s 2019 graduation at the Georgia World Congress Center. It was a day full of excitement and anticipation as 102 law students received their juris doctor degree. Dean Malcolm L. Morris began the commencement with a welcome speech and awards ceremony, and followed up with an introduction for this year’s commencement speaker, Congresswoman Lucy McBath.


Congresswoman Lucy McBath delivered the commencement keynote address. She both challenged and inspired the graduates to go above and beyond their daily lives to make meaningful contributions to others. With a father who was a leader in the NAACP and a mother, a registered nurse that helped tutor students, Congresswoman McBath was raised with a commitment to public service. She attended many marches alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to support the civil rights movement. She has testified at state hearings, interacted with lawmakers and activists, lobbied members of Congress, and spoken before both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the White House Summit on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Following a personal family tragedy, Congresswoman McBath became a national spokesperson for both “Everyone for Gun Safety” and “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense.” The entire Law School community was honored to have her be the commencement speaker and was inspired by her words.


In addition to our keynote speaker, this year’s valedictorians, Jarrett L. Miller (full-time division) and Jilian A. Sheridan (part-time division), gave brilliant remarks to their fellow colleagues and guests.

Jarrett Miller:

Growing up with a preference to playing sports, Jarrett Miller never saw himself as the type to attend law school. However, after getting married, working as a police officer, and deploying with the Army he took on a whole new mindset and became determined to do the best that he could. He became obsessed with law, enrolled in Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and became actively involved with his classes and extracurricular activities.  Outside of studying for his classes, Miller spent a year involved with law journal, became a research assistant for a year, and did mock trial for a semester. He graduated summa cum laude and valedictorian.

When asked how it felt being valedictorian, Miller stated that he was very thankful, partly because he felt his efforts were vindicated and partly because it felt like a blessing from God. He then went on to give advice to students stating that, “Personal responsibility is a must if you are to succeed…It’s your life, and your career, no one else is responsible for it. So if you are a 1L or 2L, please try to understand that you get out of this what your put into it…Accept responsibility for every facet of your life…But don’t worry, it is very possible to do well; just get in the library and start working!”


Jilian Sheridan:

Having worked as a paralegal for a trial attorney for approximately four years and with a one-year old daughter, Jilian Sheridan decided to enroll in the part-time program at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Through this program she was able to find a supportive community of students with similar struggles who understood the difficulty in finding a balance between outside responsibilities while pursuing the dream to become an attorney. Sheridan was a part of the December 2018 graduating class and therefore she was able to take the February bar exam. The day before law school graduation she found out she had passed the exam! She graduated magna cum laude and valedictorian.

When asked how it felt being valedictorian, Sheridan stated that: “As a working mother, it felt empowering to be the Valedictorian for my law school class.  There is no question that you can be the parent you want to be and still pursue your legal dreams.”


Congratulations to all of the graduates! We are so excited to see all that you are going to accomplish!


A copy of the full program of the commencement exercise, which includes all student awards, can be found here.


2018 Alumna, Jennifer Magruder, Paves Way by Starting a Law Firm

Being a native of Atlanta, Jennifer A. Magruder graduated from Kennesaw State University with a degree in Marketing and Public Relations. However, she has always had an interest in the law and decided to pursue her true passion by attending Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS). In 2018, Magruder received her Juris Doctor degree and graduated with Criminal Justice Honors. She then went on to take the Georgia bar exam that July and was admitted to practice law in October of 2018. About a month later, after working with a few other solo practitioners, Magruder decided to take a leap of faith and opened her own law firm focused on Personal Injury, Criminal Defense and Immigration. Her favorite part about owning her own firm is that she is able to pace herself with her case flow and control the amount of time allotted to each case that comes through her firm. She hopes to continue to provide the same mentorship and guidance to AJMLS students she had received throughout her law school journey.

Congratulations on all that you have accomplished Jennifer! We look forward to celebrating your continued success.

Professor Jonathan Rapping Cited in National Media Outlets on the Equal Defense Act

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Professor and Director of the Criminal Justice Certificate Program, Jonathan Rapping, was cited in many articles regarding the Equal Defense Act.

“I am hopeful that this Act prompts us all to continue to understand public defenders as a critical piece of the criminal justice solution, and to build on its important foundation to ensure marginalized communities have the advocates necessary to fulfill our democratic promise of equal justice,” says Rapping who founded Gideon’s Promise, an organization that backs the bill. (Vox)

Earlier this month Senator Kamala Harris introduced this legislation, the most ambitious federal legislation to date aimed at making the 6th Amendment Right to Counsel a reality in state and local courts. Rapping consulted closely with Senator Harris’ staff to draft this legislation. He is a nationally renowned public defense advocate and criminal justice reformer.

This quote at Vox is one of a number of quotes by Professor Rapping in national media outlets on the Equal Defense Acts. Some examples include The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, Mother Jones, CNN, and many more.

Outside of all of the great work he does here at AJMLS, Professor Rapping has stayed actively involved with the law community within the last few months.

On February 21st, Professor Rapping was able to attend UCLA’s School of Law event, Gideon’s Promise: Building a Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice. As President and Founder of Gideon’s Promise, Professor Rapping was asked to speak with students on the organization’s purpose to transform the criminal justice system by teaching future public defenders how to fight for and provide equal justice for marginalized communities* as well as its upcoming programs.

His involvement does not stop there though. On March 6-7th, Professor Rapping traveled to Baltimore, Maryland to help train a new class of Maryland public defenders. Gideon’s Promise was brought to Maryland back in 2014, and since then it has continued to thrive and expand. Former AJMLS Professor, Patrice Fulcher, now resides as the Training Director for the program in Maryland, and for a couple of days, Professor Rapping had the opportunity to go and visit to assist in training new public defenders and help raise Maryland’s standard of justice.

Then, on March 20th, Professor Rapping attended the Public Defender as Civil Rights Lawyer luncheon talk at George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C.

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to both AJMLS and the legal community, Professor Rapping!




*Gideon’s Promise

Alumnus Burl Finkelstein Featured in the Daily Report

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumnus, Burl Finkelstein, was recently featured in the Daily Report on The article, Georgia GC Discusses White House Meeting With Trade Officials, was featured in the April 15th edition as a full story on p. 5. You can also find the article online here.

The article is a worthy read that goes into detail on the Coalition of a Prosperous America annual trade conference at the White House. One person in particular that attended this event was Finkelstein, who later went on to speak with Corporate Counsel on his history with the coalition and his biggest takeaways from the event. This conversation included Finkelstein’s take on what attracted him to the coalition, the industries represented at the conference, conversation highlights, discussions on tariffs, and his biggest revelation during the meeting.* In this article, Finkelstein does a great job at providing an insider’s insight to the conference and conveying overall messages.

When asked about his involvement, Finkelstein mentioned that:

“Being a lawyer made many differences in my life and effectives in business. My legal training and business background helped me understand trade law so I could meaningfully engage the policy makers.”

Finkelstein attended AJMLS in the part-time evening program and graduated in 2005. He passed the bar on his first try that following July. Currently, he is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Kason Industries Inc. Congratulations on all that you have accomplished in your career thus far and all that you are set to accomplish in the future!


Professor Michael Mears Featured on National Television

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Associate Professor, Michael Mears, was a special guest on the New York based show “Law and Crime,” which is shown nationally and on many cable outlets. In this segment, Professor Mears explores details regarding the recent death penalty case in Georgia involving Tiffany Moss who was tried in the death of her stepdaughter. This case has drawn national attention for reasons such as her decision to represent herself during the trial. At the conclusion of the trial, Ms. Moss was sentenced to death and became the sixth woman in Georgia’s history to have this sentence. This video goes into further detail on the outcome as Professor Mears explains the death penalty laws and trial procedures involved in such a case in Georgia. He also provides a thorough discussion of the death penalty appeals process along with an explanation on the clemency procedures possibly available to Ms. Moss.

The video of the full interview can be found here.

Professor Mears has been on the faculty at AJMLS since 2007. He teaches evidence, advanced evidence, criminal law, criminal procedure, and criminal law ethics. In 2003, Michael was selected to be the founding Director of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council after serving for over ten years as the Director of the Multi-County County Public Defender Office, a state-wide death penalty public defender service funded by the State of Georgia. He then retired from that position in 2007 and has been an Associate Professor at AJMLS since. Professor Mears is the author of numerous articles and books, and his background makes him uniquely qualified to comment on the issue at hand in the interview.

Thank you for your continued contributions to the legal community, Professor Mears. We appreciate all of your efforts!

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Welcomes Congresswoman Lucy McBath as 2019 Commencement Speaker

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is pleased to announce Congresswoman Lucy McBath as the Law School’s 2019 commencement speaker. Commencement exercises are scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. on May 18, 2019 at the Georgia World Congress Center – 285 Andrew Young International Boulevard NW Atlanta, GA 30313.

The Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is both honored and thrilled to have Congresswoman Lucy McBath as its graduation speaker this year. Congresswoman McBath is a true champion of the people as evidenced by her longtime commitment to community service and supporting both civil rights and educational opportunities for all. We look forward to her inspirational remarks to send our graduates on their way to successful legal careers. – Dean Malcolm L. Morris


About Congresswoman Lucy McBath

Congresswoman Lucy McBath is a mother, a wife, an author and an activist, but the most important title she will ever hold is Jordan’s Mom. She spent 30 years working for Delta Airlines as a flight attendant until the death of her 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, in 2012. Jordan was shot and killed in what became known as the “Loud Music Shooting.” After his death, The Congresswoman turned to activism. She has dedicated her life to preventing other families from experiencing the same tragedy that she did.

Congresswoman McBath held dual roles as the national spokesperson for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, as well as faith and outreach leader for both. After years of advocating to local, state, and federal legislators, and in the wake of the Parkland shooting, she decided to run for Congress.

In addition to her experiences with gun violence, the Congresswoman was inspired to run for Congress because she is a two-time breast cancer survivor. She knows the importance of covering those with preexisting conditions and increasing accessibility to quality and affordable health care. The Congresswoman proudly represents Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District.


Tickets are not required for entry. For general information you can visit our graduation page here and/or our logistics page here for further details. There will be a small reception immediately following the ceremony for the graduates and their guests, faculty, staff, and volunteers.

*Biography information courtesy of

*Featured image courtesy of official portrait

AJMLS Alumna, Antonette Igbenoba, Accepts Position at Global Corporation

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) 2016 alumna, Antonette Igbenoba, recently accepted a position at Ernst & Young (EY) with a focus in data privacy, an area of law she is most passionate about.

After receiving her Theatre B.A. from Penn State University, Igbenoba began the next journey towards her career: law school. Her degree along with her passion for public service helped drive her towards attending AJMLS. While at AJMLS, Igbenoba became actively involved in her courses and extracurricular activities. Outside of classes, she taught Sunday school to elementary kids, did community service projects at Atlanta Mission through the Christian Legal Society, and was a member of the Black Law Students Association. In addition to her volunteer work, she actively networked with data privacy professionals in order to learn more about the industry and how she could excel in her career. Igbenoba obtained an externship with a technology law firm where she was exposed to new legal experiences and, as a result, fell in love with the data privacy and cybersecurity law industry.

“My favorite part about the job and data privacy law is the creativity that my position allows,” said Igbenoba. “Data privacy in many ways reminds me of art, it is flexible and there is always new technology being created and new challenges to step-up to.”

After taking the bar, she took a leap and founded her own data privacy and security consulting firm called “The Privacy Source LLC.” Here, she was able to gain hands-on experience building data privacy programs for startup eCommerce businesses and helping them comply with necessary data privacy laws.

After several months of building up her portfolio through her firm, Igbenoba applied for a position with EY’s Cybersecurity Practice and, following a lengthy interview process, was offered the job. Through all of the hard work and dedication put towards an industry she is passionate about, Igbenoba is now able to develop new processes and procedures for EY’s clients in order to help them comply with data privacy laws. She is also able to utilize her knowledge of the industry and help shape the future.

“Privacy is amazing because America has no federal privacy law (in America we have a sectoral approach to privacy e.g. HIPPA applies to Healthcare data matters),” said Igbenoba.  “Congress is currently in the process of brain-storming a federal privacy law, so the government frequently has public sessions and inquires to get input from data privacy professionals, in essence, I have a route available to help craft beneficial and necessary policy!”

Outside of work, Igbenoba finds herself staying busy by getting involved with her community. Currently, she is a Civic Fellow with Hands on Atlanta where she leads a service project that works to combat food insecurity in the Atlanta area. (For more information on her upcoming events, visit the website here)

When asked if she had any advice for aspiring attorneys, Igbenoba gave two points to those chasing their dreams. The first is to, “Do what sets your heart on fire. Go exactly after your passion, what makes you happy, or what brings you fulfillment.” The second is, “Focus on yourself! This is your unique life and your unique journey! Everyone’s path differs, if you’re too focused on getting the approval, thumbs up, or support from others, you’re wasting your time.”

The Law School is incredibly proud of Antonette’s dedication to the community and we look forward to celebrating her continued success.

BLSA and CBLS Named Outstanding Student Organizations of Spring 2019

As the Spring semester at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) comes to an end, we are thrilled to recognize the hard work and dedication our students have put both inside and outside of the classroom. Congratulations to the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and the Corporate and Business Law Society (CBLS) on being named the Outstanding Student Organization of the Semester for Spring 2019. This award recognizes student organizations that have excelled in leadership and positively contributed to AJMLS, the students, and the community around them.

Below are a few of the events sponsored by the BLSA and CBLS from this semester:


Mr. and Miss John Marshall Scholarship and Charity Pageant
LexisNexis Study Tip Days
Forever Family Donation Drive
Guidance Gathering


BLSA celebrated its 26th Anniversary at the Gathering Spot and recognized current students and prominent attorneys and alumni in the Atlanta area. The organization also raised over $5,000 for scholarships and the Covenant House at the first ever Covenant House Scholarship Pageant.

(Congratulations to the winner of this year’s pageant:
Miss John Marshall: Syndi Marshall
Mr. John Marshall: Bryce Bell
2nd Runner Up Miss John Marshall: Samantha Beskin
2nd Runner Up Mr. John Marshall: Hunter Burkhalter
People’s Choice Award: Sydni Marshall for having raised in excess of $600
Philanthropy Award: Heather Tucker for having raised in excess of $800)


CBLS Corporate and Business Law Forum
Covenant House Volunteer Days and Professional Outreach
Planned Pethood Volunteer Project
End It Movement Table Event


CBLS promoted volunteerism in the community and also held a forum which allowed students the opportunity to meet practicing attorneys in the Atlanta area from firms such as Nelson Mullins.


The Selection Committee was impressed by the effort and hard work of the two organizations. Visit the site here to learn more about all of our student organizations.

AJMLS Student, Kristian Postma, Selected for the 2019 Inspiring Mothers of Georgia Award

Congratulations to Kristian Postma, a student here at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS), for being selected as one of six recipients of the 2019 Inspiring Mothers of Georgia Award. This award, given by the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies (HMHB) Coalition of Georgia, is presented to inspirational mothers all across the state of Georgia. The HMHB Coalition of Georgia has been a statewide voice for mothers and babies to have improved access to healthcare and health outcomes. Each year, this organization awards inspiring mothers based on their demonstration of certain characteristics such as strength, sacrifice, caring nature, compassion and generosity; characteristics that Kristian demonstrates daily at home, work, and school. Winners have the opportunity to attend the annual Mother’s Day Luncheon, where they will be honored and given a chance to share their story with their families and the community. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from a few empowerment speakers including award-winning author, Kate Rope, and Founding Director of RestoreHER, Pamela Winn.

Visit the Third Annual Mother’s Day Luncheon & Inspiring Mothers of Georgia Awards page for more information about the award and this year’s recipients.

*Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia

Congratulations to the 2019 Resilience Scholarship Recipients

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) would like to take a moment to congratulate Breana Hampton and Jane McCoy on being recipients of the 2019 Resilience Scholarship. The Resilience Scholarship is a need-based scholarship that was created to help alleviate some of the financial stress associated with law school and acknowledge phenomenal students who have overcome substantial hardships. It was created by Tracy Johnson, a member of the AJMLS family and someone who embodies all that the scholarship is. Both part-time and full-time students are eligible to apply as long as you are a 2L, 3L, or 4L currently enrolled with an a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0.

We wish you the best of luck as you work hard towards graduating!

Professor Jaffe Quoted in The Wall Street Journal

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Associate Professor, Elizabeth Jaffe, was recently quoted in The Wall Street Journal. The article, It’s Hard to Spot the Terrorists Among the Trolls, analyzes the correlation between online harassment and hateful acts such as terrorism found in mass shootings. With the rise of online social platforms, research conducted on what influences online bullying and physical violence has continued to increase. The article uses the recent New Zealand mass shooting as an example to show how “cyber violence” can become physical violence, and the parallel between the shooter and those who use the swatting method.*

Professor Jaffe has been on the faculty at AJMLS since 2006. She teaches Domestic Relations, Legal Research, Writing & Analysis I & II, Pretrial Practice & Procedure, and Depositions. She has conducted extensive scholarly research with the focus on education law and the legal response to bullying, and has several published articles in this area. In addition to published articles, she has presented at the Symposium “Cyberbullying in America: A Discussion of Liability, Policy, and Progress” and has received national media coverage for her expertise in this area of law.

Thank you for your continued contributions to both AJMLS and the legal community, Professor Jaffe. We appreciate all of your efforts!

*Taken from The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law Journal to Host Symposium: Accountability Courts

On March 22, 2019, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) will host its annual Law Journal Symposium. This event, held at the Blackburn Conference Center from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., will consist of many esteemed guest speakers and judges all focused on this year’s topic: Accountability Courts in Georgia. Registrants will have the opportunity to receive 6.0 CLE credits for this event. Those seeking CLE credit must register under “Attorney Admission” and pay $30 (costs will cover the Bar’s booking fees). However, the event is free and open to any law students, judges, legislators, and the general public who wish to attend.

The symposium’s topic will focus on providing detailed knowledge and insight into Georgia’s Accountability Court programs. These programs are designed to rehabilitate nonviolent offenders who spend significant time behind bars. It is a proven solution and AJMLS hopes to educate criminal law students on the problem along with the positive impact the programs can have now and in the future.

“First and foremost, I wanted to plan a CLE that brings awareness to these programs,” said Taylor Deciano, AJMLS’ Law Journal’s Editor in Chief.  “Accountability courts in GA are still relatively new (est. 2015), but have grown exponentially in the last four years. Secondly, my goal is to teach those in practice how to better advocate for an at-risk defendant, whether that is better understanding the program’s structure, better understanding a presiding judge’s point of view, or listening to miscellaneous tips and tricks for advocating in these courts.”


Presentations and the moderated discussion topics include:

“The Council of Accountability Court Judges Processes and Outcomes,”

“Restoring Lives Alliance and Practical Lawyering in these Courts,”

“CACJ 101,”

“DUI Courts,”

“Drug Courts,”

“Parental Accountability Courts,”

“Veterans Court.”

While the overall subject matter is different, one of this year’s presentations on Veterans Court is meant to play on last year’s topic of Veterans Law. Previous year’s topics included business law, immigration, juvenile justice, criminal defense, and privacy, meaning this will be a first for the Accountability Courts topic.

“More than anything, I hope our guests walk away with practical tools they can use in practice and a better understanding of accountability courts,” said Deciano. “A bonus would be that someone walks away inspired to start a program like this in their home jurisdiction that does not yet have any or all of these programs.”

In addition to the admired guest speakers and discussion topics scheduled throughout the day, breakfast and lunch will be served as well. Space is limited so make sure to register today!

Click here for more information and to register for the event.