In 2017, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is fortunate to celebrate major milestone faculty anniversaries for six professors. Professor Michael Lynch is celebrating 20 years with AJMLS while Professors Dalton, Jeffries, McMillian, Mears, and Rapping are all celebrating 10 years with the Law School.
AJMLS is built on the principle that the Law School is dedicated to preparing highly skilled, ethical, and professional lawyers who possess a strong social conscience. The seasoned professors celebrating milestone anniversaries this year live that mission everyday. Each is an irreplaceable member of our Law School and an invaluable member of the legal community.
Please learn a bit more about each professor below. When you see these professors on campus, you are encouraged to offer your thanks and congratulations. Our community is truly built on the commitment they’ve shown to building great lawyers out of law students.
Favorite thing about teaching at AJMLS? I enjoy watching my students grow.
Favorite thing to do on the weekend/in Atlanta? To watch my kids play sports.
Best piece of advice to aspiring attorneys? Always practice the craft of writing. “When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into it.”
What brought you to teaching at AJMLS? I had always thought that I would love teaching, but I did not know if teaching at a law school would be the right fit. When I found out about the opportunity at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, I did some research on the school. I was drawn to the law school’s mission and its focus on preparing practice-ready lawyers. When I graduated from law school, I felt anything but “practice ready,” so I was really excited to be a part of an institution where that was an important goal.
Favorite AJMLS memory? There are certainly too many to recount.
What’s something your students wouldn’t know about you? When I was a kid, I tried out to be in one of the RoboCop movies. In the audition, you had to cry on command, which I learned is not a strength of mine. I didn’t get the part and thus ended my acting career.
Favorite thing to do on the weekend/in Atlanta? I love running, walking, or biking on the Beltline.
Best piece of advice to aspiring attorneys? There is a quote that I believe is from Thomas Edison that I think is very applicable to young lawyers: “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
What brought you to teaching at AJMLS? I had taught at other schools but always wanted to return to Atlanta.
Favorite AJMLS memory? Lunches with John Ryan, John Thames, and Prof. D’Agostino at Rolling Bones.
What’s something your students wouldn’t know about you? When I graduated from law school I bought a new Volkswagen Beetle. A year later I sold it and bought a one year old Porsche. Since then I have never bought a new car. (the Porsche cost $3,000.)
Favorite thing to do on the weekend/in Atlanta? Listen to music played live.
Best piece of advice to aspiring attorneys? Do 3,000 practice multiple choice questions before the bar exam.
Final thought? Read Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society.
What brought you to teaching at AJMLS? Former Atlanta’s John Marshall Dean, Richardson Lynn.
Favorite AJMLS memory? When I awoke one morning to learn that Judge Richard Posner had cited one of my law review articles.
What’s something your students wouldn’t know about you? I’ve written two screenplays that are now in, umm, “pre-production.”
Favorite thing to do on the weekend/in Atlanta? Getting out of the city.
Final thought? “Now is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” — Winston Churchill
What brought you to teaching at AJMLS? Former Atlanta’s John Marshall Dean, Richardson Lynn, asked me to apply after he learned of my retirement as Director of the State of Georgia Public Defender Standards Council.
Favorite AJMLS memory? Every day that I am a member of this great faculty.
What’s something your students wouldn’t know about you? I participated in the semi-finals of the Little League World Series as a member of the Little League All Star Team from Caruthersville, Missouri.
Favorite thing to do on the weekend/in Atlanta? Going out to dinner at a new restaurant with my wife, Coile Estes.
Best piece of advice to aspiring attorneys? Guard your integrity as if it belongs in Fort Knox. Once you lose your integrity as a lawyer, you have lost all that there is to lose.
Final thought? As lawyers, I would like for everyone to remember this quote – “Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.”
What brought you to teaching at AJMLS? In my work with criminal justice reform nationally I came to appreciate that our legal system leaves far too many people without a lawyer who is dedicated to giving them access to justice. As a law professor I have the opportunity to inspire future lawyers to help close this justice gap. I believe the diversity in our students’ backgrounds and experiences make them well suited to understand the challenges that face communities in need and to therefore help address them.
Favorite AJMLS memory? Graduation of the Inaugural Honors Program in Criminal Justice Class. I had worked with that group intensively for three years.
What’s something your students wouldn’t know about you? I worked for the Federal reserve Board after college and got a Masters in Public Affairs with an Economics concentration before committing to law school.
Favorite thing to do on the weekend/in Atlanta? Watch my children play any number of sports around town.
Best piece of advice to aspiring attorneys? Find your passion and pursue a career in the law that allows you to act on it. One of my favorite quotes is “every day you write your epitaph.” Do not waste a day doing something you are not passionate about!
The AJMLS community would also like to honor Professor D’Agostino (23 years), Professor Van Detta (18 years), Professor Burch (14 years), Professor de Haven (14 years), Professor Apolinsky (13 years), Dean Harrison-Mercer (13 years), Professor Tripp (12 years), and Professor Jaffe (11 years). Professors, our sincerest thank you for the wisdom you’ve shared with the AJMLS community throughout your years on our faculty. We can’t wait to celebrate your next milestones together!