Congratulations to Our Graduates and Award Recipients

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The Law School is incredibly proud of its graduates. Your perseverance and resilience during this challenging time is a testament to your professionalism and work ethic. We look forward to following your careers and championing all your future successes.

Valedictorians

This award is given to the valedictorian from each of the school’s divisions (full-time and part-time).

J. Avery Archer, full-time program

Undergraduate Institution: Berry College

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Competing in the Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) mock trial competition.

After the Bar: I plan on starting a law practice immediately after passing the Georgia Bar. 

Fredis Romero, part-time program

Undergraduate Institution: Georgia Gwinnett College, University of North Georgia

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Going out to celebrate with my classmates post final

After the Bar: I’ll be working as an Associate at the Drake & Estes Law Firm after passing the September bar. Long term, I hope to have my own firm and offer my services pro-bono for Immigration Law. 

Outstanding Graduate Awards

This award is given annually to one graduate in each of the school’s divisions (part-time and full-time) who best demonstrates standards of competence and professionalism, a strong social conscience, high ethical standards, and a commitment to the improvement of the legal system and society, as determined by the Faculty on recommendation of the Honors and Awards Committee.

Sydni Marshall, full-time program

Undergraduate Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Winning the title for the first ever Miss Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Pageant.

After the Bar: My plan after the bar exam is to continue my employment, as an associate attorney, with The Cochran Firm Atlanta and to become one of the greatest civil rights litigators in the country. I also plan to develop an organization for at-risk youth in my hometown, Richmond, Virginia, who want to pursue a career in law. The program would assist these students by providing them with internships, mentorships, and other resources to help them along the way. My ultimate dream, however, is to be happy and successful, all while remaining John Marshall Proud!

Bianca Taraschi, part-time program

Undergraduate Institution: Florida Atlantic University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Any and every story told by Professor Mears, and working at the library and always seeing and interacting with so many of my friends, classmates, and professors. Also meeting some of the best girl friends I could find and knowing that we will be friends forever

Plans after graduation: I am currently studying for the July UBE in South Carolina and am unsure of post-bar plans. I always said I never wanted to practice law, but more so go into a federal agency such as the FBI or DEA as a special agent or a federal attorney. Right now I just want to pass the bar and I trust that what God has for me next, He will make it very clear as to where I should be and what I should be doing. 

American Bankruptcy Institute Medal of Excellence

This award is presented to the student with the highest grade in a bankruptcy course or other area of bankruptcy scholarship.

Sasha Robinson

Undergraduate Institution: Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM)

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Law school orientation where I met some of my closest friends.

After the Bar:  I plan to work at a personal injury law firm, and eventually, start my own law practice. 

Excellence In Appellate Advocacy

This award is given to the outstanding student participant on a John Marshall Law School moot court competition team.

Kristen MacKenzie

Undergraduate Institution: Oglethorpe University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: During the construction of the building next door I was studying in the law library next to a window, there was a sudden explosive racket as a crane dropped a load of metal studs which landed on about the 4th or 5th floor of the new building with force. I jumped out of my chair and my study partner goes, “Well, there’s your tort hypo…” and goes right back to reading.

After the Bar: I would like to owe my own practice one day.

Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Custer-Tuggle Award for Excellence in Family Law

This award is presented to a student at each of the Georgia law schools who has exhibited outstanding achievement in the area of family law study and who plans on practicing family law upon graduation.

Maya Jeanpierre

Undergraduate Institution: Clark-Atlanta University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: I have many favorite memories of law school, but two of the most empowering experiences were:

The first time I was cold-called in Professor Van Detta’s Contracts I class and I was able to articulate the elements of promissory estoppel correctly.
Working with Dean Ortega and Mr. Wilson in the Experiential Learning Program and learning so much about family law while gaining invaluable experience in the overall practice of law.

After the Bar: Someday I would like to own a Family Law and Estate Planning practice, but that is a goal much further down the road. Shorter-term, I am dedicated to expanding my knowledge of family law so that I can advocate for those in need of legal services. I also plan to resume activities from my pre-law school life; traveling and experiencing new cultures, enjoying time with friends and family, and restarting hobbies I haven’t had time to enjoy while in law school.

Excellence in Pro Bono

This award is given to those students whose pro bono hours are among the top 10% earned in the graduating class. This award is not merit-based.

Kathryn Emig

Undergraduate Institution: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Working in the Office of Admissions.

After the Bar: I plan on working at an immigration law firm and becoming certified in Spanish.

Breeahna Gresham

Undergraduate Institution: Clark Atlanta University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: When I started AJMLS during orientation, Professor Rapping spoke and he said what you came to law school to study would not be what you leave here wanting to do. I remember sitting there looking at him like he does not know what he is talking about and I will be a prosecutor. Little did I know he was talking directly to me. I became apart of the Criminal Justice Certificate Program, took his classes, bombarded him during his office hours, and now I’m on the pathway to becoming a public defender and gained one heck of a mentor in Professor Rapping.  

After the Bar: My plan after the bar is to work in the public defenders office and become apart of Gideon’s Promise.

Chelsie Hinton

Undergraduate Institution: Georgia Southern University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: I have two. The first is getting to meet Stacy Abrams and hear her speak at the fundraiser for the Georgia lawyer chapter of the American Constitution Society. The second is participating in Professor Burch’s civil liberties seminar in education law. That course provided me the opportunity to meet with various community leaders, practice brief writing, and most importantly make a lasting impact on the young people we were helping.

After the Bar: My wildest dream is to be a co-host on The View and have the lawyer chair like Sunny Hostin or Star Jones (I love discussing politics). In the meantime I plan on practicing family law or being a real estate closing attorney.

Robert Leone

Undergraduate institution: University of North Georgia

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Getting to know the students, faculty, and staff at AJMLS. Everyone I met was awesome and I made many new friends.

After the Bar: Practice criminal defense in North Georgia

Sydni Marshall

Undergraduate Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Winning the title for the first ever Miss Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Pageant.

After the Bar: My plan after the bar exam is to continue my employment, as an associate attorney, with The Cochran Firm Atlanta and to become one of the greatest civil rights litigators in the country. I also plan to develop an organization for at-risk youth in my hometown, Richmond, Virginia, who want to pursue a career in law. The program would assist these students by providing them with internships, mentorships, and other resources to help them along the way. My ultimate dream, however, is to be happy and successful, all while remaining John Marshall Proud!

Marie Wofford Sussenbach

Undergraduate Institution: Kennesaw State University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: So thankful for our evening division and the incredible bond we created together during this journey. My favorite moments were spent over-analyzing EVERYTHING in our GroupMe, in and out of school. 

After the Bar: Continuing to work on federal litigation cases, likely in the area of Intellectual Property. Eventually I’d also like to serve as a Guardian Ad Litem on child abuse cases – the area of interest that brought me to law in the first place. 

Traci Trippe

Undergraduate Institution: Kennesaw State University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: When I got the email requesting my participation in the peer mentor program, I realized that no matter how far we have come, how much or how little we have, we always have something to contribute. That request marked a change in the direction of my career and sense of community at John Marshall. Service is inherent in the legal profession, and the most important work I will do as both an attorney and a member of the community. 

After the Bar: I plan to work in public service.

Georgia Association for Women Lawyers Outstanding Graduate Award

This award is given to a woman from each Georgia law school based on academic accomplishments and contributions to women’s issues.

Teana Overton

Undergraduate Institution: Longwood University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: It is a difficult task to pick just one memory as my favorite. Earning awards, winning titles, and learning complex material were all memorable. However, nothing will compare to the lifelong friendships I have made with my AJMLS family. 

After the Bar: I plan to work as an attorney representing injured persons while continuing my education. This fall, I will start graduate school part-time to earn my masters in Social Foundations of Education. Eventually, I plan on earning my Doctorates degree in education and establish a program to assist and mentor first generation students like myself.

Edward J. Henning Award for Excellence in Dispute Resolution

This award is given to an outstanding ADR student at each of the state’s five ABA-accredited law schools. These awards are given in memory of Ed Henning, one of the “founding fathers” of mediation in Georgia.

Chelsie Hinton

Undergraduate Institution: Georgia Southern University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: I have two. The first is getting to meet Stacy Abrams and hear her speak at the fundraiser for the Georgia lawyer chapter of the American Constitution Society. The second is participating in Professor Burch’s civil liberties seminar in education law. That course provided me the opportunity to meet with various community leaders, practice brief writing, and most importantly make a lasting impact on the young people we were helping.

After the Bar: My wildest dream is to be a co-host on The View and have the lawyer chair like Sunny Hostin or Star Jones (I love discussing politics). In the meantime I plan on practicing family law or being a real estate closing attorney.

The Honorable Harold R. Banke Advocacy Award

This award is given to the outstanding student participant on a mock trial competition team.

J. Avery Archer

Undergraduate Institution: Berry College

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Competing in the Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) mock trial competition.

After the Bar: I plan on starting a law practice immediately after passing the Georgia Bar. 

Bryce Bell

Undergraduate Institution: University of the Cumberlands

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Competing in the Phi Alpha Delta Mock Trial competition in Washington D.C.

After the Bar: I plan on working for a criminal defense attorney in downtown Atlanta.

Hunter Burkhalter

Milissa Fisher

Undergraduate Institution: Southern New Hampshire University 

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Studying for finals with some of the most amazing people I have ever met. John Marshall Proud!

After the Bar: After passing the bar, I plan to open my own firm, and to continue my pro bono work within the community. 

The Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears Pro Bono Award

The highest award is given to the student whose pro bono service had the greatest impact or who completed the highest overall pro bono hours.

Teana Overton

Undergraduate Institution: Longwood University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: It is a difficult task to pick just one memory as my favorite. Earning awards, winning titles, and learning complex material were all memorable. However, nothing will compare to the lifelong friendships I have made with my AJMLS family. 

After the Bar: I plan to work as an attorney representing injured persons while continuing my education. This fall, I will start graduate school part-time to earn my masters in Social Foundations of Education. Eventually, I plan on earning my Doctorates degree in education and establish a program to assist and mentor first generation students like myself.

National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Law Student Award

This award is given to a third-year law student who who best exemplifies the following characteristics:

  • Contributes to the advancement of women in society
  • Promotes issues and concerns of women in the legal profession
  • Exhibits motivation, tenacity, and enthusiasm
  • Demonstrates high academic achievement
  • Earns the respect of the faculty and administration

Jessica Swords Burton

Undergraduate Institutions: Gainesville State College, University of North Georgia

Favorite AJMLS Memory: I can’t just pinpoint one event. I’m going to have to say first semester. Very exciting and new. I got to meet really good people who grew to be friends, and I had never worked so hard in my life, and that was very fulfilling. 

After the Bar: I hope to work in criminal defense, and hopefully work my way into focusing on post-conviction appellate work, especially for indigent defendants. 

Pro Bono Distinction

This distinction is given to students who have completed 75 hours or more of pro bono work during their law school career.

Paige Duncan

Undergraduate Institution: The University of South Alabama

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Barrister’s Ball

After the Bar: My plan after the bar is to work in the area of corporate/business law in Georgia. 

Ekram Ismael

Undergraduate Institution: University of Colorado Denver

Favorite AJMLS Memory: All the good laughs and inside jokes I experienced with my evening cohort.

After the Bar: I plan to pursue a career in Entertainment Law or as a Criminal Defense Attorney after passing the September bar.

Fredis Romero

Undergraduate Institution: Georgia Gwinnett College, University of North Georgia

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Going out to celebrate with my classmates post final

After the Bar: I’ll be working as an Associate at the Drake & Estes Law Firm after passing the September bar. Long term, I hope to have my own firm and offer my services pro-bono for Immigration Law. 

Bryce Stephens

Undergraduate Institution: University of Georgia

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Barrister’s Ball

After the Bar: My dream after the bar exam is to practice with immigration law or international dispute resolution in Georgia.

December 2019 and May 2020 Graduates

Nikita Ali
Jarrett A. Archer, summa cum laude
Amber R. Austin
Mahjula Bah-Kamara
Joseph McCarroll Banks
Brittany Elizabeth Bard
Bryce A. Bell
Jonathan S Blackwell
Keona M. Blunt
Gregory W. Bowen Jr., cum laude
Brittany M. Bromfield
Hunter M. Burkhalter, cum laude
Jessica Swords Burton, cum laude
Jada S. Butler, cum laude
Mayara Q. Carvalho
Carol Chapman
Elizabeth G. Chapman
Sana A. Cheema
Jayla Cooley
Angela M. Cross
Austin Christopher Dabney
Logan F. Dale
Stephanie J. Dennis
Abhish Desai
Somalia D. Dixon
Paige Duncan
Rosa Dunkley
James D. Elliott
Kathryn E. Emig, cum laude
Angelica L. Evans
Thomas W. Farmer
Melanie N. Fenley, cum laude
Milissa M. Fisher, cum laude
John L. Gibson
Shaniqua C. Golding
Breeahna H. Gresham
Ashley D. Hamby
Robert M. Hamilton
Breana L Hampton
Isaiah I. Harry
Cassie N. Hartpence
Jeremy P. Harville
Dallas L. Hawkins
Aisha A. Hill
Taneris T. Hill
Chelsie C. Hinton
Jeremy B. Holmes
Vladimir Holmes
Kiyana Hunt
Ekram Ismael
Maya Jihan Jeanpierre
Terence D. John
Bethany N. Johnston
Jessica Kortman
Robert Leone, magna cum laude
Margaret J. Long
Joseph E. Lynch
Dillon R. Mackel
Kristen L. MacKenzie
Awa F. Marenah
Sydni S. Marshall
Sabrina Martin
Ashley Mashburn
Pamela McCloud
Melissa J. Mckinney
Hali R. Minter
Alix Orlando
Teana S. Overton
Ariel M. Patrick
Nicholas Pope, magna cum laude
Belinda Ramon
Courtney N. Rickles
Chanceity Robinson
Rasheda Robinson
Sasha S. Robinson
Sydney Robinson
Fredis Romero, cum laude
Marta Romero
Cierra Nicole Shope-Rushton, cum laude
Christopher James Smith
Shauki Smith
Rebekah A. Sprayberry
Bryce A. Stephens
Lauren B. Tapp
Bianca L. Taraschi
Lauren E. Thompson
Traci E. Trippe, cum laude
Sydney Tucker
Angel S. White
Marie Wofford Sussenbach