The April Issue
In all my years as a member of the Editorial Board of the Georgia Bar Journal, never have I been more excited to publish an article than I am this month. You simply must read our feature article "Bending the Arc: Georgia Lawyers in the Pursuit of Social Justice." Attorney Derrick Alexander Pope has highlighted the critical roles that four Georgia lawyers have played in the course of the American Civil Rights Movement. Beginning with the Confederate period, and taking the reader through the next 150 years to modern times, Pope tells the stories of four men: Amos T. Akerman, Noah Parden, Griffin B. Bell and Donald L. Hollowell. Through their stories, Pope shows us how Georgia lawyers contributed to "the first revolution in history conducted on advice of counsel."
Akerman, as a former colonel in the Confederate Army, seems an unlikely advocate for the right to vote for all men, white and black. He was instrumental in drafting Georgia's 1868 Constitution. Parden, the orphaned son of a former slave and a white man, put himself through law school working as a barber. He ultimately argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to save the life of a man wrongfully accused of raping a white woman. Bell, well-known to many Atlanta lawyers, worked for years, as both a lawyer and a judge, to desegregate schools. Hollowell litigated many civil rights cases, and was "cool and masterful" in achieving the admission of the first students of color to the University of Georgia. These men had many other accomplishments, and Pope's article is quite a compelling read.
Once you've read about the contributions of attorneys from the past, please read about the contributions of present-day attorneys. The 19th Annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service, sponsored by the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism and the State Bar of Georgia, were presented to several honorees on Feb. 27. And in "Yes, Transactional Lawyers Can Do Pro Bono Work," Rachel Epps Spears tells of the variety of pro bono projects available through the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta.
This month's legal article, "Financial Institutions: Protecting Elderly Clients from Financial Exploitation" by Linda Shashinka, provides many resources for individuals and financial institutions who suspect that an elderly person may be the victim of financial exploitation, which is a rising concern for many. Unfortunately, this is a more frequent occurrence, but Shashinka sets out options to protect this vulnerable population. For practical advice, you can turn to the monthly Law Practice Management article for advice on how to use technology to manage your law office, or to the Writing Matters column for advice on legal writing for documents that are e-filed.
In closing, I would like to remember Michelle Hirsch, one of our Editorial Board members who passed away in February. She had worked in private practice, and was most recently an assistant attorney general. In person, she was absolutely delightful and always smiling. Michelle consistently contributed to the Editorial Board for many years. We miss her very much.