From the Executive Director, 0421 GABJ, GSB Vol. 26, No. 5, Pg. 14

AuthorDAMON ELMORE, Executive Director State Bar of Georgia
PositionVol. 26 5 Pg. 14

From the Executive Director

No. Vol. 26 No. 5 Pg. 14

Georgia Bar Journal

April, 2021

Built to Last

DAMON ELMORE, Executive Director State Bar of Georgia

The Georgia Bar Journal is remarkable for so many reasons. During my time in Indiana serving as general counsel for an international industrial parts manufacturer, it provided for me the same benefits it does for most of our members. It highlights the evolution or change in certain legal theories and procedure. It allows us to keep up to date with our colleagues on the move. It provides a recap of important Board of Governors, section and committee meetings. On top of all that, standing features on technology, professionalism, wellness, law practice management and even the disciplinary summaries are essential to the enhancement and refinement of our practice. It remains a solid way to stay connected and understand the value of our membership.

I will also admit that during that time I became fond of the "Hidden Legal Figures" feature that has appeared in more than a dozen editions of the Journal. Same as with the feature on the old Georgia courthouses, it always provides an opportunity to learn and appreciate how the organization, its membership and the profession have grown.

So, as promised, and in keeping with that spirit, I have taken the chance to research similar stories and will share the findings here from time to time. This edition recognizes the enduring legacy of Thomas Kennedy Sampson & Tompkins LLP.

During my career, I have become familiar with those firms in continual existence since the late 1800s. Many friends are part of firms that have been built around generations of family members admitted to practice and working side-by-side with grandfathers, parents, sons, daughters or other relatives. Places like Summerville, Rome, Statesboro and Savannah serve as the base of those legacy firms. Putting those notable conditions together, with overcoming challenge and adversity makes the story of Thomas Kennedy all the more remarkable. Thanks to Shyril Beck for her contributions to this highlight. She shared the following.

In 1971, John L. Kennedy, a Morehouse College and Harvard Law grad, departed Alston Miller & Gaines (now Alston & Bird) after two years as the first Black associate hired at a major Georgia law firm. Kennedy recruited Reuben T. Busseyjr. and Thomas G. Sampson Sr., who had graduated from the University of...

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