Georgia Bar Journal
GSB Vol. 13, NO. 4, Pg. 42.
The Fellows Programof the LawyersFoundation of Georgia
GSB JournalVol. 13, NO. 4December 2007The Fellows Programof the LawyersFoundation of GeorgiaLauren Larmer BarrettIn 1982, two friends sat down to lunch and by the time they had paid their tab, the Fellows Program was born. Those two friends, Frank Love Jr. and Kirk McAlpin, were both active in the State Bar of Georgia, and were both Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. The American Bar Foundation is affiliated with the American Bar Association, and the American Bar Fellows is an honorary organization made up of lawyers, judges and law professors whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their community and the highest principles of their profession. They support and encourage the programs of the American Bar Foundation.
Over lunch that day, Love and McAlpin realized that Georgia's lawyers and the legal profession in Georgia would benefit from the dedication and vision that such a group would bring. Quite often, these wonderful ideas die a quick death, buried in someone's to do pile. That wasn't the case this time. They spoke with other Bar leaders, McAlpin agreed to chair a committee, and together they recruited the first group of Fellows. At that time, the Fellows Program was part of the Georgia Bar Foundation. As the 25th anniversary of the program nears, it is a good time to reflect on whom the Fellows are and what their dedication and contributions have accomplished.
Attorneys and judges are handpicked every year to join the program. Every individual who receives an invitation does so because of their outstanding contributions to the community and the profession, as well as their professional accomplishments. According to Love, State Bar of Georgia past president, 1982-83, one of the original intents behind the Fellows Program was "to honor the best of our profession and provide a forum for social and professional dialog among those so honored."
The Fellows Program grew steadily for the first few years. The donations pledged by the Fellows were used to fund a variety of projects and programs that could not be funded by the State Bar of Georgia. The State Bar is often approached for funding for many different projects, but it is not a charitable organization and has no funds which it can use to support even the most worthy of these causes. The donations from the Fellows allowed...