On Jan. 16, Georgia State Law alumni and students gathered to celebrate a 25-year partnership with the Atlanta Law School Foundation. The foundation has provided $3.67 million in support to the College of Law, including 76 full tuition scholarships and funds to renovate the courtroom when the college was housed in the Urban Life Building.
The Atlanta Law School opened in 1890 as a night school and awarded more than 6,000 degrees before its closing in 1994. After the school closed, a group of attorneys continued the school’s mission by creating a scholarship to support non-traditional students pursue a legal education. David Flint, Lew Hansen and Harvey Moskowitz have been at the helm of the scholarship ever since. Flint opened the litigation firm Screeder, Wheeler and Flint, LLP in 1974 and also serves on the College of Law board of visitors.
“Our mission was to provide an opportunity for those people who might not otherwise be able to go to law school,” said Flint, who worked at Georgia Power before earning his law degree in the evening program at Emory University. “I’m interested in helping people who have a job, maybe they have children and they’re trying to better themselves.”
At the celebratory event, interim dean Leslie Wolf announced that the foundation has created the Atlanta Law School Legacy Endowed Scholarship, which will continue to support students.
Past recipients of the scholarship shared what the Atlanta Law School Foundation Scholarship. Here are some of their remarks:
Matthew Johnson worked as a music educator and high school band director prior to pursuing a career in law. The turning point came when his late wife passed after eight years of fighting cancer. He calls it a clarifying moment that motivated him to change his life. Now, he practices domestic and family law at Davis, Matthews & Quigley, PC.
“When I was preparing to go to law school, my oldest child was getting ready to go to college and I was a teacher, so I knew I needed to work. The fellowship allowed me the freedom to not have to worry about finances as a bar to legal education. I’m not going to have to take out 60 or 70 thousand dollars in student loan debt. I remember getting the letter in the mail about the scholarship and I called the admissions office because I couldn’t believe what I was reading. At the end of 2020, I’ll celebrate my fifth year as a member of the state bar. It’s been life-changing.”
Caroline Friedman is a judicial hearing officer and chief clerk for the DeKalb County Probate Court.
“I came to Georgia State because of my interest in elder law and estate planning. The Atlanta Law School Foundation Scholarship allowed me to explore public interest areas, which often means unpaid internships, without worrying about how I was going to pay for it.”
Stephen Flint is a closing attorney at the real estate firm McManamy Mcloed Heller. Before choosing a career in law he earned his master’s degree in arts management and he worked in banking.
“The scholarship allowed me to actually focus on my legal education. Not knowing what I was getting into, it was a blessing to have individuals invest in my legal education, allow me to explore and not have conditions on top of that money other than attend school and get it done. That kind of scenario is ideal.”
William Hammond is a current law student and an infrantry officer in the Georgia Army National Guard. He is also the final recipient of the original Atlanta Law School Foundation full tuition scholarship.
“I was taken away from law school for a combat deployment to Afghanistan this past year. I got back into Atlanta the day before classes started. It has been a load off of my mind to know that I can come back and still maintain my scholarship while still fulfilling my duties to the military. “