Georgia State College of Law graduates who passed the bar exam this year were sworn into at least one of three courts including the Fulton County Superior Court, Georgia Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Georgia on Nov. 17, 2023.
This year, 85 recent alumni filled the College of Law’s Ceremonial Courtroom. Dean LaVonda Reed welcomed the participants and gave special thanks to all who made the event possible.
Judge Shukura L. Ingram (J.D. ’98) administered the oath for the Superior Court to 46 new attorneys. In her remarks, she advised this cohort to be truthful and intentional about their experiences and to be involved in voluntary bar-related work. “I’ve met people and had experiences that have been essential in each of my career moves,” she said. “Your opportunity to meet, work and collaborate with other lawyers and judges beyond the confines of your daily work environment will help you build your reputation, and I believe your legal life will be fuller and richer when you get involved.”
Before swearing in 79 lawyers into the Court of Appeals and 80 into the Supreme Court of Georgia, Judge Jeffrey A. Watkins encouraged the new lawyers to seek out a mentor, to give back to the practice of law through pro bono work and to become servant leaders in their communities. “You are trained to be a leader, so be one. It is a great and prestigious honor to be an attorney, and with that honor and prestige comes an obligation to give back.”
Justice Shawn E. LaGrua (J.D. ’87), the first Georgia State Law graduate to serve on the Supreme Court of Georgia congratulated the new attorneys. “My hope for each and every one of you is that in two or five or ten years, the love of this profession is still in your hearts, because when done right and morally, this is still the noblest of professions.” Justice LaGrua shared experiences from her youth, traveling around the world as the daughter of a military service member, and the other ways of life it exposed her to. From those experiences, she affirmed her belief in the justice system of the United States and advised the young attorneys in attendance to safeguard their integral role in upholding that system.
For the 85 newly-minted lawyers who participated in the ceremony, there was a special sense of accomplishment to the event. “We each began this journey with an oath of professionalism in this same room on our first day of law school. To now be sworn here in as lawyers brings us full circle,” said new attorney Kierra Powell (J.D. ‘23), who is also the former president of the Student Bar Association. “The people who helped us along the way have been such a gift, and I have high hopes for what is to come.”
View a complete list of graduates who participated in the ceremony below:
|Jaqueline Cortez Avila
|Pleun van de Langenberg