Two dozen jurists connect with students in and out of the classroom


Connecting students with jurists provides a unique and valuable learning experience for School of Law students. During the 2022–23 academic year, 24 members of the judiciary visited Athens for a variety of events.

The School of Law hosted the Georgia Court of Appeals in September, during which time the court heard oral arguments in four cases involving ineffective assistance of counsel, the scope of discovery, the TV Act and service of process by substituted service. Making the trip to Athens were law school graduates Presiding Judge Christopher J. McFadden (J.D.’85), Judge Elizabeth Gobeil (J.D.’95) and Judge Benjamin A. Land (J.D.’92).

Additionally, Harold D. Melton (J.D.’91), who was previously the chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, continued to serve as the law school’s Carl E. Sanders Scholar in Political Leadership. He taught a spring 2023 seminar titled Representing the State.

Several other judges visited the UGA campus to participate in events, judge moot or mock trial competitions or serve as guest speakers for classes.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit: Chief Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit: Judge Marvin Quattlebaum Jr. and former Judge J. Michael Luttig

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit: Judge Elizabeth L. “Lisa” Branch and Judge Jill A. Pryor

U.S. District Court of New Jersey: Judge Zahid N. Quraishi

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia: Chief Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. (J.D.’84), Judge Steve C. Jones (J.D.’87), Senior Judge Richard W. “Rick” Story (J.D.’78) and Magistrate Judge Christopher C. Bly

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia: Tilman E. “Tripp” Self (J.D.’97)

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia: Magistrate Judge Benjamin W. Cheesbro (J.D.’10)

Supreme Court of Georgia: Presiding Justice Nels S.D. Peterson, Justice Andrew A. Pinson (J.D.’08), Justice Sarah Hawkins Warren and former Chief Justice David S. Nahmias

Athens Clarke-County Superior Court: Chief Judge Eric Norris

Three serve as jurists in residence

verda colvin

Georgia Supreme Court Justice Verda Colvin (J.D.’90) presents UGA’s 2023 Hunter-Holmes Lecture. Photo by UGA Marketing and Communications.

During the 2022–23 academic year, three members of the judiciary served as visiting instructors through the law school’s jurists in residence programs.

U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the Eleventh Circuit Britt C. Grant and U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Georgia William M. “Billy” Ray III (J.D.’90) both served as Edenfield Jurists in Residence. Grant taught a course titled Standing and Ray instructed students on Judges and Politics.

The B. Avant Edenfield Jurist in Residence program gives law students an opportunity to learn from federal judges in a series of mini-courses. Made possible by a contribution from Allen W. Yee (J.D.’03), a former clerk of the late Edenfield, the initiative enables one or more Article III judges to spend some time at the School of Law each year. Edenfield was a longtime federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia who earned both his bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degrees from UGA.

Additionally, Georgia Supreme Court Justice Verda M. Colvin (J.D.’90) served as the 2023 Hines Jurist in Residence. She taught a course titled Persuading the Judge and the Jury, and she presented a lecture titled “Leadership in the 21st Century and Beyond: Where are the Lawyers?”

The law school established The Be Kind Fund, in memory of the late Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice P. Harris Hines, in 2019. The fund’s title is based on a frequent mantra of the late justice – “Be Kind” – and annually sponsors the Hines Jurist in Residence, as well as funds scholarships and provides semester/summer fellowship grants for law students.

Colvin also presented UGA’s 2023 Hunter-Holmes Lecture, which is named in honor of Hamilton Holmes Sr. and Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the first African American students to attend the University of Georgia. The lecture is sponsored by the Office of the President and focuses on race relations, civil rights and education.