The Atlanta Bar Association’s sixth annual Celebrating Service luncheon once again will spotlight Georgia’s unsung legal heroes who lead by example in their commitment to serving others in our community.

The 90-minute awards program will begin at noon Oct. 18 at the Piedmont Driving Club. A pro bono fair precedes the luncheon at 11 a.m.

Governor Nathan Deal—this year’s recipient of the bar’s Public Service Award for his leadership in criminal justice and juvenile justice reform—will speak during the luncheon.

The Celebrating Service program was founded by Hunton & Williams partner and past Atlanta Bar president Rita Sheffey as an opportunity to publicly celebrate the lawyers who devote so much of their time and energy to serving others.

“We hope that people plan to come early to attend the pro bono fair,” Sheffey said. “Lawyers can connect with more than 20 legal service providers, all of which are in need of lawyers to volunteer their time. These providers represent a broad spectrum of different types of pro bono services, ranging from the environment to criminal justice to the arts. There is something to fit everyone’s interests.”

In addition to the Atlanta Bar Association’s service awards, Atlanta Legal Aid and Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation will present their awards.

Here is a full list of the award recipients by organization:

Atlanta Bar Association

Pro Bono Award—Real Estate Section for its continuing work providing pro bono legal services to unrepresented residential landlords in Fulton County state and magistrate courts.

Community Service Award—Women in the Profession Section for its partnership with Forever Family, an organization that provides services to children with incarcerated parents.

Public Service Award—Governor Nathan Deal for his leadership in criminal justice and juvenile justice reform.

The Rita A. Sheffey Public Interest Award—Tamara Caldas in recognition for her dedication to working on social justice issues.

Atlanta Legal Aid Society

Volunteer of the Year—Laurice Rutledge of McKenna Long & Aldridge. In addition to providing stellar legal pro bono work, Laurice serves on Legal Aid’s Advisory Committee and chairs the program’s Events Committee.

Extraordinary Service to Atlanta Legal Aid Society, 2012-13—Josh Kamin of King & Spalding. Over the course of a year, Josh spent countless hours negotiating the purchase of 54 Ellis St. for Atlanta Legal Aid, without charge as a service project for the program.

Innovations in Pro Bono Service—Claire Moynihan, attorney at law. Claire began volunteering for the Disability Integration Project and worked to establish the Nick Project, an outreach program for DeKalb County jail inmates suffering with mental illness.

Randall L. Hughes Lifetime Commitment to Pro Bono Service—W. Terence Walsh, retired partner, Alston & Bird. Over the last 40 years, Terry has served as a volunteer attorney, board member, board president, annual campaign chair and fundraising volunteer and developed, along with executive director Steve Gottlieb, the Associates Fellowship program.

Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers


Volunteer of the Year—Jane Warring, senior associate, Clyde & Co. A tireless volunteer for seven years, Warring has represented 20 AVLF clients in nearly every one of AVLF’s programs. This year, she took her commitment to the next level, representing a 90-year-old man living in a bedbug-infested housing.

AVLF Hero—Liz Shepherd, founder and lead process server of Triple Threat Legal. Shepherd is known to AVLF as a “secret weapon.” Lending her skill and expertise pro bono, she is the reason many clients’ judgments are actually collected.

Excellence in Pro Bono Service—Elizabeth Roberts, Troutman Sanders research librarian. For five years Roberts has shared her gifts of generosity, creativity, patience and legal brilliance in researching and explaining matters involving deed transfers, clouded title, splintered ownership in real property and incapacitated adults.

Outstanding Paralegal Service Award—Patrick Davis. Davis is not only a committed paralegal volunteer and recruiter for the Saturday Lawyer Program, but also has enlisted colleagues to the pool of paralegal volunteers to handle the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network’s screening and intake.

S. Phillip Heiner Award—Alston & Bird’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group. The firm took on an astounding 60 domestic violence protective order cases, nearly a quarter of AVLF’s Domestic Violence Program’s 12-month protective order cases. This year, however, the record-breaking number of cases taken is due in large part to the passion of a small group of attorneys within the intellectual property litigation practice.