Judson Graves Zachary D. Porter

Emory University School of Law has chosen retired Alston & Bird partner Judson Graves as its interim dean, effective Aug. 1. Robert Schapiro, who’s been Emory Law’s dean for five years, announced in March that he will step down when his term ends in July and return to teaching. A constitutional law scholar, Schapiro has been on the Emory Law faculty since 1995. Graves retired from Alston & Bird in 2013 after 37 years in practice but leads a trial practice training program for its litigation associates.

Emory Law’s interim provost, Stuart Zola, said Emory chose Graves, a 1975 Emory Law graduate, because of his law career, involvement with Emory Law and track record of teaching lawyers. “I am confident that Jud will be an enthusiastic advocate and leader for the school during this transition time,” Zola said.

Graves has tried more than 100 jury cases to verdict, specializing in product liability and medical malpractice cases. A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, He was profiled in 2000 by affiliate publication the National Law Journal, for its annual feature “Winning,” as one of 10 top U.S. trial lawyers. He’s stayed involved at Emory Law, teaching a course in advanced civil trial practice and participating in the trial techniques program. Graves will teach Emory Law’s pretrial litigation course this fall.