Cobb Judge Honored with Scholarship Fund

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Debra Bernes will be remembered through a $45,946 gift to Georgia State University College of Law to create a scholarship fund for law students hoping to pursue public service careers.

The judge, who died in 2010, was a president of the Cobb County Bar Association and a longtime prosecutor and leader in a long list of community organizations.

“The college is honored to receive such a gift from the Debra Bernes Memorial Scholarship Fund,” says Dean Steven J. Kaminshine. “Judge Bernes will be remembered for her tireless efforts in public and community service, and we are proud to carry on the tradition in her name.”

Cobb County Bar Association president-elect Laura Murphree (M.B.A. ’90, J.D. ’94), a senior state prosecutor with the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, remembers Bernes, inspiring many lawyers. Murphree presented the gift to Georgia State Law and University of Georgia, which also received $45,000, during an association luncheon ceremony.

“Bernes served as a mentor to so many people and always did it generously, amusingly and kindly,” Murphree says. “She worked in public service nearly all her life and this scholarship is meant to honor her in that tradition of giving by assisting law students that share Judge Bernes’ calling of public service.”

Scholarship recipients will be selected later this year based on their interest in pursuing public service careers.

“Georgia State Law has always had a tradition of students entering public or community service, whether it is as a prosecutor or as a public defender,” Murphree says. “Many of these individuals later have ascended to the bench or other high public office.  All that knew and admired Judge Bernes are proud the scholarship will assist a Georgia State Law student with the same desire or calling to enter into community service.”

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