Alumni and Faculty Recognized at Atlanta Bar Association Awards Luncheon

Georgia State Law alumni and faculty were recognized at the Atlanta Bar Association annual meeting and awards luncheon on May 24.

Lisa Liang (J.D. '08)

Lisa Liang (J.D. ’08) will serve on the board of Atlanta Bar Association.

The association swore in Margaret Vath, senior lecturer of law, as president; Nicole G. Iannarone, assistant clinical professor, as vice president/president-elect; and A. Craig Cleland (J.D. ’92) as treasurer for the 2017-18 term.

Vath and Iannarone’s prominent leadership positions prompted Lisa Liang (J.D. ’08) and Jessica Wood (J.D. ’94) to also serve on the 2017-18 board.

“I value the Atlanta Bar’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and I look forward to collaborating with Maggie, Nicole, and other board members to make a positive change in our profession,” Wood said.

Jessica Wood (J.D. ‘94)

Jessica Wood (J.D. ‘94) joins the board of the Atlanta Bar Association.

Wood, an attorney with Bodker, Ramsey, Andrews, Winograd & Wildstein PC, previously served as the membership co-chair and was a board member of the Women in the Profession Section of the Atlanta Bar. She’s also a past recipient of the bar’s Outstanding Woman of Achievement Award and Distinguished Service Award.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes Atlanta Bar members who have demonstrated outstanding service in their respective committees and leadership roles during the previous year. Joe Hoffman (J.D. ’10) was this year’s recipient for his work as co-chair of the membership committee, which he renamed the membership “action” committee.

Joe Hoffman (J.D. '10)

Joe Hoffman (J.D. ’10) received the Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes members who have demonstrated outstanding service in their respective committees and leadership roles during the previous year.

Hoffman, who specializes primarily in business litigation and corporate counsel for Kitchens Kelley Gaynes PC, recognized an opportunity to engage all Atlanta bar members in brainstorming ways to increase membership.

“In years past, a large majority of efforts to sustain and increase membership – aside from the great work of the administrative staff – fell on the shoulders of the few devoted members of the membership committee,” Hoffman said. “To be effective, sustainable membership must be a bar-wide effort. The idea behind changing to the membership action committee was to allow members to present ideas to the committee’s attention for consideration and implementation.”

Hoffman has helped create more social events for members, its new bocce ball league and the recent Casino Night, which is considered the bar’s “first purely social event.”

“The Atlanta Bar must be more than a provider of CLEs, luncheons and award ceremonies. While it excels in those areas, younger lawyers demand more for their money and their time,” Hoffman said. “It is critical that not only do we provide opportunities for growth in the legal practice, but that we also facilitate social interaction and fellowship.”

Hoffman felt humbled and honored to receive that award.

Stephen LaBriola of Fellows LaBriola received the Charles E. Watkins Award for sustained service to the bar. LaBriola is one of the two adjuncts that co-teach the Georgia State Law Business Arbitration Practicum. He works extensively with students, giving them personalized feedback on their drafts, leading strategy sessions as they work through their simulated cases, and sharing his expertise as one of the most well regarded litigators in Atlanta.

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