Professor Washington Receives Award from Gate City Bar Association
For her commitment to developing future lawyers, to the advancement of justice and to equal access to the law, Tanya Washington, professor of law at Georgia State Law, received the President’s Award for Excellence from the Gate City Bar Association.
Presented during the association’s Black History Month observance, the award recognizes outstanding excellence in service to the profession and community. The association’s president chooses the recipient.
“When I was making my selection, Professor Washington was at the top of my mind. There are so many layers as to who she is and how she engages people in the community. She is well deserving of the award,” said Clyde E. Mize Jr., president of the Gate City Bar Association.
Washington invites lawyers and incoming students to her home each fall as a way to facilitate interaction between lawyers and students, as well as inviting lawyers to speak at the law school. She encourages students to go to events, to become involved.
“She is interested in more than students just acquiring book knowledge,” Mize said. “She knows a greater understanding is achieved when you are out there interfacing with and being sharpened by people who are practicing the thing you are hoping to practice one day.”
Citing Washington’s integrity and high standards among her numerous attributes, he said she encourages that development in students. “Law school is challenging. I can’t think of a more valuable person to have as a professor than someone like Tanya Washington who is there to push you, even prod you at times.”
“This award means so much to me because the association, its leadership and membership have been committed for 70 years to the advancement of justice and to the development of the next generation of what Charles Hamilton Houston referred to as social engineers,” Washington said.
“None of us are in the positions we are in for ourselves or by ourselves. It has been my honor and pleasure for 15 years to teach future attorneys, judges and policy-makers, who will be equipped to use the law to improve the lives of individuals and their communities and to address contemporary challenges facing society. It is wonderful to be recognized for planting seeds that will grow forests and flowers.”
Washington’s research and scholarship focus on issues related to educational equity, domestic relations, race and children’s constitutional rights. She also directs the John Lewis Fellowship Program and is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Access to Justice.
The Gate City Bar Association, the oldest African-American bar association in Georgia, was organized to provide the educational, social and community involvement of a professional association during the time when bar associations in Atlanta and the state were segregated.