For the first time in the 13-year history of the Georgia State College of Law Ben F. Johnson Service Award, the recipient is one of our own - COL alumna Linda K. DiSantis ('88), City Attorney for the City of Atlanta.
DiSantis was honored with this year’s award during ceremonies March 30 at the Commerce Club. Dean Steve Kaminshine welcomed a large crowd on hand including the man who inspired the award, Ben F. Johnson Jr.
“This award is presented each year to a Georgia lawyer whose life and career reflects the high tradition of selfless public service that our founding dean, Ben F. Johnson Jr., exemplified during his career,” Dean Kaminshine said. “We are quite pleased that this year the recipient is a summa cum laude College of Law graduate, and we believe Linda DiSantis is most deserving of this honor. She gives of herself tirelessly to our community, and she is a shining example of what it means to be a public servant.”
Guest speakers during the award ceremony included Georgia State University President Carl Patton, DiSantis’ colleague from the City of Atlanta, Mayor Shirley Franklin, as well as Ben F. Johnson III and Deputy City Attorney Jerry L. DeLoach. Dean Kaminshine and Associate Dean Anne Emanuel presented an award plaque to DiSantis with assistance from two former COL deans, Professor Janice Griffith and Professor Marjorie Girth.
Prior to being appointed city attorney by Mayor Franklin in 2002, DiSantis served as a vice president and managing attorney in the United Parcel Service Corporate Legal Department, and she previously practiced with the law firm of Alston & Bird in Atlanta. DiSantis serves on the Legislative Advisory Committee of the International Municipal Lawyers Association. She has served on numerous boards including the Georgia Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land, the Board of the Georgia Wildlife Federation and the Environmental Advisory Committee of the National Chamber Litigation Center. She has been a member of the Ethics Officer Association and has published articles on environmental law.
Past recipients of the Georgia State College of Law Ben F. Johnson Service Award include:
- The Honorable Anthony A. Alaimo, 2005
- The Honorable Robert Benham, 2004
- Stephen B. Bright, Esquire, 2003
- The Honorable Griffin B. Bell, 2002
- Clifford Oxford, Esquire, 2001
- The Honorable Luther A. Alverson, 2000
- Paul Cadenhead, Esquire, 1999
- Randolph W. Thrower, Esquire, 1998
- The Honorable Dorothy Toth Beasley, 1997
- The Honorable Harold C. Clarke, 1996
- Donald L. Hollowell, Esquire, 1995
- The Honorable Elbert P. Tuttle, 1994