The Access to Justice Committee and the Pro Bono Project of the State Bar of Georgia presented the H. Sol Clark Award to Randall L. Hughes at the June 2010 State Bar meeting. The award is named for H. Sol Clark, a former Savannah attorney and appellate court judge who founded the Savannah Legal Aid Society and who was known as the "father of legal aid in Georgia." The award is given annually to honor a Georgia attorney who excels in activities which extend legal services to the poor.
This award was presented to Hughes, a prominent Atlanta health care attorney, in recognition of the many pro bono services he has offered throughout his distinguished career. These activities include leadership roles and volunteer work with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, where he has served as Past President, member of the Board, and Vice Chair of its annual campaign. He currently serves on its Advisory Board.
As President of the Atlanta Legal Aid Board in 1996, "Randy helped to guide our program through the dramatic cuts in federal funding which occurred at that time," said Steve Gottlieb, Executive Director of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, who nominated Hughes for the award. "Some of Randy’s most remarkable work in providing legal services to the poor has come since his retirement from Powell Goldstein in 2008," according to Gottlieb, who highlighted Hughes’ most recent work with two of their projects, the Georgia Senior Legal Hotline and the Health Law Partnership (HeLP).
In addition to his extensive pro bono work with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Hughes is a Faculty Fellow at Georgia State University’s College of Law, where he regularly teaches health law and guides students in the HeLP Legal Services Clinic. HeLP is a collaboration among Atlanta Legal Aid, the College of Law, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to provide legal services to low-income children and families at Children’s hospitals and, through the law school Clinic, interdisciplinary clinical education to law students.
"Randy serves as an excellent role model for our law students who are handling legal cases for low-income children and families," said Sylvia Caley, who is both the Director of HeLP and a co-Director of the Clinic. "Randy’s professional experience and guidance, his personal integrity, and his unwavering commitment to improving the health and well-being of the poor have been immeasurably valuable over the years that he has supported HeLP and the Clinic."
Hughes hopes that lawyers new to the legal profession will develop an early professional commitment to pro bono service, whatever their chosen area of practice. "One of the greatest privileges we are given as practicing lawyers is the opportunity to give back to our communities," said Hughes. "My volunteer work is among the most personally and professionally satisfying of my career."
Charity Scott, Director of the Center for Law, Health & Society, said: "Randy’s long-standing commitment to providing pro bono civil legal services to the poor and to teaching the next generation of lawyers about the importance of providing such public service to the most vulnerable in our community makes him abundantly deserving of this recognition."