January 27, 2011
The Atlanta Legal Aid Society has initiated the Randall L. Hughes Lifetime Commitment to Legal Services Award. Hughes, for whom the award is named, is a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Law, Health & Society at Georgia State University’s College of Law. A prominent health law attorney in Atlanta who is Of Counsel with Bryan Cave LLP, Hughes was the first recipient of the award in 2010.
The award was established in recognition of Hughes’ long-time volunteer service to the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, which has included service as Vice Chair of its annual campaign for a number of years, as President of its Board, and as a member of both its Board and Advisory Board. Over the years, Hughes has also volunteered with many Atlanta Legal Aid programs, such as the Saturday Morning Lawyer Program, the Georgia Senior Legal Hotline, the Health Law Unit, the Health Law Partnership, and various other projects.
"Since I became Legal Aid’s Director in 1980, Randy has been one of our most valuable volunteer supporters," said Steve Gottlieb, the Executive Director of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. Gottlieb said that Hughes has provided pro bono services, beyond those involving Atlanta Legal Aid, throughout his entire distinguished career since entering law practice in the 1960s. Gottlieb noted, for example, that Hughes has also volunteered with the Lawyer’s Committee on Civil Rights, advising people arrested on capital charges of their rights prior to their interrogation and acting as an observer at the Atlanta City Jail on Saturday nights. Hughes has also provided pro bono services to support the outreach efforts of his church, St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church, to low-income and at-risk populations.
Hughes accepted the award with characteristic modesty, expressing his concern about receiving it, he said, "when the Legal Aid lawyers with whom I work labor their entire careers for justice for the poor for a wage that is fraction of what they could earn in private practice and yet they are not getting an award."
"Randy is the poster child for pro bono service," said Gottlieb. "He often talks about his volunteer efforts as the most valuable legal services of his career." Gottlieb hopes that this new award will help to inspire younger Georgia attorneys to emulate the kind of life-long, selfless public service for which Hughes has been honored.