Nominations for the 2013 award are closed. The award presentation will take place Thursday, April 11.
The Ben F. Johnson Jr. Public Service Award is presented each year by Georgia State University College of Law to a Georgia attorney whose overall accomplishments reflect the high tradition of selfless public service that our founding dean, Ben F. Johnson Jr., exemplified during his career and life. The award is not limited to graduates of Georgia State Law.
"Ben F. Johnson Jr. worked tirelessly to ensure equal access to the legal profession through helping private schools integrate without losing their tax exempt status and helping restore part-time, ABA-accredited legal education to Atlanta at Georgia State," says Steven J. Kaminshine, dean and professor of law. "His commitment to public service is exemplary for all Georgia lawyers."
Past Recipients2012: Randall L. Hughes
2011: Emmet J. Bondurant
2010: Horace Sibley
2009: Steven Gottlieb
2008: The Hon. Orinda D. Evans
2007: John T. Marshall
2006: Linda K. DiSantis(J.D. ’88)
2005: The Hon. Anthony A. Alaimo
2004: The Hon. Robert Benham
2003: Stephen B. Bright
2002: The Hon. Griffin B. Bell
2001: Clifford Oxford
2000: The Hon. Luther A. Alverson
1999: Paul Cadenhead
1998: Randolph W. Thrower
1997: The Hon. Dorothy Toth Beasley
1996: The Hon. Harold G. Clarke
1995: Donald L. Hollowell
1994: The Hon. Elbert P. Tuttle
Throughout his legal career, Ben F. Johnson Jr. worked tirelessly to ensure access to all and diversify the legal field. As dean of Emory University School of Law, he and trustee Henry Bowden Sr. successfully challenged Georgia’s racist law that denied state tax exemptions to integrated private schools. This opened the way for Emory and other schools to admit minority students without losing their tax-exempt status.
As the founding dean of Georgia State University's College of Law, Johnson helped make possible the return of ABA-accredited, part-time legal education to Atlanta and enable part-time students to obtain a first-class legal education. He also was principal author of the legislation that creating the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.