April 8, 2009
Video now online
Leslie M. Turner,general counsel for Coca-Cola North America, will deliver the keynote address at Georgia State University College of Law's Commencement and Hooding Ceremony, Friday, May 8, at 4:30 p.m. in the University Sports Arena.
This year's ceremony marks an historic first for the law school. In past years, graduates were hooded in preparation for the official university commencement, usually held the following day, where they received their degrees. This year and moving forward, the ceremony will be recognized as the official event for conferring the Juris Doctor degree. The choreography of the ceremony will still revolve around the formality of individual hooding of each graduate, and Georgia State President Mark P. Becker will be present to officially confer the award of degrees.
Turner joined The Coca-Cola Company in January 2006 as associate general counsel, Bottling Investments Group. Immediately prior to joining the company, she was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Akin Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P.
Turner began her legal career in 1985 as law clerk to the Honorable William C. Pryor, former Chief Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. In 1986, she joined Akin Gump's litigation practice group in Washington, D.C. In 1993, Turner accepted the U.S. Senate confirmed position of assistant secretary for the Office of Territorial and International Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. In that role, Turner managed the office that oversaw U.S. relations with such territories and federated states as American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Micronesia and Palau. In 1995, Turner became counselor to then-Secretary Bruce Babbitt and director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Turner returned to Akin Gump in 1996 and practiced with that firm until she joined The Coca-Cola Company.
Turner serves on the Board of Directors for the Close Up Foundation, Georgia Appleseed and The Student Conservation Association. She is also a trustee for the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and, in 2008, received the distinguished Wiley A. Branton Award from the Lawyers' Committee for her efforts on behalf of civil rights advocacy.
Turner received her Masters of Law from The American University, Washington College of Law, her Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and her Bachelor of Science degree from New York University.
For more information, including regalia and parking, go to the Commencement and Hooding Ceremony website.