Monday, May 4, 2009

Writer/Contact: Cindy H. Rice, 706/542-5172, cindyh@uga.edu

U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to speak at UGA School of Law graduation

Athens, Ga. - Judge Lisa Godbey Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia will deliver the keynote address at the University of Georgia School of Law's commencement ceremony on May 16. The processional will begin at 10 a.m. on the quadrangle in front of the law school on UGA's North Campus. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved to Stegeman Coliseum.

Wood served as a judicial clerk for Judge Anthony A. Alaimo of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia before joining the Brunswick law firm Gilbert, Harrell, Sumerford & Martin in 1991. She became a partner in the firm during 1995. Nine years later, she was appointed as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Then, in 2007, she was appointed to serve as a judge for the U.S. District Court.

Wood earned her undergraduate degree from UGA, where she was a first honor graduate. Her law degree is also from UGA, where she graduated summa cum laude and was the managing editor of the Georgia Law Review and the recipient of the Isaac Meinhard Award for maintaining the highest academic average throughout all three years of law school.

At this year's commencement, approximately 215 students will be honored for the completion of all requirements for a Juris Doctor. Additionally, 15 Master of Laws candidates, who have completed one year of graduate legal study, will be recognized.

Georgia Law Dean Rebecca H. White will provide the official welcome and graduating Class of 2009 President Benjamin R. Carlsen will introduce Wood. Additionally, Carlsen and Class of 2009 Vice President Valerie Alva-Ruiz, co-chairs of the Legacy Gift Committee, will present the 2009 class gift to Law School Association President Henry C. Tharpe Jr., who will welcome the new graduates into the alumni association.

Other commencement speakers include UGA Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Arnett C. Mace Jr., and Associate Deans Paul M. Kurtz and Gabriel M. Wilner. The senior class has chosen Associate Professor Erica J. Hashimoto and Cobb Professor David E. Shipley to serve as honorary marshals and to read the names of the graduates.

Two additional members of the platform party will be law school Registrar Marc A. Galvin and Athens-Clarke County Sheriff Ira Edwards Jr., who will lead the graduation procession as is tradition.

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