Emory Law Journal

Randolph W. Thrower: A Tribute
Phyllis A. Kravitch The Honorable Phyllis A. Kravitch is a Senior Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

It is a privilege for me to write a few words about the late Randolph Thrower, one of Georgia’s most outstanding members of the bar. Not only was he a skilled practitioner, but he embodied all of the admirable qualities of a member of the legal profession.

I first got to know Randolph Thrower in 1991 when he served on the American Bar Association’s Committee on Women in the Profession alongside Committee chair Hillary Clinton. That year, the Committee gave its first Margaret Brent Award recognizing female attorneys who had paved the way for other women. I, along with four others, received the award that year, and Randolph Thrower presented it to me at the ABA luncheon.

From then on, he and I became personal friends. He understood the importance of providing representation for less fortunate clients and often represented indigent and minority clients on a pro bono basis. His dedication can be seen in his tenure as president of Atlanta Legal Aid Society, his more than sixty years of volunteering, and his tireless fundraising. And although Randolph Thrower is best remembered for his work in tax law, he also handled death penalty cases in Georgia in the late 1930s and 1940s and understood the personal sacrifices of lawyers who undertook unpopular causes or represented unpopular clients.

After I relocated my chambers from Savannah to Atlanta, I often had the pleasure of joining Randolph and his charming wife Margaret for dinner. I remember those evenings fondly. And although we never discussed cases, I knew that he possessed all of the characteristics, above and beyond skillfulness, that lawyers should strive to possess. His achievements were recognized with numerous awards, including the ABA Medal, the Founders Award from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award in the Eleventh Circuit. Randolph Thrower represented the best of our profession. I valued his friendship, and I will truly miss him.

Footnotes

The Honorable Phyllis A. Kravitch is a Senior Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.