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Public Interest

Rita A. Sheffey installed as president-elect of State Bar of Georgia

Sarah I. Coole, State Bar of Georgia |
State Bar of Georgia Installation
Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson, Supreme Court of Georgia; Rita A. Sheffey, President-Elect; Patrick T. O'Connor, Oliver Maner LLP (State Bar Treasurer 2015-2016); Brian D. "Buck" Rogers, Fried Rogers Goldberg LLC (State Bar Secretary 2015-2016).

Rita A. Sheffey, assistant dean for public service at the Emory University School of Law, was installed as president-elect of the 47,000-member State Bar of Georgia on June 20 during the organization’s Annual Meeting.

Sheffey, who served as treasurer of the State Bar for the past year, previously served as secretary (2013-14) and has been a member of the Board of Governors since 2008 and Executive Committee since 2011. She is a past president of the Atlanta Bar Association and past chair of the State Bar’s Elections Committee. For the past year, she has chaired both the Insurance Committee and the Civil Legal Services Task Force of the State Bar, in addition to serving on numerous other committees.

At Emory Law, Sheffey oversees the school’s well-established public service programs. She helps ensure students, graduates, faculty and staff live up to Emory Law’s mission to serve the community and advance the rule of law. She also advises the Emory Public Interest Committee, oversees the law school’s pro bono program, assists with post-graduate placement opportunities in federal and state judicial clerkships and advises students with career interests in government or with public interest organizations.

She is a Master and current president of the Lamar Inn of Court at Emory Law School and a past member of the Executive Committee of the Metropolitan Bar Caucus, a part of the National Conference of Bar Presidents. In May 2015, she received the Ben F. Johnson Jr. Public Service Award from the Georgia State University College of Law. In 2013, she received the inaugural Peter Perlman Service Award, presented by the Litigation Counsel of America, in recognition of her commitment and service to her community.

Sheffey is a graduate of the Boston College Law School and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1992, having also been admitted to the Virginia State Bar in 1987. She also holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Duke University. Prior to joining the Emory Law administration, she was a partner at Hunton & Williams in Atlanta, where her law practice focused on complex environmental, patent and trademark infringement and product liability litigation. She also maintained an active, extensive pro bono practice.

Sheffey will be sworn in as the 54th president of the State Bar in June 2016.

2015-2016 executive board of the State Bar of GeorgiaThe State Bar of Georgia, with offices in Atlanta, Savannah and Tifton, was established in 1964 by Georgia’s Supreme Court as the successor to the voluntary Georgia Bar Association, founded in 1884. All lawyers licensed to practice in Georgia belong to the State Bar. Its more than 47,000 members work together to strengthen the constitutional promise of justice for all, promote principles of duty and public service among Georgia’s lawyers, and administer a strict code of legal ethics. Pictured here is the 2015-2016 executive board of the State Bar of Georgia.