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Justice Robert Benham Will Deliver UGA School of Law Commencement Address
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Summary: The University of Georgia School of Law has invited alumni and state Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham to give the keynote speech during the commencement ceremony.

The University of Georgia School of Law will have Supreme Court of Georgia Justice Robert Benham give the keynote speech on May 19 at 10 a.m. Benham is a graduate of the law school in 1970 and was the first African American appointed to the state’s supreme court, according to a school press release.


Benham is a highly experienced attorney that serves as a strong example for all graduates of the law school. He was the chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court from 1995 to 2001. Before this appointment, Benham was a judge for five years on the Georgia Court of Appeals. Benham has also worked in private practice, worked as a trial attorney for the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, served as special assistant attorney general in Cartersville, Georgia, and served two terms as the president of the Bartow County Bar Association.

Benham is still active in the legal community. He is a member of the American Judicature Society, the National Criminal Justice Association, the Federal-State Jurisdiction Committee, the Governor’s Southern Business Institute, and the National Conference of Chief Justices. He is a trustee of the Georgia Legal History Foundation. Some of his past service includes as vice president of the Georgia Conference of Black Lawyers, a board member of the Federal Lawyers Association and former chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Drug Awareness & Prevention.

Benham earned his bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee University and his Master of Laws from the University of Virginia. He attended Harvard University for a time. Upon graduating from UGA Law School, Benham went on to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve, reaching the rank of captain.

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The graduation ceremony at UGA Law will feature 210 students receiving degrees, 194 of which earning a J.D., 16 earning a Master of Laws, and 4 earning a Master in the Study of Law. The ceremony is being held at Stegeman Coliseum.

Who would you like to speak at your graduation ceremony? If you have already graduated from school, did you like your speaker? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about commencement speakers at other law schools, read these articles:

Photo: University of Georgia School of Law


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