Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism
The Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, the first body of its kind in the nation, was created in 1989 by the Supreme Court of Georgia with the primary charge to enhance professionalism among Georgia’s lawyers. In carrying out its charge, the Commission provides ongoing attention and assistance to the task of assuring that the practice of law remains a high calling, enlisted in the service of the client and the public good.
Chief Justice Harold D. Melton Declares A Statewide Judicial Emergency
On April 8, 2021, Chief Justice Harold D. Melton has EXTENDED FOR A THIRTEENTH TIME a Statewide Judicial Emergency due to the spread of the coronavirus throughout Georgia and the potential infection of those who work in or are required to appear in our courts. Read the press release about the THIRTEENTH Extension Order here. Read the order here.
• You may find a Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts Georgia Court Reopening Guide at the link here.
• The Administrative Office of the Courts is posting reopening procedures for individual courts here.
• The Administrative Office of the Courts also continues to post emergency orders (such as temporary building closures for COVID-19 related cleaning) here.
You may view previous version of the Judicial Emergency Orders on the Supreme Court of Georgia’s website at the link here.
Suicide Awareness Program
REGISTER NOW for the The Justice’s Commission on Professionalism Suicide Awareness Program on April 30, 2021, from 2 pm – 5 pm via Zoom
About the Suicide Awareness Program
During the Suicide Awareness Program we will commemorate the lives of some of our colleagues who we have lost to death by suicide; learn about various paths to recovery from thoughts of suicide; and discuss how our profession can better address the mental health challenges that face individuals who work in the legal profession. The Program will qualify in Georgia for 3 CLE hours, including 1 hour of professionalism. The Program will be free to attend, but Georgia attorneys who want CLE credit must pay the cost of the CLE credit directly to the State Bar of Georgia’s CLE Department. Pre-registration for the Program will open in March 2021. Please click here for more information about the Suicide Awareness Program.
The Necessity of Unparalleled Unity CLE Webinar
CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION
On March 19, 2021, the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism held an online webinar via the Zoom.us platform entitled “The Necessity of Unparalleled Unity.” The program participants were as follows: Program Chair: Ms. Dawn Jones, President of the State Bar of Georgia; Special Guest: Chief Justice Harold D. Melton, Supreme Court of Georgia; Moderator: Professor Tanya M. Washington, Georgia State University College of Law, Center for Access to Justice; Panelists: Honorable Carla Wong McMillian, Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia; Honorable Nina Markette Baker, Judge of Superior Court Coweta Judicial Circuit; Mr. Ashley Bell, Partner, Dentons US LLP; Mr. Jake Evans, Partner, Holland & Knight LLP; Honorable Dax E. López, Judge, State Court of DeKalb County; and Ms. Patrise Perkins-Hooker, Past President, State Bar of Georgia.
CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION
If you want to plan a similar CLE with a voluntary, local, or specialty bar association in your jurisdiction, you are welcome to do so and to use the materials here. Please simply let us know and acknowledge the Commission and the original program participants for their work during your CLE.
Moving Forward with Professionalism In The Midst of A Public Health Emergency CLE Webinar
THANK YOU to each of the Georgia attorneys who attended the online webinar via Zoom.us – Moving Forward with Professionalism In the Midst of A Public Health Emergency.
In a 2020 survey, Gallup found Americans are reporting that their mental health is suffering more than their physical or financial health due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for a list of resources that may be helpful to lawyers and their clients during these challenging times.
The Commission has posted CLE credits for the attorneys who attended the CLE; therefore, attorneys who attended the CLE should now see the course on their CLE transcript. Please visit www.gabar.org and click on the “Member Login” Button in the top right-hand corner. After you are logged in, look for the Blue “My Account” Box to the left. Click on the first link, “CLE Status.”
The cost of the CLE credits required by the State Bar’s Commission on Continuing Legal Education are NOT included in the registration fee.
Lawyers are Encouraged to Mutually Support Each Other During This Time
Please read this important message from the Chair of the State Bar of Georgia’s Lawyer Assistance Program, Lynn Garson, regarding resources available to lawyers during this time. You may find her message here: https://tinyurl.com/uwbunxw. Remember that one tenant of A Lawyer’s Creed and the Aspirational Statement on Professionalism says: “To my colleagues in the practice of law, I offer concern for your welfare. I will strive to make our association a professional friendship.” Let’s build or maintain our professional relationships, keeping the CDC’s safety guidelines in mind, during this Judicial Emergency.
SAMHSA has a pamphlet with tips for taking care of your behavioral health during times of social distancing, quarantine, and isolation.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a web page with many different resources to help individuals support their Emotional Well Being During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Learn About the REVISED Professionalism CLE Guidelines
The Commission issued REVISED Professionalism CLE Guidelines that took effect on July 1, 2019. For more information about the Professionalism CLE Guidelines, click here.
Read About "The Real Man Behind the Robe"
Commission Member, Maria Mackay, went to Auburn University with Chief Justice Harold Melton. Her wonderful article, The Real Man Behind The Robe, about her long-time friend was featured on the Commission’s Professionalism Page in the October issue of the Georgia Bar Journal. You can find the article on the page here: http://cjcpga.org/georgia-bar-journal-articles/
Resources for Professionalism Programs
The Commission serves as a resource for information and materials regarding professionalism initiatives past and present. The Commission is also available to assist any sponsor, group, or person planning a CLE session on professionalism to tailor their professionalism sessions to the issues relevant to the group to whom the sessions are presented.
For help with planning your professionalism CLE, review the Commission’s CLE Planning Guidelines found here. To see sample professionalism CLE/CJE papers and presentations, visit the link here. If you still have questions, call the Commission at (404) 225-5040. We are happy to assist you and to answer your questions.
Georgia Bar Journal Professionalism Page
View the Commission's Professionalism Page articles here.
View Commission Video List.
CLE Presentations and Papers
View CLE Presentations and Papers.
Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service
The Annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service are sponsored by the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism.
Law School Orientations
You can find the most up-to-date information about the Law School Orientation Professionalism Programs here.
2019 Convocation: Professionalism Then (1988) and Now (2019)
The Commission's state-wide convocations on professionalism give greater impetus and sharper focus to professionalism issues.
Learn more about upcoming CLE/CJE programs that explore the meaning and aspirations of professionalism in contemporary legal practice and reflect upon the fundamental premises of lawyer professionalism.