UGA law school creates Jurist in Residence program honoring late Judge B. Avant Edenfield

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia School of Law has created the B. Avant Edenfield Jurist in Residence, which will give law students an opportunity to learn from federal judges in a series of mini-courses.

Made possible by a contribution from 2003 Georgia Law alumnus Allen W. Yee, a former clerk of the late Edenfield, the Jurist in Residence program will enable one or more Article III judges to spend a period in residence at Georgia Law each year. Edenfield was a longtime federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia who earned both his bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degrees from UGA.

“I am grateful to Allen Yee for this gift honoring a great judge, a great man and a great friend to the law school,” said Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge. “Georgia Law enjoys a strong legacy of relationships between federal judges and its graduates who go on to work for them. During his many years of service, Judge Edenfield hired several Georgia Law graduates. This gift honors that legacy and exposes students to a federal judge-and likewise exposes federal judges to the great students whom we have here at the law school.”

“Judge Edenfield’s astute legal mind and passion for justice made him a hard-working judge who demanded much of those in his courtroom. To those who clerked for him, he was a true friend and mentor,” said Yee, who is a senior attorney with the Coca-Cola Co. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to create through my charitable giving to Georgia Law the B. Avant Edenfield Jurist in Residence fund. It honors my friend and mentor, Judge Edenfield, and continues, in a small way, his legacy of teaching and guidance to the next generation of lawyers.”

The inaugural Edenfield Jurist in Residence will be 1990 Georgia Law alumna Lisa Godbey Wood, who currently serves as chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Her course will focus on sentencing.

“There was never any question about Judge Edenfield’s loyalty to Georgia Law, nor was there any doubt that he loved to mentor students. The Edenfield Jurist in Residence program combines both of his passions. I was proud to have been his friend and colleague, and I am so honored to support his legacy by serving as the first Edenfield Jurist in Residence,” Wood said.

Thereafter, David Sentelle, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, will be the second Edenfield Jurist in Residence.

“The Jurist in Residence advances the law school’s commitment to producing graduates committed to service on behalf of state and nation, just like Judge Edenfield,” Rutledge said.

UGA School of Law
Consistently regarded as one of the nation’s top public law schools, Georgia Law was established in 1859. Its accomplished faculty includes authors of some of the country’s leading legal scholarship. The school offers three degrees- the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws and the Master in the Study of Law-and is home to the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Georgia Law is proud of its long tradition of providing first-rate legal training for future leaders who will serve state and nation in both the public and private sectors. For more information, see www.law.uga.edu.