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Release date: Dec. 18, 2000
Contact: Elaine Justice, Assistant Director, 404-727-0643, or ejustic@emory.edu

Emory Law School's Public Interest Group To Hold Awards Ceremony, Fund-Raiser

The Emory Public Interest Committee (EPIC) at Emory University School of Law will host its fifth annual EPIC Inspiration Awards ceremony and reception on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at the law school. The fund raising event will begin with the awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m., followed by a reception.

The 2001 EPIC Inspiration Awards will be presented to three individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the public interest. They include: Randolph W. Thrower, partner with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan; Paula J. Frederick, deputy general counsel of the State Bar of Georgia, and immediate past president of the Atlanta Bar Association; and Vicky O. Kimbrell, director of the Family Violence Project of the Georgia Legal Services Program. The awards will be presented by Willis B. Hunt Jr., U.S. District Court judge and former chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court.

The event has become a major fund-raising event for EPIC, an organization that provides stipends to law students pursuing public interest law projects during the summer. Donations are invited at various levels with a minimum of $25 requested. Inquiries about contributions and reservations should be directed to Sue McAvoy, Emory's public interest adviser, at 404-727-5503 or smcavoy@law.emory.edu.

"The awards ceremony is true to its name—when the awards are given out and the speeches made, any law student or practicing lawyer attending is truly inspired to support the effort," says Victoria Walton, chairperson of the 2001 EPIC Inspiration Awards ceremony. "Many of the summer grant recipients end up in small non-profit or public defender offices where every dollar counts, and EPIC funding makes this possible."

Founded by Emory law students in 1988, EPIC promotes awareness and increases understanding of public interest law, encourages and assists in the employment of Emory law students in public interest positions, and acknowledges the professional responsibility of lawyers and law students to make legal services more accessible.
A total of 215 lawyers, judges, faculty and students attended the 2000 awards ceremony, which raised more than $40,000—an 18 percent increase from 1999's effort—to fund 12 public interest law grants for students. In 1999, EPIC's inspiration awards ceremony received the Outstanding Group Project Award from the National Association for Public Interest Law (NAPIL).

Thrower, who will receive the Lifetime Commitment to Public Service Award, received both undergraduate and J.D. degrees from Emory (1934, 1936) and was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1984. He joined Sutherland Asbill & Brennan in 1936 and has practiced in the firm's Atlanta and Washington offices. From 1969-71 Thrower served as U.S. commissioner of internal revenue. He has served as trustee on the boards of Emory, Reinhardt College, Clark College, Wesleyan College and Woodward Academy. He is past chairman of the ethics committee of the City of Atlanta. Appointed by then-Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, he led an investigation of a cheating scandal on promotional examinations in the Atlanta Police Department, leading to the discharge of the commissioner of public safety and the disciplining of others.

A past president of the American Bar Foundation, the research arm of the American Bar Association, Thrower received the American Bar Association Medal, the ABA's highest honor, in 1993. He also has served as president of the Atlanta Bar Association, Atlanta Lawyers Club and Atlanta Legal Aid Society.

Frederick, who will receive the Outstanding Leadership in the Public Interest Award, has been with the State Bar of Georgia since 1988, first as assistant general counsel (1988-92), then as deputy general counsel. Prior to that she was a staff attorney and managing attorney at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. She holds undergraduate and law degrees from Duke and Vanderbilt universities respectively.

In addition to her work with the Atlanta Bar Association, Frederick also served as president of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys in 1998. She is a board member of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and Georgia Legal Services Foundation. She also is a member of Emory Law School's Child Advocacy Advisory Committee and served as a member of the City of Atlanta Board of Ethics from 1992-99. In 1999 she received the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers Achievement Award.

Kimbrell, who will receive the Unsung Devotion to Those Most in Need Award, has been with the Georgia Legal Services Program since 1980, as a staff and supervising attorney, family and health law specialist, and since 1998 as project director with the Family Violence Project.

A graduate of Georgia State University and the University of Georgia School of Law, Kimbrell is a member of the State Bar Commission to Revise Family Law Code, the Family Violence Commission and the State Bar Commission on Family Courts. She has served on Emory Law School’s Child Advocacy Project Advisory Board and the Georgia Supreme Court Child Placement Project and its Amicus Curiae for Work on Behalf of Children in Foster Care. Earlier this year Kimbrell received the Gender Justice Award from the Georgia Family Violence Commission.


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