Leading Georgia Law’s annual celebration of its 1st woman law graduate this year was an extra special, and especially inspiring, alumna.
Delivering the 33d annual Edith House Lecture, Stacey Godfrey Evans (left) treated students, faculty, staff, and others in the law school community to a talk entitled “The Voice of a Woman Lawyer: Why it Matters and How to Use It.”
It’s a subject for which she’s well qualified, as 3L Hannah Byars (below right), leader of the Women Law Students Association, made clear. Byars related that after Evans earned her J.D. in 2003, she practiced as an associate at BigLaw firm, then opened a small firm with a handful of colleagues. Evans established her own firm, S.G. Evans Law LLC, in 2014. And since 2011, she’s represented District 42, in Smyrna, as a Democrat in the Georgia State Assembly.
Evans opened her talk by reciting the still-low percentages of women at high levels of the legal profession and politics, then urged the women in her audience to let their voices be heard.
“When you change who is in the room, you change the conversation,”
Evans said at one point, and added that women should not fear to be controversial when the situation merits. She concluded by encouraging women to run for office.
It was a fitting tribute to the namesake of this lecture series, depicted at left: Edith House (1903-1987), whose portrait hangs in the law school rotunda. She and another student in the Class of 1925 were Georgia Law’s 1st women graduates. House was co-valedictorian, and went on to a distinguished career, including a stint as the 1st woman U.S. Attorney in Florida. Thanks to a Women Law Students Association initiative (see this great online scrapbook at p. 53), lectures have been given each year in her honor since 1983.