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(Photo: Courtesy of Alston & Bird)
Georgia State University College of Law will honor attorney Bernard Taylor Sr. with the Ben F. Johnson Jr. Public Service Award, the college’s highest honor, in virtual ceremonies on Feb. 16 and 18.
The Ben F. Johnson, Jr. Public Service Award is named for the college’s founding dean and is presented to a Georgia attorney whose accomplishments reflect the tradition of public service Johnson exemplified during his life.
“Mr. Taylor has spent countless hours dedicated to advancing and diversifying the profession and serving on boards of local, regional, national and international organizations, including UNICEF,” said Lauren Sudeall, faculty director of the Center for Access to Justice.
“Driven by a strong sense of responsibility, and his own personal story, he provides an excellent model of how private lawyers can be true public servants.”
A retired partner at Alston & Bird, he has a long history of professional excellence and philanthropic leadership, Taylor is a past chair of the firm’s Management Committee and the Products Liability Group.
He has almost 40 years of trial experience and concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation, including class actions, mass torts, environmental liability, pharmaceutical products liability and toxic tort lawsuits filed in various jurisdictions throughout the U.S.
Before practicing law, he was a Detroit police investigator.
Focusing on his commitment to public service, Taylor is the chair of the Southeast Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
He has traveled internationally with ADL to examine the global impact of hate, bigotry and anti-Semitism. In 2015, he received ADL’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
With UNICEF, he goes to Africa and the Middle East on field visits to assess living conditions and to find ways to improve the lives of vulnerable children.
In 2014, the Southeast Regional Board for UNICEF USA awarded him its Global Philanthropist Award.
Taylor is also a former chair of the DeKalb County chapter of 100 Black Men of America and a chair of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta.