Alumna breaks barriers for minorities and women in law | Mercer Made

Yvette Miller

Yvette Miller is a trailblazer.

The Double Bear has been breaking down barriers for minorities and women in the legal profession ever since she graduated from Mercer Law School in 1980.

Miller currently is a presiding judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals. Her appointment in 1999 made her the first Black woman to serve on the court, and she later became the first Black woman to serve as the court’s chief judge.

In addition, Miller was among the first women to serve as assistant district attorney in Fulton County and one of the first Black women to practice law throughout the Brunswick Judicial Circuit. She also was the first woman, first Black individual and youngest person to serve as the director/judge of the Appellate Division on the Georgia Board of Worker’s Compensation.

Miller, whom President William D. Underwood called “one of Mercer’s most accomplished graduates,” has received many accolades for her service and contributions to the community. She continues to give back, recently establishing an endowed scholarship for Mercer law students to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

Mercer Made is a series in which we feature notable people, businesses, products and inventions connected to Mercer University.


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Jennifer Falk is the director of digital communications at Mercer University and editor-in-chief of The Den. She creates and supervises the development of written and multimedia content for primary University web pages and e-newsletters, including The Den and This Week @ Mercer. In addition, she collaborates with schools and offices to maintain web content and examines data and analytics to drive content creation decisions. She also serves as a member of the University's social media committee.