Mercer University School of Law Dean Cathy Cox today announced the establishment of the Griffin B. Bell and Frank C. Jones Fund for the Enhancement of Advocacy Education and Programs.
“Griffin Bell and Frank Jones are Mercer legends,” said President William D. Underwood. “They stand among the finest lawyers in the history of American jurisprudence. I am grateful to their former colleagues, great lawyers in their own right, and fellow law alums Dwight Davis, Paul Quiros and Doc Schneider for establishing this endowment to benefit future Mercer lawyers.”
The fund, created by Mercer Law alumni Davis, ’82, Quiros, ’82, and Schneider, ’81, and others, will be used to support and enhance advocacy education and programs. This includes both curricular and co-curricular activities such as trial practice, moot court, mock trial, client counseling and negotiation teams and competitions.
Additionally, the Law School will name the first-floor courtroom the Griffin B. Bell and Frank C. Jones Courtroom in honor of Bell, ’48, and Jones, ’50.
“We are deeply grateful for the support our dedicated alumni and friends are providing by creating this fund, which will allow us to strengthen our litigation and advocacy programs and better prepare our students for practice upon graduation,” said Cox.
“Griffin Bell and Frank Jones were titans of the Trial Bar for more than 50 years and the epitome of the ethical servant leaders that Mercer strives to produce,” said Davis. “Those of us who were fortunate to serve with and learn from these two giants felt it was most fitting to name the main courtroom at the Law School in their honor. It is our hope that future generations of lawyers will be inspired by the lives of Griffin Bell and Frank Jones and follow in their footsteps.”
About Griffin B. Bell
Bell earned a law degree from Mercer in 1948 and an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University in 1967.
He is best known for having served as the 72nd Attorney General of the United States under President Jimmy Carter. His appointment followed 14 years of distinguished service as a judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he was a leading voice in some of the court’s most enduring legal decisions.
An adviser to state and national political leaders, he was influential in the courts of law as well as the state and national corridors of political decision-making. A partner of the prestigious law firm King & Spalding, he served as the general chair of the highly successful Mercer 2000: Advancing the Vision campaign. After completing five terms on the University’s Board of Trustees, including serving as chair, he was named a Life Trustee. He was the first person to be designated a Distinguished University Professor at Mercer.
About Frank C. Jones
Jones was a 1950 graduate of Mercer Law School, coming to Mercer after earning his bachelor’s degree at Emory University in 1947. He served as editor-in-chief of the Mercer Law Review.
Following graduation from the University, Jones practiced in Macon until 1977 at the law firm now known as Jones, Cork & Miller, which was founded by his great-grandfather. Jones made partner there before joining King & Spalding in Atlanta, where he served as chairman of the Policy Committee and head of the Litigation Department. He retired as an active partner Dec. 31, 2001, returning to Macon and continuing to practice of counsel at his original firm.
As a leader in his profession, Jones was named a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1971 and later served as president from 1993-1994. His service to the legal community included membership and leadership in the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society (president for six years), Georgia Judicial Qualifications Committee, American Bar Association (a member of its House of Delegates for 22 years), State Bar of Georgia (president in 1969) and Macon Bar Association, among others.
About Mercer Law School
Founded in 1873, Mercer University School of Law is one of the oldest law schools in the United States and the first one in the state of Georgia accredited by the American Bar Association. The Law School is named after Walter F. George, a 1901 Mercer Law School graduate who became a Justice of the Georgia State Supreme Court and later a U.S. Senator. Mercer Law School’s educational philosophy is based on a broadly shared commitment to prepare students for the high-quality practice of law in a day-to-day learning environment that is both strongly supportive and consistently professional. Mercer Law School is one of only two schools to be a two-time recipient of the prestigious ABA Gambrell Professionalism Award for excellence and innovation in ethics and professionalism throughout the curriculum. With an enrollment of about 400 students, Mercer Law School is nationally recognized for its exceptional programs in legal writing, moot court, experiential education, and ethics and professionalism.
About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. With more than 8,700 students enrolled in 12 schools and colleges, on major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; medical school sites in Macon, Savannah and Columbus; and at regional academic centers in Henry and Douglas counties, Mercer is classified as a Doctoral University with High Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutes of Higher Education and ranked among the top tier of national research universities by U.S. News & World Report. The Mercer Health Sciences Center includes the University’s School of Medicine and Colleges of Nursing, Health Professions and Pharmacy. Mercer is affiliated with five teaching hospitals – Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah; The Medical Center, Navicent Health, and Coliseum Medical Centers in Macon; and Midtown Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The University also has an educational partnership with Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex in Warner Robins. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is one of only 286 institutions nationwide to shelter a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society; one of eight institutions to hold membership in the Georgia Research Alliance; and the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. www.mercer.edu