MACON – Judge M. Yvette Miller, CLA ’77, LAW ’80, presiding judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals, recently established an endowed scholarship for students at Mercer Law School to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
The scholarship will provide assistance for law students with financial need with a preference for students who are active in the Law School’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) chapter. Mercer Law’s BLSA chapter was previously honored as the 2017 Regional Medium-Sized Chapter of the Year and the Regional Small Chapter of the Year in 2016.
“Judge Miller has been one of my great friends and ‘sheroes’ in the law for a long time,” said Dean Cathy Cox. “Her impressive professional history reflects her commitment to excellence through empowering her colleagues and future legal professionals. The Judge M. Yvette Miller Scholarship is a testament to Judge Miller’s dedication and devotion to future Mercer lawyers, and will significantly support their best efforts to become innovative leaders in the legal profession.”
“Judge Miller is one of Mercer’s most accomplished graduates and has been a great role model for our undergraduate and law students,” said President William D. Underwood. “She has been generous with her time and her resources, and this endowment gift is yet another indication of her affinity for the institution and concern for Mercer law students. We are deeply grateful to her.”
“With this endowment, I am creating opportunities for deserving law students to receive scholarship monies to assist with tuition,” said Judge Miller. “My life has been so enriched by my journey as a student at Mercer University. For this reason, I have always given back to Mercer not only financially but also through my time and talents. Subscribing to the ultimate philosophy that to whom much is given much is expected, I want my legacy to include empowering the next generation of Mercer lawyers who are prepared to impact the state of Georgia and our country.”
Miller, a double bear, obtained her B.A. cum laude from Mercer’s College of Liberal Arts and Juris Doctor from Mercer Law School. She has LLMs from Emory Law School and the University of Virginia Law School in litigation and the judicial process, respectively.
In 2018, she was awarded the Tony Baldwin Trailblazer Award from Mercer’s Black Law Student Association. She has served as a Mercer Trustee and a member of the Law School’s Board of Visitors.
Miller has broken down numerous barriers for minorities and women in the legal profession, including being one of the first African-American females to serve as assistant district attorney in Fulton County and to practice law throughout the Brunswick Judicial Circuit. Additionally, she was the first woman, first African-American and the youngest person to serve as director/judge of the Appellate Division on the State Board of Worker’s Compensation, the first African-American woman to serve on the Georgia Court of Appeals, and the first African-American woman to serve as chief judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals.
About the School of Law
Founded in 1873, Mercer University School of Law, named for Mercer alumnus and former U.S. Senator Walter F. George, 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. Mercer Law School’s educational philosophy is based on a broadly shared commitment to prepare students for the high-quality, general practice of law in a day-to-day learning environment that is both strongly supportive and consistently professional. Its innovative Woodruff Curriculum – which focuses on ethics and practical skills amid small class sizes – twice earned the Gambrell Professionalism Award from the ABA for its “depth of excellence.” With an enrollment of about 375 students, Mercer Law School is nationally recognized for its exceptional programs in legal writing, moot court, experiential education, and ethics and professionalism. For more information, visit law.mercer.edu.