On July 1, Darrell L. Sutton, ’03, began a two-year term as president of the Law School’s Alumni Association.
As president, Sutton serves as the presiding officer of the Law School Alumni Association Board of Directors, which assists the school with a number of initiatives, including the annual alumni dinner, alumni awards and annual fundraising.
Sutton has demonstrated leadership and service for the majority of his legal career. Living to fulfill the wisdom “to whom much is given, much will be required,” Sutton has made himself available in service to his clients, his community, his profession, and Mercer Law. He has served in various roles at the Cobb County Bar, the State Bar of Georgia and its Board of Governors and Young Lawyers Division as well as the Law School’s Board of Directors.
In an email, Sutton answered our questions and shares his goals as president and why serving the law school is so important.
Q: As you begin your tenure as Alumni Board President, what do you want to accomplish over the next two years?
A: In short, enhanced alumni engagement. In all forms.
There are many opportunities for alumni to engage with the Law School. Financial giving is the most obvious, and for good reason, considering its vital importance. While I would like nothing more than to see alumni financial giving to the Law School skyrocket over the next two years, there are so many other ways that alumni can remain engaged or rekindle their engagement with the Law School. Many of which are often overlooked.
Here are just a few examples of alumni engagement:
- Speak on panels for student groups, admissions, or career services.
- Attend alumni events (whether in person or virtual), like the Alumni Dinner. (Don’t forget that new graduates get half price admission!)
- Assist career services with mock interviews.
- Bench Moot Court or evaluate practices for the client counseling or mock trial teams.
- Notify career services when you get a job and let them know when you or your employer is hiring.
- Simply send class notes to share exciting professional or personal news (marriage, the birth of a child, a job change, receipt of an award, a promotion, etc.) with your class and other alumni.
I intend to work with Law School administration to develop metrics we can use to track alumni engagement. With metrics, we can know when engagement improves, as well as when we can work on enhancing it.
Q: Why do you think service to Mercer Law is important?
A: (The following is via excerpt – with amendments – from my State Bar of Georgia inaugural address, June 2019.)
Mercer is a special place. It instilled in me the importance of our profession. Not the job of being a lawyer; but the profession of the law. It also taught me the importance of service. And it created for me the opportunity to build the relationships that form the foundation for both my professional and personal life. Every significant part of my life is no more than three degrees separated from Mercer Law School: my wife, my kids, my closest friendships, my law firm, my professional accomplishments.
Take the last category for example. Mercer created the opportunity for me to become a Cobb County lawyer. I am certain that if not for Mercer, the opportunity to begin my legal career at Moore Ingram Johnson & Steele in Marietta would not have occurred. And if not for that opportunity, I would not have met and worked for Robert Ingram, who, truth be told, gave me the nudge I needed to serve our profession.
Q: Why should Mercer Law alumni give back to the law school?
A: If you take the time to sit and think about it, the Law School has had a profound influence upon your life, and it has likely made your life better. And, I think we have an obligation to give back to anything or anyone who makes us and our lives better. If you agree, please become engaged or enhance your engagement with the Law School. It is the easiest way to give back to the institution that has given you so much.
Want to get involved and stay connected with the law school?
Contact Cheryll King, Director of Alumni Programs and Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Mercer Law Alumni Association
The Mercer Law Alumni Association’s mission is to unite alumni, former students and friends of the Law School for the purposes of renewing friendships, creating goodwill, enhancing fellowship and camaraderie amongst alumni, to help the school in its efforts to keep in contact with alumni, to disseminate information about the Law School and the University, and to assist in annual fundraising.