Emory Law Alumni Awards

The award recognizes outstanding alumni who have achieved distinction in legal practice, teaching, research or public administration, and who have demonstrated distinguished service to Emory Law, the Emory Law Alumni Association or Emory University. During Alumni Weekend each year, several Emory Law alumni are recognized for the distinction and honor they have brought to the school through their service and achievements.  The ceremony offers an opportunity for the entire Emory Law community to come together to celebrate both the accomplishments of individuals and the strength of the alumni network.
We welcome nominations throughout the year; online nomination forms are below.

2014 Nominations

Top row: Patrise Perkins-Hooker, Barrett Hawks, Samuel Olens; Bottom row: Leslie Powell, Priya Vivian, Dean Robert Schapiro

2013 Award Winners

Emory University School of Law honored five alumni on Friday, Sept. 27, for distinguished work in public service and volunteer efforts on the law school’s behalf.

Barrett K. Hawks 60B 63L, Samuel S. Olens 83L, Patrise Perkins-Hooker 84B 84L, Leslie A. Powell 09L and Priya B. Vivian 04C 09L received awards at an evening reception held at Emory Law during the university’s Homecoming Weekend. Read the news release

Eléonore Raoul Greene Trailblazer Award

The Eléonore Raoul Greene Trailblazer Award commemorates Eléonore Raoul Greene 20L, the first woman admitted to Emory University and a national leader in the women’s suffrage movement, and is given to an Emory Law alumna who has blazed a trail for others through her own professional and personal endeavors.

Patrise Perkins-Hooker 84B 84L, Vice President and General Counsel, Atlanta Beltline, Inc.  Perkins-Hooker is responsible for all legal affairs for the Atlanta Beltline, including general corporate transactions, corporate governance, procurement, risk management, and real estate-related matters.

Previously she was a partner at Hollowell, Foster & Gepp, PC, leading its Commercial Real Estate group. She is also an inactive CPA and worked in the Taxation department at Deloitte & Touche.

An honors undergraduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology in addition to holding joint Emory law and business degrees, Perkins-Hooker is admitted to the Georgia, Federal District, and Tax Courts. She is the first African-American president-elect of the State Bar of Georgia, has been an elected member of the State Bar Board of Governors since 1996, and is a former chair of the Real Property Law Section.

A past president of the Goizueta Business School Alumni Association and member of the advisory board for the Emory Law Black Law Students Association, Perkins-Hooker is also a leader in the broader Atlanta community; she chairs the Hosea Feed the Hungry’s Board of Directors, and she has served on the City of Atlanta’s Board of Zoning Adjustment and presided over the Gate City Bar Association. She is a former Trustee of Georgia Tech’s Alumni Association and was selected as its Outstanding Young Alumna for 1988. She has been a member of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys since 1986 and has mentored many young men and women.

Alumni Service Award

The Alumni Service Award honors an alumna or alumnus who has contributed significant, sustained leadership and outstanding service to the Emory Law School community.

Barrett K. Hawks 60B 63L, Of Counsel, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, LLP.  Hawks joined Sutherland as an associate in 1965, after receivinghis bachelor’s degree and JD from Emory and LLM from Harvard Law School. He was a partner at Sutherland for many years and established a national practice in the energy field representing electric cooperatives. He retired as a partner in 2009, and continues with Sutherland as Of Counsel. He now lectures and counsels boards of directors and others on conflict avoidance and management.

Emory Law has benefitted greatly from Hawks’s leadership and dedication. He won numerous awards as a law student and was the co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Public Law and a member of national honor society Omicron Delta Kappa. As an alumnus, he has served as chair of the Law School Council (now the Law Advisory Board), secretary and president of the Emory Law Alumni Association, chair of Emory Law’s Barristers’ Club and the annual fund campaign, chair of his 30th reunion committee (which established Emory Law’s largest class scholarship to date), co-chair of his 50th reunion committee, member of the Emory University Board of Visitors, and charter member of the Emory Legacy Society.

In addition to his activities at Emory, Hawks has held leadership positions in the State Bar of Georgia and the American Bar Association, in community organizations, and in the Presbyterian Church. He is Vice Chair of the Dispute Resolution Committee of the American Bar Association’s Public Utility Law Section and has recently served on the Board of Advisors of the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Established in 1985, the Distinguished Alumni Award is given to an alumna or alumnus who embodies the values of the school and has demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the legal profession and in service to society.

The Hon. Samuel S. Olens 83L, Attorney General for the State of Georgia.  Olens became Georgia’s Attorney General in January 2011, having served as the chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission, vice-chair of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, and as a member appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue to the 6th Congressional District on Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs Board.

Georgia Trend has regularly listed Olens as one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians.” He received the 2007 Excellence in Public Service Award from the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, the 2008 Tom Bradley Leadership Award from the National Association of Regional Councils, and the 2011 Living the Dream Award from the Cobb County NAACP. In 2011, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce renamed its annual service award the Sam Olens Business Community Service Award.

Olens has served as a member of the Emory Board of Visitors and remains active as an Emory Law alumni volunteer. He often speaks to student and alumni groups, providing perspectives on public service and the law. He is a registered mediator and arbitrator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, and holds a BA and an MA from American University in addition to his Emory Law JD.

Young Alumni Award

The Young Alumni Award recognizes the professional and personal achievement of an alumna or alumnus who graduated within the past 15 years and has made notable leadership and service contributions to Emory Law School and to the legal profession.

Leslie A. Powell 09L, Associate, Kutak Rock, LLP.  Based in the Atlanta office of Kutak Rock, Powell focuses her practice in banking and public finance, representing financial institutions as direct lenders and providers of credit enhancement, liquidity support, and structured investments for publicly traded debt. She previously served as Assistant General Counsel for a national nonprofit dedicated to community redevelopment and mortgage and property tax foreclosure reform. As a student at Emory Law, Powell was Executive Articles Editor of the Emory International Law Review and served as the Student Representative on the Faculty Appointments Committee. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and is licensed to practice law in Georgia and New York.

Along with Priya Vivian, Powell co-founded the Emory Law Young Alumni Committee in 2011 and has nurtured its growth as a significant alumni affinity group since its founding, providing outreach to hundreds of recent graduates in Atlanta. She also serves as an Alumni Advisor to the Emory Law Banking and Finance Practice Society and was recently elected to the Emory Law Alumni Board. In addition, Powell co-chairs of the Legislative Committee for the Young Lawyers Division of the Georgia Bar, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Red Clay Democrats.

Priya B. Vivian 04C 09L, Associate, Wargo French, LLP.  Vivian’s professional practice as a litigator includes labor and employment law, class and collective action litigation, and complex commercial litigation. A member of the State Bar of Georgia, she works primarily through Wargo French’s Atlanta office. During her legal studies at Emory Law, Vivian served as the Executive Symposium Editor for the Emory Law Journal, received numerous awards for her academic work, and was named to the Order of the Coif. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory.

Vivian serves on the Emory Law Alumni Board and is active with the Emory Law Intellectual Property Alumni Society. As cofounder and co-chair of the Emory Law Young Alumni Committee in partnership with Leslie Powell, Vivian has dedicated countless hours to ensuring the growth and development of Emory Law’s young alumni community.