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Samuel S. Woodhouse III of the Woodhouse Law Firm LLC in Atlanta, Laverne Lewis Gaskins, senior legal advisor at Augusta University, and the Southern Center for Human Rights received the 2018 Commitment to Equality Awards, presented May 17 by the State Bar of Georgia’s Committee to Promote Inclusion in the Profession and recognized during the State Bar’s Annual Meeting. 

An experienced trial attorney, Woodhouse represents and provides local counsel assistance to corporate, governmental and individual clients in the areas of business litigation, commercial arbitrations, commercial recovery, contract law, data protection and privacy law, subrogation and recovery. He earned his law degree from Duquesne University Law School and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1993. 

Gaskins earned her law degree from Florida State University and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1993. She has served on the Boards of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia and the National Bar Association and is past chair of the Investigative Panel of the State Bar Disciplinary Board. In 2009, she received the Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service. 

The Southern Center for Human Rights, based in Atlanta, was founded in 1976 by ministers and activists concerned about criminal justice issues. In addition to providing representation to people facing the death penalty, the center employs class action lawsuits and individual representation in challenging certain practices within the criminal justice system and engages in public education efforts. 

The Commitment to Equality Awards recognize the efforts of lawyers and legal employers who are committed to providing opportunities that foster a more diverse legal profession for members of underrepresented groups in Georgia. The awards are presented to lawyers who not only personally excel in their own practices, but who have also demonstrated a commitment to promoting diversity in the legal profession. 

The State Bar of Georgia, with offices in Atlanta, Savannah and Tifton, was established in 1964 by Georgia’s Supreme Court as the successor to the voluntary Georgia Bar Association, founded in 1884. All lawyers licensed to practice in Georgia belong to the State Bar. Its more than 50,000 members work together to strengthen the constitutional promise of justice for all, promote principles of duty and public service among Georgia’s lawyers, and administer a strict code of legal ethics.  

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