Sears Announces Post Supreme Court Plans


Leah Ward Sears
Leah Ward Sears



Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears will not be slowing down when she steps down from the Supreme Court of Georgia at the end of June.



She recently announced she will join the law firm of Schiff Hardin, a nationallyrenowned firm based in Chicago.



The law firm has nearly 400 lawyers and offices in seven major American cities, including Atlanta, where Chief Justice Sears’ practice will be based.



She will begin working there Oct. 15 of this year.



“I am honored to be joining such a distinguished law firm with a long history of service and dedication to its clients,” she said.



The firm, founded in 1864, has a general practice legal program with a particular concentration in high-profile public corruption and white collar crime.



In addition to practicing law, Justice Sears plans to devote half her time to two other ventures.



Starting Aug. 15, she has accepted an offer from the Institute for American Values to serve for one year as the William Thomas Sears Distinguished Fellow in Family Law.



The fellowship is named after her beloved brother Tommy, who died in November 2007 at the age of 53.



The Institute for American Values is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution based in New York City.



Its goals are to produce cutting-edge scholarship in the area of marriage and family, influence how Americans think about financial thrift and generosity, and increase Americans’ engagement in Islam-West relations.



While on the Court, Chief Justice Sears created the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Children, Marriage and Family Law, advocating that “children do better with parents together.” As she promised last fall when she announced she would step down from the Court June 30, Chief Justice Sears will continue to speak out about this issue.



In the same vein, she also plans to teach a seminar on “Contemporary Issues in Family Law” at the University of Georgia Law School.



The seminar will explore today’s definition of “family” and the dramatic changes in marriage and divorce, as well as focus on controversial family issues facing the legal system.



“I’m excited to have the chance to work with young people,” she said.



“And I look forward to being back in the academic world of a college campus.”

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