Attorney Mike Thurmond of Butler Wooten Cheeley & Peak LLP was inducted into the Gate City Bar Association Hall of Fame at its gala on Nov. 7. At the gala, Mr.Thurmond was joined by managing partner Joel Wooten and the Gate City Bar Association Scholarship chair in announcing the recipients of four scholarships. BWCP is proud to sponsor one of those scholarships and to support the mission of the Gate City Bar Association, the oldest African-American bar association in Georgia.
Mike Thurmond has worn many hats in a long and distinguished career. He is an author, a scholar, a historian, a noted speaker and an accomplished attorney. He graduated with honors from Paine College before moving onto the University of South Carolina School of Law. He later completed the Political Executives program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He was the first African-American elected by Clarke County residents to serve in the Georgia General Assembly since Reconstruction. He lectured at the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, and he was later elected to serve as Georgia labor commissioner, serving in that role for 12 successful years.
As labor commissioner, Mr. Thurmond spearheaded several initiatives designed to reduce unemployment and help Georgia families prosper. He helped develop the “Georgia Work$” program, which allowed participants to demonstrate their skills to employers while also receiving vital, on-the-job training. The program resulted in employers while also receiving vital, on-thejob training. The program resulted in thousands of hires during an uncertain economic period. Mr. Thurmond also worked to update the state’s unemployment offices into career centers, state-of-the-art facilities designed to get unemployed Georgians back on their feet.
Mr. Thurmond has authored two books, including “A Story Untold: Black Men and Women in Athens history” and “Freedom: An African-American History of Georgia, 1733-1865.” “Freedom” won the Lilla Hawes Award given by the Georgia Historical Society and was named one of the “25 Books All Georgians Should Read” by the Georgia Center for the Book.
Mr. Thurmond recently returned to Butler Wooten Cheeley & Peak following a term as superintendent of the DeKalb County School System. He plans to continue working on behalf of all people, particularly people who have historically been denied access to the courts simply because they do not have the resources enjoyed by others
Butler Wooten Cheeley & Peak LLP is dedicated to helping individuals and businesses get the full justice they deserve. Our record of verdicts and settlements, garnered in Georgia and across the nation, speaks for itself. Our attorneys are leaders in their communities and in the legal profession. We are proud of the accomplishments of Mr. Thurmond and were delighted to celebrate his Hall of Fame induction on Nov. 7, 2015, at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead.