Four women receive top UGA law school awards during virtual Alumni/Alumnae Week


Four women receive top UGA law school awards during virtual Alumni/Alumnae Week

Athens, GA - The University of Georgia School of Law honored four women for their service during the school's virtual Alumni/Alumnae Week.

Valerie Caproni, B. Lynn Chastain and Santhia L. Curtis received the Law School Association's highest honor - the Distinguished Service Scroll Award - for their outstanding dedication and service to the legal profession and the law school. Additionally, Lt. Cmdr. Catherine T. "Katie" McMahon was presented with the Young Alumni/Alumnae of Excellence Award.

Caproni, a 1979 summa cum laude School of Law graduate, is a U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York. Prior to becoming a judge, she held a variety of positions in the private and public sectors. She began her legal career in Atlanta, clerking for Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit before moving to New York City to work in private practice. She left her role at Cravath, Swaine & Moore to serve as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York. She also served in leadership roles with the New York State Urban Development Corporation, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Northrop Grumman Corporation.

A 1984 graduate of the law school, Chastain recently retired from her post as senior vice president and general counsel of Chick-fil-A, which she also served as secretary to its Board of Directors. Chastain worked for the company for 29 years and was the first female to serve on the its executive committee. She began her legal career in commercial real estate at Troutman Sanders in Atlanta. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Eagle Ranch. Chastain previously served as chair of the board for Junior Achievement in Georgia and as the founding director of The Kenya Project, a nonprofit ministry focused on health, education, spiritual development and homes for the African nation's orphans. She also has served as a member of the law school's Board of Visitors.

Curtis graduated from the School of Law in 1991. She began her career with the law firm Powell Goldstein. After leaving the private sector, she transitioned to in-house practice as a litigator with the federal government. She then served as the general counsel and chief privacy officer for the largest accounts receivable management company and debt buyer in the United States. She also was the deputy general counsel of the Atlanta Independent School System and the chief of staff for the president of the Morehouse School of Medicine. In 2014, she began working with family offices to manage diversified investment portfolios and holdings for domestic and international opportunities. Additionally, she has been a member of the UGA Law School Association Council for more than one decade and was president of the LSAC in 2012.

McMahon, a 2011 graduate of the law school, is currently a civil litigation attorney in Washington, D.C. Prior to enrolling in law school, she worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency and was employed in Baghdad from 2007 to 2008 as a civilian in an intelligence billet working in the Joint Document and Media Exploitation Center on Camp Slayer. She received both the Civilian Expeditionary Medal and the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award for her service in Iraq. After graduation from the School of Law, she successfully completed the Georgia bar exam and graduated from Naval Justice School. She has held several positions in service to our country such as an installation staff judge advocate, trial counsel and victim's legal counsel.

Other highlights of Alumni/Alumnae Week included: the annual Equal Justice Foundation auction, which raises money to fund summer public interest fellowships; an Expert Insights event with First Amendment Clinic Director Clare R. Norins focusing on social media and censorship; the Order of the Coif induction ceremony and opportunities to virtually attend classes with various School of Law professors and students.


Writer/Contact: Lona Panter, 706-542-5175, lonap@uga.edu

UGA School of Law
Recognized as the best value in legal education for three consecutive years, the School of Law is also consistently regarded as one of the top law schools in the nation. Since 1859, the school has been preparing the next generation of legal leaders. It currently offers three degrees - the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws and the Master in the Study of Law. The school's accomplished faculty includes nationally and internationally renowned scholars, and its approximately 11,000 living graduates are leading figures in law, business and public service throughout the world. Connecting students to these thought leaders and opportunities to serve state and society is central to the school's mission. For more information, see www.law.uga.edu.