Roodgine Bray Named Partner at Davis Bozeman Johnson Law
African American Legal Community Celebrates Milestone and Women in the Law
Atlanta, Georgia - On December 4, 2021, Attorney Roodgine Bray, 34, was named as the newest Partner at Davis Bozeman Johnson Law. Attorney Bray was welcomed into the partnership by Attorneys Robert Bozeman, Mawuli Davis, Harold Spence, and Francys Johnson at a celebration held at the Commerce Club. “Attorney Bray’s rise is not just important for our firm, but also for Black women in the legal profession,” said Mawuli Mel Davis, Founding Partner.
Former State Bar President Patrice Perkins Hooker gave remarks encouraging Attorney Bray. “Take your rightful place as a Partner without equivocation because you earned it,” said Perkins-Hooker, the first Black and only the third woman to serve as president of the State Bar of Georgia in its 50-year history when she was sworn into that office in June 2014. According to the American Bar Association’s Profile of the Profession, the percentage of Black attorneys actually decreased slightly from 4.8% in 2011 to 4.7% this year—far lower than the more than 13% of Americans who are Black. Law firm leadership is overwhelmingly white and male. The percentage of Black women in partners in law firms is just 3%.
The evening affair felt more like a family reunion than a law firm function. “After almost two years of a global pandemic and historic racial upheaval, the African American legal community needed a night like this to say ‘thank you to those who paved the way for a group of young, gifted, and Black lawyers to imagine building a community-centered and liberation-minded law firm with statewide reach. Attorney Bray represents the best of us, said Francys Johnson, a Statesboro-based partner.
Attendees included a who’s who of the African American legal community including Justice Leah Ward Sears, a preeminent appellate lawyer who retired as the first Black woman to serve as chief justice of any state supreme court when she was elected by her peers as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia in 2005. Northern District Court of Georgia Judge Eleanor Ross, also the first Black woman appointed to the federal bench in this state, reflected during her toast on Attorney Bray’s path of progress that included receiving professional development and serving in leadership positions with the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA).
“I remain amazed by the number of hats Roodgine Bray wears on any given day – stellar working professional, wife, mother, caring member of a large and close-knit extended family, community volunteer, active church volunteer – and how effortlessly and effectively she seems to wear them all. Our firm and our clients are fortunate to have her wearing yet another hat – law partner. Congratulations,” said Harold W. Spence, a partner whose legal career spans more than 40 years of practice in Atlanta.
Other professional groups toasting Attorney Bray’s success included the Gate City Bar Association, Haitian American Lawyers Association of Georgia, New Rock Legal Society, and the DeKalb Lawyers Association.
Others noted the role the firm has played fighting for racial justice since its inception in 2007, including State Representative William Boddie (D-62). “Thank you for being a community-centered and liberation-focused Firm that intentionally takes on the tough cases that matter to our community,” said Boddie. The sentiment that Davis Bozeman Johnson Law, as a statewide Black firm, is breaking new ground was echoed by the newest member of Georgia’s highest court. “I wish a Davis Bozeman Johnson Law existed when I began to practice law,” said Justice Verda M. Colvin, the first Black woman appointed by a Republican governor to the state’s high court.
Attendees shared good drinks and war stories about their own paths. Robert Bozeman, the firm’s managing partner welcomed LaVonda N. Reed, as the newly minted and first African American Dean of Georgia State University College of Law. “This is a night of celebration, for Black professional women who against all odds continue to make a way out of no way,” said Bozeman who brought his Mother, Dr. Sylvia T. Bozeman, as his special guest. In 1980, Dr. Bozeman was one of the first cohorts of Black women to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Emory University before a distinguished academic career at Spelman College. Dean Reed, for her part, seemed excited to be back in Atlanta, the city where she began her career. “It’s a huge honor to be the first and come full circle,” Reed said. The spirit was high even at the Afterparty at midtown speakeasy known as the Red Phone Booth as a host of friends and family members including Earl Bray, husband of the honoree, along with Bray’s two daughters and mother celebrated this milestone.
Davis Bozeman Johnson Law is one of Georgia’s largest African American law firms, providing best-in-class legal representation grounded in liberation to communities across the State. With offices in Decatur, Statesboro, and Savannah and more than 100 years of combined experience, DBJ Law is uniquely situated to provide experienced trial attorneys when you need them most. Its primary practice areas are Serious Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Premises Liability, and Civil Rights.