The Columns

Alumnus and Former Trustee William Hill to Deliver Law School Commencement Address

— by on April 7th, 2017

William B. Hill, JrWilliam B. Hill, Jr

William B. Hill, an alumnus of Washington and Lee and a partner with the law firm Polsinelli in Atlanta, will deliver this year’s commencement address during the graduation exercises at Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 6 beginning at 10 a.m. The event is open to the public. A complete schedule of events is available at the commencement website.

Hill earned his B.A. in 1974 from Washington and Lee and his J.D. in 1977 from Washington and Lee University School of Law.  He has served the school as a member of the Board of Trustees and the Law Council and as secretary, treasurer, vice president and president of the Atlanta Alumni Chapter. In addition, Hill has lectured during Alumni College and the University’s Summer Scholars Program.

Following his graduation from W&L Law, Hill went to work for the Georgia Attorney General’s Office. He spent 13 years there, including six years as Director of the Criminal Division and two years as Deputy Attorney General.  He was the youngest division director in the history of the Georgia Attorney General’s office, and the first African-American attorney to represent the State of Georgia in oral argument in the U.S. Supreme Court, where he argued the case Burger v. Kemp.

In 1990, he was appointed as a judge to the state court of Fulton County and later served on the superior court of Fulton County. Following his time on the bench, he entered private practice with the law firm Paul Hastings, where he spent nine years before joining Ashe & Rafuse in 2004. That firm merged with Polsinelli in 2013.

“William Hill is renowned for his accomplishments and legacy of service to the legal profession, the state of Georgia and W&L,” said Law Dean Brant Hellwig. “We are honored to have him as our commencement speaker, and we hope all our  graduates pursue their professional and civic life with the same degree of passion and uncompromising dedication.”

At Polsinelli, an Am Law 100 firm with approximately 800 attorneys in 20 offices, Hill concentrates his practice on commercial and complex litigation, with a particular emphasis on business torts, business divorces, internal investigations, contract disputes and ADR and early case resolution.

He has served Georgia on the State Judicial Nominating Commission, the Northern District of Georgia’s Bar Council, the State Bar of Georgia’s Committee on Standards of the Profession, the Georgia Chief Justice’s Commission on Dispute Resolution, and the Northern District Federal Disciplinary Committee.

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