Melody Z. Richardson continues to embody the firm’s commitment to community involvement. On April 28, 2016, Melody was pleasantly surprised to become the first recipient of an award named in her honor. The award was bestowed upon Melody for her work with and support of the Fulton County Law Day Committee over the last five years. In the future, the award will be given to a volunteer who exemplifies the high ideals of the individual for whom it is named, who works to promote justice throughout her career, concentrating on those who cannot speak for themselves. Future volunteers who give time, talent, and resources to selflessly promote the understanding of the law for all citizens will be eligible for the award. This year, the Fulton County Law Day Program hosted 200 middle school students at the Fulton County Administration building. The students heard from criminal defense attorneys and an Atlanta Police Department Major about how to have positive encounters with the police. The students also participated in a skit to help them learn their Fourth Amendment rights.
Melody is also one of 12 Atlanta Bar attorneys who will receive a Distinguished Service Award for her work on the Equal Justice in Law Enforcement (EJLE) Committee. Harold E. Franklin, Jr., the current president of the Atlanta Bar Association, felt very passionately that the legal community and the Atlanta Bar should be engaged in becoming a resource to both citizens and law enforcement to be a part of the solution to prevent or lessen the likelihood of the types of tragedies that have occurred when encounters with the police that have gone terribly wrong. Melody and other members of the EJLE Committee designed a program to educate high school students about their Fourth Amendment rights and what Miranda really means.
The program has been presented to over 2,000 students so far, and the committee members will continue their efforts to help our citizens have a positive encounter with law enforcement officers.