BBGA Attorney Mary Matthews Russell recently participated in an Alumni Career Panel for juniors and seniors at Athens Academy. Mary was one of four panelists who discussed their memories and experiences at Athens Academy and how the school prepared them for college and their careers. Head Football Coach Josh Alexander moderated the panel and asked each panelist various questions. 

Photo Courtesy of Kelley Cuneo, Athens Academy Director of  Communications: Alumni Panelists from left; Mary Matthews Russell, BBGA Attorney, 2011; Laura Allen, Senior Divisional Philanthropy Officer for the American Red Cross, 1999; Ed Ferguson, Managing Director for Investments with Stifel, 1989; and Sunil Alexander, M.D. Practices obstetrics and gynecology with Piedmont Athens Regional, 1990,

One of the questions Alexander asked Mary during the event is how what she did in college affected her career trajectory.

“I was a journalism major,” Mary said. “Even though I did not end up going into journalism as my profession, the skills I developed at Grady College of Journalism have correlated really well with the skills required to be a good lawyer – such as investigating facts, interviewing people, and presenting a story to an audience.”

At Athens Academy, Mary was on the judiciary board all four years of high school. The board is a group of students who are selected by the school to enforce the honor code and hold proceedings to assist in dealing with anyone who is accused of violating it.

“That was my first experience with any kind of judicial system,” Mary said. “And because of that experience, I went on to serve on the Honor Court at UGA Law and ultimately became the Chief Investigator my third year of law school.”

During her visit to Athens Academy, Mary visited with several of her former teachers and mentors.

“I attended Athens Academy from K-4 to 12th grade,” she said. “Looking back on my time there, it was a wonderful experience. I plan to be more involved in the alumni association now that I’m back in Athens.”

At Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., Mary’s practice focuses on medical malpractice, automobile accidents, nursing home abuse, and other personal injury cases. 

Mary was born and raised in Athens and attended the University of Georgia. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. Mary attended law school at UGA, obtaining her Juris Doctorate in 2019.

Following law school, Mary worked for a civil defense firm in Brunswick, Ga., where she represented defendants in a wide variety of legal matters, including personal injury and premises liability cases. She defended hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare providers against alleged professional negligence.

Mary returned to Athens to join Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley in June 2022.

Photo Courtesy of Kelley Cuneo, Athens Academy Director of  Communications: From left; Athens Academy Head Football Coach Josh Alexander, Mary Matthews Russell, Laura Allen, Ed Ferguson, Sunil Alexander, M.D.
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