It is time to refresh the information, written in 2007, because – you see – there are not too many people in Atlanta who have not been helped by Andrew Patterson when one traces the thread of good deeds he gives to this community. Recently appointed to the Board of Trustees at Gammon Theological Seminary, Andy was the 2016 recipient of the “Alex” award, named for Alex Smith, a name partner of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, for the “Most Unassuming Performance in a Public Role.” He was celebrated for contributions to the civil rights movement from the State Bar of Georgia and his name is preserved on a listing of attorneys who participated in the movement in the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Andy Patterson was named “Man of the Year” for the 2016 Law and Justice Award by Women Works Media Group at an affair held at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Another task that he has taken on, for the past three years, was to serve as General Counsel of the Grand Boule’ of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He gets accolades from my family for giving his time to the American Voters League as its General Counsel. This role was given to him by Maynard Jackson, just before he passed; and, our dear friend has helped my son, Maynard III, get the 501C3 back so we can continue this legacy. Thank you, Andy.
And now Andrew Patterson will be inducted into the Gate City Bar Association Hall of Fame in November of this year (2017). He has sent up enough timber to Heaven to build many mansions. God bless this man.
Andy Patterson is one of the finest men I have ever met. Knowledgeable and competent, kind and considerate, respectable and respected, dependable and responsible – he really returns telephone calls on time. He is a lawyer’s lawyer. I should know – he was my lawyer for many years – on both sides of the aisles. Attorney Patterson has what I call “ground game;” he has his ear tuned to the public and for the public. Not only is he a good man, but he makes history every day.
Born in a small town in Arkansas called Cotton Plant, Pickens Andrew Patterson grew up with the perfect role model – his father, a Presbyterian minister – who taught him, by example, the rewards of public service and the value of living the kind of life for which one can be proud. Reverend Patterson, Andy’s father, must have been a good teacher because Andy learned his lessons well and was engaged in many extracurricular activities throughout his school days in high school and college. The Patterson’s moved to Savannah, GA where Andy excelled at Beach High School and graduated valedictorian of his class. He was a 1965 honor graduate of Fisk University – where he has served his alma mater as the vice chair of the Board of Trustees.
Through his father’s activism in the civil rights movement, Andy heard about Donald Hollowell, a lawyer who challenged the status quo and was “Not afraid of anything,” quoted Andy’s father. Maybe this definition of a lawyer was what swayed Andrew to choose law as a career even though he considered studying for a PhD in history. He was admitted to Harvard Law School and was one of the founders of the Harvard Black Law Students Association in 1967. He received his Juris Doctor Degree from Harvard in 1968.
Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first Black mayor, was Andrew Patterson’s first law partner. They met in 1968 when Andy was with Urban East Housing Consultants and Maynard was director of the Emory Legal Services program. Shortly thereafter, the law firm of Jackson, Patterson & Parks opened offices in downtown Atlanta; and this experience spear-headed Patterson’s practice of the law. Prior to joining the law firm of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, in 2008, where he currently practices law, he was a partner in the law firm of Thomas, Kennedy, Sampson & Patterson, LLP. Patterson specializes in real estate and municipal bond finance law. He has served as lead bond counsel in connection with the representation of the state of Georgia. He also represents several governmental authorities and entities, particularly in matters relating to housing and redevelopment.
But what separates Andy Patterson from most downtown lawyers is his attitude to serve. It is the time and attention that he puts forth when giving away his service to the causes of a variety of public service organization that makes Andy a history maker. He has served as president of the Board of Directors of the Sadie G. Mays Nursing Home; president of the Intergenerational Resource Center; president of the Douglass High School Parents and Teachers Association; a member of the Board of Trustees of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY; member of the Board of Directors of Penn Cultural Center, Frogmore, SC; Leadership Atlanta; chairperson of the Church Council of Cascade United Methodist Church; a member of the Board of Directors of The Heritage Fund of the Atlanta Medical Association; and member of the Board of Trustees of the Atlanta Historical Society, Inc. As a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Attorney Patterson has also served as the chairman of the Legal Redress Committee of the Atlanta Branch of the NAACP, where he provided pro-bono legal advice. He is a life member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Kappa Boulé.
In his professional career, Patterson has served as president of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society; president of the Gate City Bar Association; chairman of the Judicial Commission of the City of Atlanta; member of the Committee on Specialization and Recertification, State Bar of Georgia; and member of the Board of Bar Examiners of the State of Georgia where he served as Chairman in 2002. He is also a member of the National Conference of Bar Examiners where he has participated on several committees; and, of course, the State Bar of Georgia.
When you look across the spectrum of the life of Andy Patterson, you have to wonder where he gets the drive to do so much for so many. “I must credit my father with my willingness to participate in public service organizations,” says Patterson. “He always taught me that we must give back to the community. When he died I was shocked to realize that he had been active in approximately 25 public service organizations. He is my role model for public service.”
There is a “home-town-boy” side of Andy Patterson’s life where he makes time for his family and his hobbies. He purchased a used movie camera from a pawn shop while in high school and since that time has been interested in movies and photography. He also likes to play chess and enjoys deep-sea fishing. He and his wife, Dr. Gloria Patterson, have two children, Dr. Pickens A. Patterson III and Staci P. Rucker, Esq., and four grand children.
Attorney Patterson is a who’s who on just about every who’s who listing known to me. But what make him an icon, a valuable member of this particular community, and a distinctive history maker is what he does for his fellow man and woman.