Law Grad Wins Big Case Before Even Passing the Bar Exam

Wow, what a start to a career in law!

When Georgia holds its next bar exam at the end of July, there will be one new law graduate sitting for the test who has already argued—and won—a case before the Georgia Supreme Court.

Devin Mashman, aged 25, argued a case in February as a 3rd year law student, and the court decided in his favor last week.

Mashman represented a plaintiff who sued her parents in 2017 alleging they sexually abused her from childhood until she was able to move out of their home at the age of 22. She is now middle aged.

The court cleared the way for a lawsuit to go to trial under a retroactive window provided by the Hidden Predator Act, which revived previously barred civil claims of child sexual abuse. The Act made the statute of limitations run from the time of disclosure of the alleged abuse rather than the time of its occurrence, recognizing that many child abuse survivors do not talk openly about their abuse until they reach adulthood.

Mashman worked on the case under the supervision of Emma Hetherington, law professor and director of the University of Georgia School of Law’s Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation Clinic. Mashman made the oral arguments and wrote the brief, along with other law students who assisted him.

Mashman is currently studying for the remote bar exam, planning to take it from his parents’ home in Atlanta because they have a better Wi-Fi connection. He already has a job lined up with Hall Booth Smith in Atlanta.

Hall Booth Smith partner Alex Booth noted that Mashman argued before the Georgia Supreme Court and in a national moot court competition on the same day, and “winning both is an extraordinary accomplishment.”

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