Alexandria Bradley takes oath as one of Georgia's newest lawyers

May 29—Alexandria Bradley has become in life what she's wanted to become since a young girl. She's now a lawyer.

Alex, as her father, Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Bradley, and his wife along with friends prefer to call her, recently was sworn in as one of the newest lawyers of the Georgia Bar Association.

Alex, a graduate of Georgia Military College Prep School who later went on to attend and graduate from Georgia College & State University and then attend Mercer University Law School where she also graduated, took the oath of office from her father. The special ceremony was held in one of the courtrooms of the Baldwin County Courthouse in Milledgeville.

"Welcome to you all, and thank you for being here," Judge Bradley said. "We're deeply honored that so many kind friends came. Thank you for that. We're here for the swearing-in of Alex Bradley. She has made us all very proud."

Judge Bradley then joined his daughter in front of the courtroom where family and friends could view the swearing-in ceremony better. The judge told his daughter to raise her right hand. He cited a few words for Alex to repeat and within a short period, she was officially sworn in as a new lawyer.

One of her official duties as a new lawyer was to sign the big registry book that laid on a front table nearby. It was placed there by Baldwin County Superior Court Clerk Wanda T. Paul.

"I present to you Alexandria Bradley, attorney at-law," Judge Bradley told the crowd in the courtroom and others who watched the livestream over social media. A big applause then erupted in the room.

"Before I opened the floor for comments, I'll take a moment, personal privilege and say we love you and we're very proud of you," Judge Bradley said. "You have three obligations in this esteemed profession: To work hard; to do good; and to represent your clients, faithfully."

Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Amanda S. Petty also attended the special ceremony and spoke about Alex's achievement.

"Alex was the cutest child when I met her and she carried Winnie the Pooh with her everywhere, and that's how I will always see her as a 2-year-old toting Winnie the Pooh around," Petty said.

The judge went on to tell Alex how proud she was of her.

"Your hard work and perseverance paid off," Petty said. "I'm a firm believer that God puts you in situations of trial and tribulation to build your character and for you to be able to show who you are. And you did that with such grace. And that is not easy. I just want to tell you how personally proud I am of you. I am so grateful God made you like your mama. And I will tell you that the one piece of advise that I usually give a new attorney is that there is no client that is worth your reputation. You don't forget who you are. You live up to your standards. And don't ever change that for any one person, or party or client that you deal with."

Petty told Alex to be faithful to who she is.

William "Bill" Smith, a well-known lawyer who practices in Milledgeville, said he and Petty graduated from law school together and that she was absolutely right in what she had told Alex.

"You're going to have clients that make you feel very uncomfortable," Smith said. "And you're going to have to rely on your own knowledge, training, instincts and ethics to make the right decisions. She's (Petty) right. No one client is worth your reputation. You will encounter lawyers that you can trust and you will encounter lawyers that you can't trust. You will very quickly determine who those are. The ones you can trust are a God-send to you because you know you can talk honestly with them and reach agreements that everyone can count on because it's all about the client in the end."

Cinda Bright, widow of the late and beloved District Attorney Fred Bright, addressed Alex.

"We go back just a little bit," said Bright, who served as the longtime clerk of Superior Court in Wilkinson County. "I can tell you, Alex, we knew from the beginning that you would go somewhere in life and that you would be a servant with your heart. You have the best parents. You grew up in a courthouse like many of these other courthouse kids. I'm so excited to see where you'll go."

After addressing the crowd, Alex talked with The Union-Recorder.

"I have been dreaming about this day since I learned my dad was thinking about running for judge," Alex said. "I kept thinking if I finished law school, my dad could swear me in as a lawyer."

Alex currently serves as the staff attorney to Augusta Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Ashley Wright.

"I have been doing that since last August," Alex said, noting the two counties in that circuit only consist of Richmond and Burke counties.

Alex hopes that in the future she can go on to work in civil rights or international speaking.

"Those encompass where my heart has always been," Alex said. "I want to change the world, at least a little bit and help make it a little better."