Top 5 Oldest Law Firms
Macon is rich in history and traditions that touch every aspect of life here in the heart of Georgia. When it comes to business and professional services Macon has some of the oldest law firms in the state. This TOP 5 list focuses on the longevity of some of the longest running locally owned law practices in the area.
ANDERSON, WALKER & REICHERT – 1849
This firm traces its origins to 1849 when Robert Sampson Lanier and brother-in-law William Henry Anderson began practicing law together in the emerging and flourishing city of Macon. Lanier was born in Athens after his father moved from North Carolina to establish hotels along the burgeoning southern frontier, among them Macon's Lanier House. Lanier met Anderson in college in Virginia and married Anderson's sister Many Jane in 1840. In 1842, they became parents of the poet and musician Sidney Lanier. A much younger brother, Clifford Anderson came to Macon to be close to his kin after being orphaned and left penniless in 1845. Undaunted by his circumstances, the youngster educated himself by reading the classics, and then law, while working at the Lanier family's downtown hotel. William Henry Anderson died unexpectedly at twenty-eight; nevertheless Clifford continued to study under Robert Lanier; was admitted to the bar in 1852 at age nineteen, and immediately joined Lanier's practice, known then and for many years after as "Lanier and Anderson." Lanier’s death in 1893 severed their extraordinary partnership. Most of Lanier's and Anderson's sons followed their fathers into the practice of law, although most left Macon in the lean years after the Civil War. One lawyer became more famous as a poet. Sidney Lanier, after several years of practicing law, found the lure of music and poetry irresistible, and followed his muse north to Baltimore. The firm has a rich history of association, including the late Hon. Mallory C. Atkinson, who was affiliated with the firm and who was also was the first General Counsel to the State Bar of Georgia, served as a Judge of the Superior Courts for the Macon Judicial Circuit, as did his son. The late Hon. Walker P. Johnson, Jr., practiced with the firm prior to becoming a Judge of the Superior Courts for the Macon Judicial Circuit and the Hon. R. Lanier Anderson, III, Judge, U. S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals was a partner in the firm from 1964 through 1979, Mayor Robert Reichert joined the firm in 1985 and went on to become the first mayor of the consolidated Macon-Bibb and Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kane who was a law clerk for Judge R. Lanier Anderson, United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit (Macon, Ga.) from 1983 through 1984.
JONES, CORK AND MILLER - 1872
Jones, Cork & Miller, LLP is among Macon’s oldest law firms, tracing its beginnings to 1872 when Isaac Hardeman and James H. Blount became partners in the practice of law. After rising from the rank of private to lieutenant colonel and surviving capture twice during the Civil War, Hardeman moved to Macon from nearby Clinton. He was an important figure in the reconstruction of the city of Macon, including chairing the board of trustees of what was then Wesleyan Female College. Blount was also from nearby Clinton and, like his future law partner, enlisted as a private and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel during the Civil War. Elected to Congress in 1872, Blount served for 20 years, being elected to several important chairmanships. President Grover Cleveland appointed him as "Commissioner Paramount" to the Sandwich Islands (now known as Hawaii). The firm thereafter evolved through a succession of partnerships: it became Hardeman & Jones until after the turn of the century; Hardeman, Jones, Callaway & Johnston through World War I; Jones, Jones, Johnston & Russell through the 1920s; Jones, Johnston, Russell & Sparks until the late 1930s; Jones, Jones & Sparks until after World War II; Jones, Sparks, Benton and Cork until 1968; Jones, Cork, Miller & Benton until 1980; and Jones, Cork & Miller through the present.
HALL, BLOCK, GARLAND & MEYER – 1885
Hall, Bloch, Garland & Meyer have been providing exceptional legal service to its clients for well over 125 years. The firm that would eventually become Hall, Bloch, Garland & Meyer has been in continuous existence since the latter part of the 19th century. The firm was originally founded by John J. Hall after he returned to Macon from Washington, D.C. where he worked as an assistant attorney general in the Grover Cleveland administration. In the beginning, his primary client was the Georgia Southern and Florida Railway Company, which is now a part of Norfolk Southern Railway Company, and still a major client of the firm. In the early part of the 20th century, John J. Hall was joined by trial lawyer J. E. Hall and Charles J. Bloch, a leading attorney on constitutional law. Later Ellsworth Hall, Jr., a specialist in railroad law and governmental law, joined the firm and carried on its strong tradition of service.
MARTIN & SNOW - 1890
Martin and Snow’s firm was founded in 1890 when Fred R. Martin opened his law office in Macon. In 1914, he was joined by his son, T. Baldwin Martin, and in 1925, Cubbedge Snow joined the partnership, which then became known as Martin, Martin & Snow. With the addition of George C. Grant in 1938 and Hendley V. Napier in 1942, the firm adopted the name Martin, Snow, Grant & Napier, LLP. Fred R. Martin remained active in the firm until he was struck and killed by an automobile on Cherry Street in 1946. In 2000 the firm styled itself as Martin Snow Grant and Napier and was known by that name until 2002, when the firm shortened its name to Martin Snow, LLP.
DOZIER LAW FIRM – 1966
Dozier law firm has been firmly rooted into the community of Macon since its founding in 1966. Zack Dozier and his attorneys have served the legal needs of people from Macon, Savannah and throughout central Georgia for many years. Dozier Law and the Dozier family have been representing Macon for decades and is invested in its success.