State Bar of Georgia
State Bar of Georgia

Georgia legal community mourns loss of Clay Long

June 17, 2021
By Dawn M. Jones

Daily Report

To the Editor:

On behalf of the State Bar of Georgia, I am writing to extend condolences to the family, colleagues and many friends of longtime Atlanta attorney and community leader Clay C. Long after his passing on May 29 at the age of 85. 

A Georgia Bar member since 1964, Mr. Long began his legal career as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black and drafted the landmark ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright, which established the right of representation for indigent criminal defendants. Upon moving to Atlanta, he joined Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan and in 1974 co-founded a corporate and commercial real estate firm, which is now known as McKenna Long & Aldridge. 

Mr. Long served Atlanta and the state in numerous capacities of leadership, including chair of the MARTA board, chair of the Georgia Conservancy, chair of the Georgia Greenspace Commission, chair of the Georgia Land Conservation Partnership and president of the Atlanta United Way. He received the first Leadership Award from the Atlanta Bar Association in 1989 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Anti-Defamation League in 2004.

Clay Long will be missed and fondly remembered by his fellow members of Georgia’s legal community. We appreciate his dedication and the many contributions he made through his service to the public and the justice system.

Dawn M. Jones
President, State Bar of Georgia