WHY I ...

Why I ... Spend My Sundays at the Museum—Ed Snow, Burr & Forman

, Daily Report

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Ed Snow's fascination with ancient artifacts from the Middle East led him to Emory's Michael C. Carlos Museum.
Ed Snow's fascination with ancient artifacts from the Middle East led him to Emory's Michael C. Carlos Museum.

My passion for art of the ancient world stems from months of working toward a master's degree in theology at St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore. Unfortunately (and fortunately), my legal career took off and I was unable to complete the degree. However, my interest in artifacts from the ancient Near East (the modern Middle East) continued even when I moved to Atlanta in 1994.

My first visit to the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University was for a Sunday outing with my family to see the "Royal Tombs of Ur" exhibit in 2002-2003. I quickly realized the museum had great appeal to visitors of all ages and wanted to share these artifacts with other art lovers.

I began bringing friends and colleagues to the Michael C. Carlos Museum on a regular basis to tell them about the artifacts. With the museum's blessing, I started leading groups of 10 to 15 people on Sunday afternoons. For the next three years, I will serve as co-chairman with Dirk Brown of the museum's board of advisers, where we are tasked with fundraising efforts, friend-raising efforts and program development for visitors of all ages.

This year, I was able to implement a program at the museum hosting a Georgia CLE program on professionalism and ethics. We incorporated legal and mythological texts that deal with ethical issues found among the museum's artifacts from ancient Egypt, Israel, Iraq and Iran with discussions of modern-day ethical and professionalism considerations for lawyers.

The museum has a significant collection of legal contracts that date to thousands of years ago. The CLE covered topics that still hold relevance to today's legal profession, including the use of sealed contracts to not only demonstrate due authority of signers to contracts, but also to avoid fraud.

The museum CLE received unexpectedly high reviews from in-house counsel and private practice attorneys from firms of all sizes, with the result that we plan to make this an annual CLE event.

Ed Snow is a partner at Burr & Forman, where he is chairman of the firm's banking and real estate practice group.

Why I …, the Daily Report's reader-contributed essay series, explores what motivates, inspires and compels us to do what we do. Tell us why you ... . For more information or to pitch your "Why I …," contact Mary Smith Judd, special projects editor, at 404-419-2841 or mjudd@alm.com.

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