There’s no substitute for a good story, and Jim Bishop’s life is a just that. A successful lawyer practicing in Brunswick for his entire career, Bishop was named by Gov. Sonny Perdue in late 2006 to the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents. He’s currently filling the post for the newly redistricted First Congressional District; his term will expire in January 2011.
At age 64, when many contemporaries are heading to the golf course fulltime, Bishop – now a resident of Sea Island – is delighted by the opportunity to serve and give back to the education system he credits for his professional success.
“Early childhood molded me,” says Bishop of growing up in Alma, squarely in the center of Southeast Georgia’s Bacon County. He and his twin brother attended the county’s public schools from kindergarten to high school and together set off to the University of Georgia, where he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 1964. That August he married his wife, Mary, also a Class of ’64 grad, and the couple moved to Macon where Bishop would attend Mercer Law School.
It wasn’t a financial cake walk. “After graduation Dad said, ‘I’d like you to try to make it on your own,’” Bishop recalls. “We had every intention of doing so.”
Mary worked fulltime, and he worked part-time as he made his way through law school. Bishop earned his law degree in 1967 and moved to Brunswick to join Anthony A. Alaimo in legal practice.
In 1971, after Alaimo was appointed a judge for the Southern District of Georgia, Bishop continued his practice with A. Blenn Taylor, Jr., who later was appointed to the Superior Court bench for the Brunswick Judicial District. Despite the comings and goings, The Bishop Law Firm continuously maintained the general practice of law.
Currently, Bishop’s son, James, Jr., practices law with him, something that gives Bishop a great deal of pride, pleasure and confidence as he digs into the new challenge of regent.