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Michael H. Trotter papers

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Michael H. Trotter papers

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Michael H. Trotter:

A Guide to His Papers at Georgia State University Library

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia, 30303

March 1, 2011

Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-10-01T10:29-0400
Language: English

Collection Summary

Repository: Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
Creator: Trotter, Michael H.
Title: Michael H. Trotter papers
Dates: 1962-2010
Quantity: 46.75 linear feet in 107 boxes
Abstract:Michael H. Trotter (born 1936) has been dedicated to civic and educational reform in his home city of Atlanta. In addition to his career as an attorney, professor of law, and legal historian, he has participated in such civic groups as the Atlanta Action Forum, the Atlanta Committee for Public Education, and Good Government Atlanta, earning recognition for his work toward racial equality and school reform. Trotter's papers, 1962-2010, document civic reform in Atlanta with minutes, correspondence, and printed material such as reports.
Identification: Y001
Language: English

Organization of the Papers

Organized into seven series:
Series I. Atlanta Action Forum, 1971-2006
Series II. Atlanta Urban Design Commission, 1990-2008
Series III. Education Committees ACCESS RESTRICTED
Series IV. Good Government Atlanta ACCESS RESTRICTED
Series V. Research Atlanta, 1965-2005
Series VI. Buckhead Coalition, 1989-1991
Series VII. Civic & Personal Files ACCESS RESTRICTED
Series VIII. Education Files ACCESS RESTRICTED
Series IX. Artifacts and Digital Materials, 1968; 1988-2007

Scope and Content of the Papers

The Michael H. Trotter papers are comprised of correspondence, reports, speeches, articles and newspaper clippings, certificates, bound volumes, resolutions and proclamations spanning more that forty years of civic activism. The materials reflect Trotter's interest and involvement in Atlanta civic affairs from 1962 and 2010 through his work and service with a variety of committees and nonprofit organizations. The papers document Trotter's service in leadership role for Atlanta Action Forum, Atlanta Committee for Public Education, Good Government Atlanta, and Research Atlanta, and his commitment to addressing the city's educational and social problems.

Biography of Michael H. Trotter

Michael H. Trotter was born in Atlanta in 1936 and attended the Clark Howell School and the Henry Grady High School. He graduated from Brown University in 1958 and Harvard University's School of Law in 1962. He has extensive experience as a securities lawyer and with business acquisitions, debt financing, and family businesses. In addition to authoring legal articles and teaching, Trotter, who also earned a Harvard master of arts in history, researched and wrote a historical analysis of the legal profession based on several Atlanta firms. Profit and the Practice of Law: What's Happened to the Legal Profession? (University of Georgia Press, 1997) is considered the definitive work on growth and change in the legal profession in America from 1960 to 1995. His articles on law firm management issues have appeared in the American Bar Association Journal, the National Law Journal, Southern Legal History, and the Fulton County Daily Report.

Trotter received the Distinguished Service Award of the Atlanta Business League in 1986 for his contributions to improving racial relations in Atlanta. In 2000 he was awarded the Igniting a Passion for Justice Award of the Southern Regional Council for his work in public school reform and for the creation of Good Government Atlanta, Research Atlanta, and the Atlanta Committee for Public Education. Mike Trotter is a leading corporate and finance attorney, and has been recognized in the Best Lawyers in America since 1998. Mr. Trotter has spoken on numerous occasions to civic clubs in Atlanta including speeches to the Atlanta Rotary Club and the Hungry Club Forum of the Butler Street YMCA.

He has also been involved in state and local politics. Mr. Trotter was active in Jimmy Carter's successful 1970 campaign for Governor. He served the first two mayoral campaigns for Maynard Jackson (1973, 1977) as the Co-Chairman of the group Lawyers for Maynard Jackson. He has served in numerous other campaigns for Atlanta mayor, City Council seats and presidency, the Fulton County Commission, and the Atlanta Board of Education.

Mr. Trotter has been an Adjunct Professor of Law and Research Fellow at the Emory University School of Law. He has taught courses in securities law, as well as in legal service delivery and law practice economics with a focus on how law firms can provide their clients with more cost-effective legal services. Mr. Trotter has often written and spoken on the topics of law firm economics, the cost-effective practice of law, various topics concerning corporation and securities laws, and on good government, public education, poverty and racial relations.

Being a native Atlantan, Trotter's concern involved a wide variety of community and political affairs. Trotter's civic engagement has included establishing a number of committees and groups, including being a founding member of the Atlanta Action Forum, a committee comprised of civic minded businessmen working to resolve social problems facing Atlanta. He served as its secretary, 1971-1992. Mr Trotter has worked tirelessly to reform and improve the Atlanta Public School System. Presently he serves as President and Director of Good Government Atlanta, a committee working to improve the public schools, and is a member of the Atlanta Committee for Public Education. A founder of the committee, he served as its secretary, 1994-2002. Good Government Atlanta has actively participated in the last four Atlanta City elections by seeking able candidates for the Board of Education and supporting them.

Mr. Trotter has been a partner in the law firms of Alston, Miller & Gaines (now Alston & Bird); Trotter, Boudurant, Griffin, Miller & Hishon; Trotter Smith & Jacobs; Kilpatrick Stockton; and Taylor English Duma. Mr. Trotter's wife, Sue, has been a member of the Board of the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), and was one of the co-founders of the Science and Technology Museum of Atlanta (SciTrek).

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Atlanta Action Forum
Atlanta Urban Design Commission (Ga.)
Calloway, W. L. (William L.), 1908-1999
Lane, Mills B. (Mills Bee), 1912-1989
African American civic leaders--Georgia--Atlanta
Career education--United States
Charter schools--United States
Community development--Georgia--Atlanta
Educational change--Georgia--Atlanta
Education--United States
Historic preservation--Georgia--Atlanta
Human services--Georgia--Atlanta
Intergovernmental fiscal relations--Georgia--Fulton County
Public schools--Georgia--Atlanta
Regional planning--Georgia--Atlanta Metropolitan Area
Urban policy--Georgia--Atlanta
Urban renewal--Georgia--Atlanta
Atlanta (Ga.)--Economic conditions
Atlanta (Ga.)--Race relations
Buckhead (Atlanta, Ga.)
Fulton County (Ga.)--Politics and government
clippings (information artifacts)
minutes (administrative records)


Restrictions on Access

Access is restricted to materials until 15 years have passed from the respective dates of their creation. This finding aid lists parts of the collection to which access is not restricted. Consult Special Collections and Archives staff for more information.

All material will be unrestricted in 2025.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Administrative Information


[item], [folder title], [series title], Michael H. Trotter papers, Y001, Social Change Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Michael H. Trotter, accessions Y2006-01, Y2007-01, and Y2009-02.

Processing Information

Processed by Hilary Morrish, 2011-2012.

Related Material

Related materials in this repository
Michael H. Trotter oral history interview, June 9 and 15, 2009, Social Change Collection (Y2003-03)
Nell H. Trotter papers, Archives for Research on Women and Gender (W036)
W.L. Callaway oral history interview, October 21, 1992, Georgia Government Documentation Project, Series L (P1992-13)

Related materials in other repositories
Michael H. Trotter Papers and Legal Files, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia, Athens

Separated Material

Separated material: During processing, printed books and reports were separated to the Special Collections and Archives book collection.

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