Volunteer Award – Reunion 2003

Gary Freed likes to help people.  He was brought up with a strong commitment to give back to his community, a desire that he fulfills abundantly.

Gary came to Drew from his home in Oceanside, Long Island, because Drew offered just what he wanted—liberal arts, a beautiful campus, strong political science, and no fraternities.  He has good memories of Professor Jerome Cranmer and of Professor Robert Smith’s law classes, and of  the London and Washington semesters.  Several Georgia friendships he made while interning in Washington led him to Emory University School of Law, where he emerged with a J.D. degree in 1981.  After a year with a Mineola, New York firm he returned to practice law in Atlanta, and since November 1985 he has been president and managing principal of Freed & Berman, P.C., specializing in business, real estate, insurance, employment, and catastrophic injury litigation.

A continuing desire to help others takes Gary beyond his work to the areas of politics, civic affairs, education, race relations, and youth activities.  As campaign chair of Judge Denise Majette for Congress he supported an African American woman’s successful campaign, bringing responsible congressional representation to Georgia’s Fourth District.  As president of the DeKalb Bar Association, he initiated the first joint “Bench and Bar” dinner, now an annual event, in conjunction with the all-African American DeKalb Lawyers Association.  He began a Law Day program, arranging to have an attorney speak on the American Bar Association’s Law Day annual topic at each of DeKalb County’s 22 high schools.  His year-long participation in Leadership DeKalb involved race relations, diversity, and economic development.  He is presently active in the American Jewish Committee, concerning domestic and foreign affairs, and has served in leadership positions in two civic associations.  He has done major pro bono work helping the Cliff Valley School to expand its pre-school program into an elementary school, working with the legal aspects of zoning and property purchase and obtaining county construction approval.  This former Drew student government treasurer and senator is a DART full member, serves on Drew’s Atlanta Steering Committee, is a former member of the College Alumni/ae Board, and serves on the C’78 Reunion Committee.

The Freeds–Gary’s wife, Helen Dillon Freed, was formerly associated with him in his law practice–live in Druid Hills, Atlanta with their son, Daniel, age 13, and twin daughters, Abigail and Moriah, 8½ .  He is active in coaching the children’s soccer teams.