Fourth generation of attorneys added

Published 4:09 pm Thursday, June 2, 2011

A FOURTH GENERATION ATTORNEY IN THE KIRBO FAMILY was sworn in on Wednesday. Bruce Wheat Kirbo III was sworn in by Superior Court Chief Justice A. Wallace Cato, who noted the legacy the Kirbo family has had on the county’s legal profession. From the left, are Bruce Kirbo Jr., the father of Wheat; Wheat, who is the great-grandson of Ben Kirbo, the first attorney in the lineage; Bruce Kirbo Sr., the grandfather of Wheat; and Cato.

BEING SWORN IN IS Bruce Wheat Kirbo III, third from the left. With him are his parents, Bruce and Nancy Kirbo, and Judge A. Wallace Cato.

A fourth generation from a family of attorneys has been added to the county’s ranks.

Bruce Wheat Kirbo III—the son of Bruce and Nancy Kirbo Jr., the grandson of Bruce and Cass Kirbo Sr., and the great-grandson of the late Ben and Ethel Kirbo—was sworn in by Superior Court Chief Justice A. Wallace Cato on Wednesday in the main courtroom of the Decatur County Courthouse.

Wheat Kirbo is a 2010 graduate of the University of Georgia Law School and he took the Bar exam in February. Last Friday, he received the results that he had passed the Bar exam.

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Cato said that the day was special for him because of his long relationship with this family of lawyers.

“Today is a super, special thrill,” Cato said.

The judge listed members of the Kirbo family who were attorneys in Decatur County and Georgia, and Cato noted that Wheat Kirbo was the next generation of attorneys in one family.

“When you think of that, that’s a huge impact on the legal community here,” Cato said, adding that Wheat Kirbo’s side is just part of the Kirbo legacy.

Cato also emphasized what an accomplishment it is to become an attorney and to pass the Bar exam, saying he genuinely appreciated anyone with the fortitude to get to that level of education and accomplishment.

Cato told Kirbo that the practice of law is like a jealous mistress.

“It only expects 110 percent of you,” Cato said, adding later that the practice of law carries a heavy burden.

“You have the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of many people in your hands,” Cato said.

At the end of the ceremony, Cato handed Kirbo his “first dollar,” which Cato had folded into the shape of a shirt.