Mary Rae Phelps has a full plate.
She recently became one of the newest members of the Georgia Bar Association, plus she's serving as the new law clerk for Chief Superior Court Judge Roger W. Dunaway Jr. and Judge Harold Hinesley.
Miss Phelps, who earned communications and law degrees from the University of Georgia, is in her second week of serving as the new law clerk to the two local judges within the Toombs Judicial Circuit. She completed her undergraduate education at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, where she played on the varsity tennis team for four years.
"I'm delighted to have Mary Rae as our new law clerk," said Judge Dunaway, who administered the oath of office to Miss Phelps as one of the state's newest lawyers. During a special ceremonie held inside the courtroom of McDuffie County Superior Court in Thomson last Thursday morning, Judge Dunaway congratulated Miss Phelps on having passed her recent bar examination.
"I congratulate her on becoming a new lawyer and for accepting the position as our new law clerk," added Judge Dunaway.
"I too, am delighted to have Mary Rae working with us as our new law clerk," said Judge Hinesley. "I think she will do a fine job for us."
Attending the ceremony were a number of relatives and friends, including her father, Dr. Raymond Phelps - a retired general surgeon from Bibb County, and her mother, Connie. Dr. Phelps has a number of relatives who live in McDuffie and Warren counties.
Miss Phelps, who currently is staying with her first cousin, Tommy Phelps, and his wife, Donna, at their home in Thomson, worked for nearly a year at Turner Trade Group in Atlanta - a division of Turner Broadcasting.
"I'd like to somehow, one day, combine the two degrees, maybe working as a lawyer on cases involving first amendment rights," said Miss Phelps. "Right now, I'm just happy being where I am and being surrounded by so many helpful and generous people."
Miss Phelps also hinted that she has some interests in possibly working as an assistant prosecutor. Additionally, she also has aspirations of maybe working with CNN or FOX News or even Court TV Network someday.
"Right now, I'm just keeping the doors open to a lot of opportunities," said Miss Phelps.
As for working as a law clerk for two different judges, Miss Phelps said, "I'm already into my second week and I really love the job. I'm looking forward to this being a very valuable learning experience."
One of the most interesting aspects of the job thus far is the interactions with so many different people, said Miss Phelps.
"That's my favorite part of the job," she explained. "I've been so humbled by the kindness and generosity shown to me. I hope I can show that back to the people who have welcomed me to this community."
As a new lawyer, Miss Phelps said she will take the oath rendered to her by Judge Dunaway in a serious manner.
"I promise never to compromise my morals as a lawyer or to do anything that would bring disrespect to this profession," she added.
In her spare time, Miss Phelps enjoys spending time with friends - many of whom have been getting married of late, as well as playing tennis, reading and singing.