Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, March 29, 2019

Hawkins joins D.C. bar in an unusual ceremony

Chancellor Pamela Fleenor inducts attorney Megan Hatcher Hawkins into the Washington, D.C. bar. - Photo by David Laprad | Hamilton County Herald

A shuttered federal government and a daughter in town to visit family gave a recent swearing-in ceremony in a local courtroom a slight twist.

Chancellor Pamela Fleenor inducted attorney Megan Hatcher Hawkins, daughter of local attorney Paul Hatcher, in her courtroom March 25.

At the conclusion of the brief ceremony, the chancellor welcomed Hawkins not to the Tennessee bar but the Washington, D.C. bar, where Hawkins is serving as assistant counsel with the Office of Legislative Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Hawkins would have been sworn into the D.C. bar in January, but the event was canceled due to the government shutdown, leaving 1,140 applicants scrambling to find a notary or judge to complete the oath.

Most of Hawkins’ law school friends went to a notary at a bank. But Hawkins’ family wanted her to have a more formal ceremony and asked Chancellor Fleenor, a longtime family friend, to swear her in. “It was lovely to get to do this with her instead of a stranger,” Hawkins said after the ceremony.

“It was an honor to swear in Megan, my having watched her develop as a professional,” said Chancellor Fleenor. “With her intelligence and drive, I know she’ll be a successful attorney.”

Hawkins was also thrilled with the attendance of people from her father’s firm, Duncan, Hatcher, Holland & Fleenor, where she clerked during law school. “Everyone in that office helped to shape my legal education and get me to where I am today,” she says.

Hawkins is a 2018 graduate of American University. She passed the D.C. bar last year, as well.

While a second-year law student, Hawkins interned for the Parliamentarian’s Office of the U.S. Congress. While there, she helped to rewrite the legislature’s procedural rules, which had not been updated for several decades.

“We’re all very proud,” said Hatcher, 2015 president of the Chattanooga Bar Association. “Megan will be working principally in the area of energy and transportation, which over the next decade will be an interesting and rapidly changing area of the law.”

Hawkins is a 2006 graduate of Hixson High School and a 2010 (Bachelor of Arts) and 2013 (MBA) graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She’s married to Hunter Hawkins and lives in Arlington, Virginia.

“I’m glad I had the option to come home and do this right,” Hawkins said. “That moment is much more meaningful when you can include family and friends.”