Since graduating from Davidson College in 1978, Bertis Downs has lived in Athens, Georgia, where he received his law degree in 1981 from the University of Georgia’s School of Law. He represented the band R.E.M. throughout the band’s career and has remained an advisor to their various endeavors since disbandment. In 1988 Downs originated the Entertainment Law course at the University School of Law. Since then, he has regularly nourished his interest in teaching by speaking at various continuing legal education, law schools and music industry conferences. His main civic and charitable interest emphasizes advocacy for our nation’s public schools. He is a member of the boards of Network for Public Education and People For the American Way. His focus is on fighting the growing corporatization of public schools to the detriment of the teaching and learning that goes on in them.