Diversity & Community Involvement

Diversity & Community Involvement

Diversity



For many years, a top priority of our strategic plan has been to develop and maintain a more diverse Lewis Thomason by actively recruiting minority and women attorneys to the firm and promoting them within the firm. Of the firm’s 108 attorneys, 36 are women, including 21 female shareholders.  For the past several years, we have actively recruited minority law clerks in each of our offices, enjoyed hosting minority high school summer interns, and developed a minority scholarship at the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville.  We are also in the process of establishing additional scholarships for diverse students at law schools in Memphis and Nashville thereby developing a pipeline of potential diverse attorneys for our firm. 

Lewis Thomason has always considered gender diversity a priority. For the past 25 years, the firm has been successively managed by two female presidents, including the current president who has served as the president and managing partner for the past seven years. The managing shareholder of our Memphis office is female and a religious minority. The chairperson of the shareholders’ compensation committee is female, three of 11 board of directors are women, and four of the firm’s practice group leaders are women. Lewis Thomason’s diverse attorneys serve on internal committees such as the summer associate hiring and social committees and Project 2027, a group of young attorneys tasked with advising the firm president on the future of the firm. We want the diverse attorneys we hire today to be the firm’s leaders of tomorrow.

Retention of our diverse attorneys is a priority for Lewis Thomason.  We recently formed InclusivLT, a diversity, equity, and inclusion committee comprised of a cross-section of attorneys from our firm.  The committee’s goals are an extension of the firm’s strategic plan and include specific hiring goals to be met each year as well as actively working to retain and integrate diverse attorneys through mentoring and training.  Another important aspect to retention of diverse attorneys is how Lewis Thomason supports our attorneys as they grow in their practices. We provide business development training, business of law training, and encourage them to seek additional training that will assist them as they grow in their career. In addition, we provide opportunities for all our attorneys to develop relationships with the clients by accompanying the relationship shareholder to client meetings and client presentations.

We believe retention of diverse attorneys goes hand-in-hand with increasing diverse attorneys in leadership roles in the firm. Lewis Thomason believes in allowing our attorneys to learn and grow with our firm and become leaders as they continue in their career with us. It is our goal to create an inclusive environment so diverse individuals desire to continue with a career at Lewis Thomason long-term.

Attorneys in our firm are leaders of affinity bar associations and committees across the state. Our attorneys serve on the Nashville Bar Association’s Diversity Committee, the Lawyers’ Association for Women Attorneys, Marion Griffin Chapter, and the Association for Women Attorneys, Memphis Chapter, among others. Lewis Thomason encourages our attorneys to become leaders to effect the change we want to see in our legal community. We routinely promote and support minority and women attorneys serving as leaders in community organizations. In addition, our lawyers participate in Diverse Leaders Academy, ALFA International’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee where one of our shareholders is Chair, attend DRI’s Diversity Corporate Expo, and chair multiple boards devoted to diversity and inclusion related issues.

Community involvement

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Lewis Thomason encourages  our attorneys to learn and grow with our firm and become leaders as they continue in their career with us. It is our goal to create an inclusive environment so diverse individuals desire to continue with a career at Lewis Thomason long-term. Our diverse attorneys serve on internal committees such as the summer associate social committee, Project 2027 (a group of young attorneys tasked with advising our firm president on the future of the firm), and the pro bono committee. We want the diverse attorneys we hire today to be the firm's leaders tomorrow.

Attorneys in our firm are leaders of affinity bar associations and committees across the state such as the Nashville Bar Association's Diversity Committee; Lawyers' Association for Women Attorneys, Marion Griffin Chapter; and Association for Women Attorneys, Memphis Chapter.

Lewis Thomason encourages our attorneys to become leaders to effect the change we want to see in our legal community. We routinely promote and support minority and women attorneys serving as leaders in community organizations.

 We have nominated several attorneys for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Middle Tennessee,  30 Under 30 and assisted them in reaching their fundraising goal. The firm has been awarded diversity awards several years in a row from the Nashville Bar Association for contributions to enhance diversity and professional success.

We have several graduates of the Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law program.  Every year we nominate an attorney to participate in the Nashville Young Leaders Council program. William Mynatt, a shareholder in the firm’s Knoxville office, is on the board of Positively Living, Inc. and its subsidiaries Care Choice Health Network and ACT, all of which deal with housing issues and provision of prevention and health care services for HIV and HepC patients. Our firm sponsors the University of Memphis School of Law Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Team, which is comprised exclusively of diverse law students, and we also created a scholarship for diverse students at University of Tennessee School of Law.

Our firm president is dedicated to women’s issues and has served on the boards of the Sexual Assault Center, Junior League, and is currently on the Board of the Women’s Fund. In addition, our lawyers participate in Diverse Leaders Academy, ALFA International’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee where one of our shareholders is Chair, attend DRI’s Diversity Corporate Expo, and chair multiple boards devoted to diversity and inclusion related issues.