Last month, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Lisa Ramsay Cole shared reflections on our Special Counsel John Manson and his many accomplishments inside and outside the practice of law. This month, we are excited to share reflections on a number of contributors to Black History, including Judge Leland Clure Morton, who played an integral part in desegregating Nashville public schools and was a Lewis Thomason founding attorney. There is much more to come on that, but I will start our Black History Month celebration with reflections on Isaac Conner with whom we have a strategic alliance.
Isaac Conner, Esq. is an owner and executive vice president at A3 Athletics, serving as a sports agent for both NFL and NBA clientele, and a partner at one of Tennessee’s only Black-owned law firms, Manson Johnson Conner, LLP, where he is the managing partner. Isaac’s law firm is a full-service firm, with focuses that include corporation organization, healthcare, workers’ compensation, and personal injury law. But Isaac’s impact does not stop here. In addition to managing his own sports agency and a thriving law firm, Isaac is a law professor at the state’s flagship university where he teaches negotiations to the University of Tennessee College of Law’s second and third-year students and provides counsel to countless students.
Additionally, Isaac is a founding member of the Tennessee Alliance of Black Lawyers (“TABL”), a premier bar association dedicated to the advancement of Black attorneys. Isaac founded that organization believing that the state’s minority lawyers have a voice, and that voice must be heard in order for the Tennessee bar to reach its fullest potential. Over the span of decades, TABL, under Isaac’s direct leadership, has touched hundreds of careers and been instrumental in the careers of Black lawyers in diverse practices and judgeships across Tennessee.
Isaac matriculated through the University of Tennessee system for undergrad, graduate, and law school, earning three degrees. He is a proud member of the nationally recognized and respected Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., founded in 1911. He shares two sons with his better half, Nalini, a clinical psychologist. His family is of paramount importance to him, and he spends a great deal of time coaching youth athletics for his sons; yet somehow, he continues to make time to ensure the advancement of Black attorneys in the Tennessee bar while maintaining multiple successful careers.
Isaac is a friend of Lewis Thomason and credits the firm with his start in, and success at, the practice of the law. Immediately after law school graduation, Isaac clerked for Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Brothers. Thereafter, Isaac joined Lewis Thomason as a baby lawyer where our deep seasoned bench taught Isaac the practice of the law. At Lewis Thomason, we believe in supporting attorneys in their highest and best use. For Isaac, his highest and best use was civil litigation with a focus on commercial law, workers’ compensation, and insurance defense fueled, in part, by his deep mastery of the law, wit, and infectious personality that was made for successful litigation. At Lewis Thomason, we are known for supporting our young lawyers in obtaining real litigation experience, including first-chair opportunities and, with this support, Isaac earned numerous civil jury and bench trial wins early in his career. With the support of seasoned Lewis Thomason shareholders like Chuck Cagle, R. Dale Bay, Lisa Cole, and myself, Isaac grew into a phenomenal civil trial lawyer with transferable skills that allowed him to pivot and create a criminal practice that was both profitable and results-oriented securing various defense verdicts for Lewis Thomason clients across Middle Tennessee.
Although Isaac’s work and passion led him to pursue his entrepreneurial interests that resulted in his branching out on his own to create A3 Athletics, his thriving sports agency, and his law firm, Isaac has stayed connected with Lewis Thomason. Isaac’s contributions to Lewis Thomason include paying it forward by assisting with recruitment, retention, and promotion of young diverse attorneys, mentoring diverse attorneys, and contributing to our diversity committee as an outside voice and consultant. Recently, Isaac spearheaded a strategic alliance between with his law firm and Lewis Thomason. Founded on the two law firms’ shared values, this collaboration leverages the firms’ collective diversity of expertise, experience, and perspective to optimize client outcomes in an ever-changing legal landscape. As I noted at the inception, Lewis Thomason is excited to strategically expand our client service by working with Manson Johnson Conner, LLP. Collectively, our current and future clients are interested in the action of diversity, making sure that our work reflects that of a changing legal environment. Both law firms are enjoying building our relationship and creating new business opportunities. Isaac is the epitome of a leader, attorney, business owner, and family man, who is also a Black professional setting a high bar for all attorneys and paving a way that makes room at the proverbial table of opportunity for lawyers of colors. We are proud to call Isaac a friend and supporter of Lewis Thomason, and to know that we played a small role in his unstoppable upward trajectory. Isaac Conner is Black History