Wyatt recognizes the benefits of attaining diversity at all levels of our Firm. Wyatt continually seeks to recruit, develop and retain the highest level of legal talent and to promote and develop that talent without regard to race, color, gender, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, age, disability, military or veteran status.
To that end, Wyatt strives to increase the diversity of its applicant pool by actively recruiting an increased number of qualified candidates to participate in the application process. Wyatt also focuses on the development and retention of its attorneys through efforts such as its formal mentoring program, associate orientation and ongoing training programs.
What Does Black History Month Mean to Wyatt’s Lawyers?
Click below to see how Black History Month impacts the practices of our attorneys:
Diversity Initiatives and Achievements
- Wyatt is a member of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (“LFAA”). The LFAA works with more than 300 Alliance Firms as well as legal services organizations to create large-scale, coordinated pro bono projects, including initiatives that address systemic racism. Mitzi Wyrick and Michelle Wyrick serve as the Firm’s liaisons to the LFAA.
- Wyatt is a three-time recipient of DuPont’s “Meeting the Challenge” award for our efforts to promote diversity in the legal profession.
- The Firm has received International Paper Company’s Legal Department’s “Lighthouse” award for our efforts in promoting diversity in the legal profession.
- Wyatt has established the “Wyatt Women’s Network,” to give our female attorneys, clients and referral sources opportunities to meet in relaxed social environments where connections can be made and friendships strengthened.
The Wyatt Diversity Committee
Wyatt’s Diversity Committee is comprised of partners and associates representing all of the Firm’s offices. The mission of Wyatt’s Diversity Committee is to ensure the Firm maintains best practices in the recruitment and retention of lawyers so we can meet our goal of having a team of excellent lawyers that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve.
The Diversity Committee is chaired by Odell Horton, and its members include: Don Kelly, Cindy Young, Sharon Gold, and Joe Stennis.
Wyatt Pipeline Building Initiatives
Wyatt is actively involved in several initiatives aimed at increasing the number of minorities entering the profession of law:
- Wyatt created a scholarship for minority law students in honor of our former partner, Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks, at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Dr. Hooks was the former Executive Director of the NAACP, and joined Wyatt to assist the Firm’s clients with diversity initiatives. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor in 2007. Dr. Hooks remained a member of our Firm until his passing in early 2010.
- Wyatt’s Louisville office participates in a summer internship program for Central High School students. Central High is an historic, inner-city school and is the alma mater of Muhammad Ali and generations of local black leaders. Since the inception of the program, Wyatt has employed over 25 students, many on a full-time basis, for the summer. These students are participants in the Jefferson County Legal/Government Career Magnet Program. The students are assigned an attorney mentor and are included in many different Firm events throughout the summer. One participant, second year intern Dwight Haggard, expressed his gratitude by stating in the Louisville Bar Association’s Bar Briefs, “It’s not the work I do, it’s the people I meet. It’s like they’re all fighting for me to succeed…whatever I need, they’ll get it for me. They invest in me to do better. I’m so grateful for it.”
- Wyatt’s Lexington office is participating in the LFUCG Summer Youth Job Training Program this summer. The six week program provides real-world job experience to high school students by pairing them up to work for local employers. The program’s goal is to help the students develop quality job skills and workforce experience. Mattie Morton, SYJTP program administrator, said the program is a wonderful way for businesses to help mentor local youth and foster an environment where they can learn valuable and necessary skills for the workplace.
Diversity in Leadership
Wyatt prepares and encourages women and minority members of the Firm to assume leadership roles, both inside and outside the Firm, and to attain success as business developers. Some notable examples are:
- Carole Christian serves as the Partner in Charge of our largest office in Louisville.
- Cindy Young just rolled off as Chairman of the Firm’s Executive Committee.
- Women and minority members actively participate in the management of the Firm, chairing various Firm committees and practice groups, including the Professional Personnel Recruiting Committee, Professional Personnel Evaluation Committee and the Health Care, Natural Resources & Environmental, Employment Practices Liability, Data Privacy & Security and Financial Institutions group, as well as serving as members of the Firm Diversity Committee.
- Jimmy Bradshaw is a Director of Kids on the Block of Middle Tennessee, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to educating elementary school children on, among other things, diversity issues. Wyatt is a regular sponsor of Kids on the Block events and fundraisers.
- Sussan Harshbarger was born in Mexico City, Mexico and raised in a multi-cultural environment. She is fluent in the Latin American culture and can speak, read and write Spanish fluently. Her unique background enables her to advise Spanish speaking clients, including those doing business in Puerto Rico and Latin America.
- Kelly Henry is past president of the Women Lawyers Association of Jefferson County.
- Karen Greenwell is involved with The National Conference of Community and Justice, a human relations organization that promotes understanding and respect among all races, religions and cultures through advocacy, conflict resolution and education.
- Mitzi Wyrick is President of the Board of Directors of Dreams with Wings.