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Established in 1905, Waller has a long and distinguished history of community service. One of the oldest law firms in Tennessee, Waller stemmed from modest beginnings as a two-man operation and evolved to become a leader in its field, with close to 200 attorneys and hundreds of professionals serving ten core industries.

Over the past century, Waller has weathered numerous economic downturns, witnessed countless historical events, and adapted to the constantly changing needs of clients—all the while remaining committed to its mission to improve the lives of clients, the community, and the people who work here.

Here's what our senior attorneys say about Waller

Three of our senior attorneys recently sat down to reminisce and attempt a bit of fortune-telling. These are some excerpts from that conversation:




Charlie Trost, Counsel Lew Conner, Counsel Woody Woodruff, Partner

Waller of old

"I first came to Waller in 1963 as a law clerk. I was paid $200 per month. Waller was the second largest firm in town, with nine employees. It was a whole different world. Mr. Waller and Mr. Lansden took a lot of interest in the young lawyers and we learned almost as much about law having lunch with them as we did at our desks!" CHARLIE

"I came to Waller in the mid-80's, after finishing my work in the Tennessee Court of Appeals. I thought I would run for governor, but decided to join Waller—mainly because of Charlie Trost. There were about 40 attorneys then, and only two other firms in Nashville close to that. By then, the legal world was changing dramatically into an era of specialization." LEW

Waller evolves

"There have been many changes in the firm over the years. In the 1980's, we firmly believed that specialization was here to stay. It was that evolution towards specialization that attracted me. I came to Waller to help beef up the litigation team, and stayed ever since." WOODY

"Another important change to the firm in the late 80's was the introduction of a non-practicing managing partner. During that time, there was an intergenerational transfer of leadership at Waller, with a number of retirements. We needed someone to steer us through the transition. Philip Davidson took on that critical role. Today, Teresa Walker manages the firm, while John Tishler manages the attorneys."  LEW

Waller's culture

"Throughout all of the changes at Waller, our biggest asset has always been the culture of the firm. Collegiality is the word to describe it.  At Waller, we share our clients with each other." WOODY

"That respectful treatment extends to associates and professional staff at Waller. Although I left the firm for several years, one of the reasons I came back was because of the way every single person here is treated with respect." LEW

"We work at our culture every day and it manifests itself internally and externally. It's no accident that, year in and year out, Waller leads law firms in public service. We are a leader of legal service professionals in our commitment to making this a better place to live and work." WOODY

Waller's impact on the community

"It is a privilege to have a law license, and we have an obligation to serve the community, and provide public service. It would be hard to find a single good work in Nashville that doesn't have Waller members as part of it." CHARLIE

"Our impact on the community also relates to our work with clients. Our marquis representations reflect that—look at all the businesses that have relocated to middle Tennessee, and provide employment and economic revitalization. We were involved in recruitment for key clients such as Bridgestone, General Motors, Nissan, and the Tennessee Titans. Our fingerprints are all over their decisions to come here." LEW

Waller's future

"There is no doubt that there will be significant challenges to the legal profession as a whole.  We have had many discussions about the future of the law practice, the effect of specialization and technology, and the evolution of legal education. We recognize the challenges brought by the need for businesses to look closely at costs. Law firms will need to determine how to continue to deliver high quality work within client budgets." CHARLIE

"We understand that law firms are essentially dynamic, organic, and complex—you must be willing to change with the times. Over the past fifty years, we learned that creating an organization is like creating an ice sculpture. You need to decide what you want and visualize it, and then knock off what you don't want." WOODY

"Waller has a real advantage in a market that will continue to change. I think we are in a very good position on many fronts. We are in a great community that's growing. Nashville is ranked first on the Top U.S. Growth Cities Report. We are positioned in the premier financial engine, especially for healthcare and manufacturing. Waller has a great future." CHARLIE

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Michael Lee
eMarketing Manager

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