Waller is committed to creating and fostering a welcoming workplace and community for female and minority lawyers, paralegals and staff.
In 2008, Waller’s Diversity Committee established the “Diversity Mentoring Project." Through this effort, each new minority or female associate is paired with one of Waller’s top 25 attorneys to learn about developing a successful career, and establishing and growing a profitable practice. Through this program, young diverse attorneys have access to the time and attention of the most successful lawyers in the firm.
The Chair of the firm and other senior leaders regularly host dinners with our diverse attorneys to discuss their personal and professional goals. These candid conversations allow the attorneys to speak freely about their development and to assess their advancement within the firm.
The firm prohibits discrimination against any member of the Waller community based on sexual orientation, and we were one of the first law firms in Nashville to offer full health and insurance benefits to same-sex partners. Waller has also reached out to the Tennessee LGBT community by sponsoring the annual Equality Dinner hosted by the Tennessee chapter of the Human Rights Campaign. Waller is a corporate sponsor of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and a Waller partner serves on the Chamber's Board of Directors.
In addition, Waller is a founding sponsor of the Tennessee Stonewall Bar Association, an association of attorneys, judges, law students, paralegals, and other legal professionals who support the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, and oppose discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender identity. Meeting at least on a quarterly basis, one meeting is held at Waller each year. Two Waller partners and one Waller paralegal serve on Stonewall's Board of Directors while additional Waller attorneys are members.
Waller also participates in Pro Bono legal clinics for the LGBT community through Nashville Cares. For the past two years, we have co-sponsored programs at Vanderbilt Law School. Our first program, "Dialogues in Law and Religion: The Future of Gay Marriage," was co-hosted with Vanderbilt Law School's OUTLaw and the Divinity School's GABLE groups. Our most recent program, co-sponsored with Vanderbilt OUTLaw, was a panel discussion on the timely topic of school bullying, Tennessee's proposed "Don't Say Gay" legislation, and the First Amendment.
Women's Leadership Council
Established over 15 years ago, the Women's Leadership Council initiative—comprised of women attorneys at Waller—provides peer mentoring, conducts specialized training programs addressing issues faced by women professionals at all stages of their practice careers, organizes special networking events, and teaches business development skills.
Our women attorneys also are actively involved in numerous professional and business organizations. This involvement serves to expand their professional networks as well as to provide leadership opportunities. Organizations in which Waller women attorneys have been active include:
- CABLE (a professional women's networking group)
- Lawyers’ Association for Women
- Legal Association of Women
- Nashville Catholic Business Women’s League
- Nashville Women’s Political Caucus
- National Association of African-Americans in Human Resources
- Urban Leagues of Young Professionals
- Women’s Bar Association
Waller provides financial support to a wide range of organizations and events that support women and women in business:
- "Men Who Believe in Women 'Good Guy' Awards," the annual award given to men who support women in measurable ways. Two of the firm's male partners have served as co-chairs of the event
- 85th anniversary of women's suffrage
- Girl Scout Council of Middle Tennessee - firm partner E. Marlee Mitchell serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scout Council of Middle Tennessee
- Lawyers' Association of Women (LAW)
- Nashville ATHENA Awards
- Nashville Women's Political Caucus
- Third Annual Economic Summit for Women presented by the Tennessee Economic Council on Women and the Women’s Economic Council Foundation, Inc., October 2006
- The YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee – firm partner Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr. serves as a member of the Board of Directors, and partner Miranda K. Kelley has also served as a member of the Board.