NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2023

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC - Firm Wide

Diversity & Inclusion

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Diversity Chair

Diversity Chair Prefix Mr.
Diversity Chair First Name Todd
Diversity Chair Last Name Rolapp

Diversity Contact Information

Diversity Contact Prefix Ms.
Diversity Contact First Name Michele
Diversity Contact Last Name Bendekovic
Link to your organization's diversity website

Recruitment methods

Which of the following methods do you use to increase the presence and retention of under-represented groups? (Check all that apply) Diversity job fairs
Outreach to law student groups
Formal mentoring efforts
Recruit at schools with large minority populations
Bar-sponsored programs
Firm diversity committee
Recruit at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)

Our firm is committed to building a workplace rich in diversity that reflects our profession and the communities in which we live and serve. Diversity, therefore, is essential to our firm’s continued success. It enables us to better understand and appreciate the complexity of our clients’ experiences and points of view. We believe that diverse legal teams bring broader perspectives to problem-solving, resulting in better solutions for our clients. Everyone at the firm shares the responsibility of building a workplace rich in diversity. This responsibility and commitment starts at the highest level with our Executive Committee. Our Executive Committee adopted a Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan that contains five core components – leadership, culture, advancement, recruitment and communications. By designing our plan in this manner, our leadership demonstrates its commitment to our diversity and inclusion goals and actions; leads the building and sustainability of an inclusive culture; and takes accountability for diversity and inclusion at the firm. Our diversity plan focuses on identifying, recruiting and retaining attorneys who will contribute varied backgrounds and perspectives to our existing attorney base. However, it is not enough to hire diverse attorneys. We are committed to the development of all of our attorneys into productive partners and managers of the firm. The firm has developed several affinity groups that bring together individuals to support one another through shared experiences and assist the firm in our various ongoing diversity efforts.

Non-discrimination policy

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC complies with all laws governing discrimination in hiring and employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap or disability, or sexual orientation.

Diversity fellowships or scholarships

Does your organization or office sponsor/offer a Diversity Fellowship or Scholarship? Yes
If yes, is the program open to 1L|2L|Other
Please provide a brief description of the program

The firm devotes significant efforts and resources to developing a pipeline of diverse students, lawyers and professionals interested in a career in the legal profession. In addition to participating as an active member in the Leadership Counsel on Legal Diversity Fellowship Program, our commitment to diversity includes the following diversity scholarships:

  • Bass Berry & Sims Diversity Scholarship Program (awards scholarship funds to up to two law students who demonstrate a commitment to advancing diversity in the legal industry during their 1L and 2L summers and upon joining the firm as a first year associate)
  • Diversity Leadership Endowment at the University of Tennessee College of Law
  • Diversity Scholarship Program at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
  • Two Bass Berry & Sims Scholarships at Fisk University (awards scholarship funds to two undergraduate students interested in pursuing a legal career)

In addition to the above, our firm participates in a number of pipeline programs that are focused in the cities and communities where we live and work.  Examples include the Nashville and Memphis Bar Associations High School Internship Programs; Opportunity NOW High School Internship Program, The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law Summer Trial & Advocacy Institute, LCLD Scholars Partnership with Bridgestone and the YCAP Black and Latino Achievers Programs.

Affinity group information

Does your organization or office have affinity groups? Yes
If yes, please describe your affinity groups below

Our firm offers six affinity groups: African-American Affinity Group, Asian Attorneys Group, Hispanic/Latin American Affinity Group, Pride Affinity Group (LGBTQ+), Women's Initiative Network and Working Parents Initiative.