Stacey Garrett Koju concentrates her law practice in the areas of higher education, corporate transactions, immigration, healthcare, and government relations. Her practice includes business transactions and strategic legal advice, review and negotiation of complex contracts, commercial loans and leases, estimation and mitigation of risk, internal corporate governance, employment, charitable giving and deaccessioning, gift deviation and cy pres, and immigration related matters. Stacey also serves as general counsel for many of her clients. She is a founding member of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC and chair of the firm’s Board of Directors.
Stacey believes that founding the law firm is one of her most personally satisfying accomplishments and says she is driven by her law partners and the firm’s staff who truly embody the firm’s motto, Law. Life. Passion. She believes that the energy of the firm’s attorneys and staff is the reason the firm forges extraordinary client relationships.
Stacey’s experience in serving as general counsel for her clients includes employment matters, executive contracts, compensation and severance negotiations, complex commercial contracts and disputes, risk management, regulatory compliance and matters of corporate governance.
Stacey also counsels nonprofit organizations on best practices for ethical and accountability standards, board oversight and authority, and internal disputes.
Stacey is experienced in managing and resolving internal and governmental investigations of for profit and nonprofit organizations.
As general counsel to Fisk University, Stacey managed a team of litigators over the course of a seven year case, including multiple appeals. The University sought to reform the terms of a gift document for 101 works of art given to the University by Georgia O’Keeffe as the executrix of her husband Alfred Stieglitz’s estate. Ultimately, our client Fisk University prevailed and was permitted to lift outdated restrictions to appropriately preserve the collection of art and enter into a sharing arrangement with Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Stacey has represented numerous professionals in temporary and permanent employment-based immigration, including the following categories: H-1B, TN, L, O and P. Representative industries she has assisted with immigration work include higher education, fashion design, entertainment, health care technology, medical, information technology, manufacturing and religious. Her experience includes H, L and O visas, and all employment-based preference categories.
In 2003, former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen appointed Stacey to serve as a Commissioner on the Tennessee Human Rights Commission through 2009. In 2009, he reappointed Stacey to serve on the Commission through 2015, where she served as the chair. Bredesen also designated her to serve on a Judicial Redistricting Study Committee and the Committee to Study the Administration of the Death Penalty.
Stacey was formerly Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. of Memphis. Also early in her legal career, she served as Associate General Counsel for Background America, Inc. and AMICUS Staffing, Inc. and as Director of Legal Affairs for Corrections Partners, Inc.
Professional Recognition and Activities
- "Legal Challenge" Award of Excellence, YWCA, 2014
- Leadership Tennessee Inaugural Class, 2013
- Most Powerful Women, Nashville Post, 2013
- InCharge, Nashville Post, 2013, 2017
- InCharge, Nashville Medical News, 2017
- Napier Looby Trailblazer Award, 2013
- Leadership Nashville, Class of 2012
- YWCA Academy for Women of Achievement Honoree, 2012
- Women’s Center at Tennessee State University: “Woman of Legion and Merit,” 2012
- ATHENA Nominee, 2011 and 2013
- Women of Influence, Entrepreneur, Nashville Business Journal, 2007
- Best of the Bar - Immigration Law, Nashville Business Journal, multiple years
- Nashville Leadership Program, Partnership Institute, 2003-2004
- Top 40 Under 40, Tennessean, 2003
- Nashville Bar Association: Board of Directors, 2007-2010
- Tennessee Bar Association
Stacey believes deeply in community investment through charitable and civic activities. She began her commitment to community service at the age of 14, volunteering in a nursing home. There she learned the value of service to others and continues to participate in charitable activities throughout the state. Stacey is a vocal supporter of diversity, inclusion and individual empowerment.
- Leadership Tennessee: Chair, Advisory Council
- Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Inc.: Board Member
- National Museum of African American Music: Board Member
- Abe’s Garden: Board Member
- The Links, Inc.: Member
- Women’s Fund – Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee: Former Advisory Board Member
- YWCA, Former Board Member
- Tennessee Human Rights Commission: Former Chair of the Board
- Special Olympics of Tennessee: Former Board Member
- Make-A-Wish of Middle Tennessee: Former Board Member and Wish Committee Member
- Leadership Nashville, Class of 2012
- Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau: Former ex officio Board Member and Lead Counsel
- Metropolitan Nashville Board of Zoning Appeals: Former Board Member
- Tennessee Judicial Redistricting Study Committee
- Tennessee Committee to Study the Administration of the Death Penalty
- Women’s Executive Roundtable, Interdenominational Service Organization of American, 2010 through 2017
- Diversity, Emerge Tennessee, 2017
- Diversity, The Marion Griffin Women’s Symposium, 2017
- LLC, Sole Proprietorship, S-Corp, etc: What’s the Best for Me? And For Sale: Your Internet Browsing History, National Association of Catering Executives, Nashville Chapter, 2017
- Panelist for Tennessee Bar Association’s Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity Job Fair, 2012
- National Origin Discrimination, Tennessee Human Rights Commission’s Employment Law Seminar, 2010
Stacey is a native Nashvillian. She an avid runner and an adventure travel enthusiast. Even though she says she’s afraid of heights, Stacey has rappelled twice down the side of a 27-story office building to benefit the Special Olympics of Tennessee, once down the side of a 20-story hotel to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, and has also trekked to Mt. Everest Base Camp at an elevation of 18,192 feet.