Bone McAllester Norton attorney and chairman, Charles W. Bone, spoke at the Nashville Bar Association’s Diversity Summit on “Elevating Diverse Attorneys for Success” on March 1st, 2018. Bone has always believed in the necessity of creating a diverse team of attorneys and staff. He began his legal career during the heart of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Bone felt personally responsible to advocate for equal rights for diverse professionals.
In 2002, Charles W. Bone and Stacey Garrett Koju began Bone McAllester Norton PLLC with a commitment to each other that the firm would be intentional about its diversity. Koju, Bone McAllester Norton’s Board Chair, and Bone sought to create a firm that would reflect the belief that quality legal representation begins by first reflecting their clients and the communities they are from.
Bone shared how the firm intentionally closes on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day. Our Annual MLK Fellowship Breakfast is one way we provide our attorneys, staff, and communities with an opportunity to reflect upon where we were 50 years ago and where we need to be today. As a leading law firm in Nashville, we want to honor the leaders who came before us who fought for equality and the basic human rights of all individuals.
Bone, along with Junaid Odubeko, Audrey J. Anderson, and Saul Solomon, identified the importance of equipping diverse attorneys with mentors of the same race, providing current attorneys with the resources they need to be successful, and breaking down the social constraints of hiring young attorneys based solely upon grades.
When asked how young diverse professionals keep moving forward within a system that does not embrace diversity, Bone said, “With the direction the world is going, 5, 10, 15, 25 years from now things have to change. There is no choice. They will not be able to hold you back.”