Our Commitment to Diversity

At Butler Snow, we embrace people with unique life experiences and backgrounds. Through this environment of diverse cultural experiences, we regularly develop unique solutions for our clients‘ legal issues. In serving our clients, whether in the board room or in the courtroom, our attorneys work together as one team to resolve the myriad of legal situations they face. Through this interaction and the sharing of ideas, we offer clients the benefit of a variety of perspectives.

Our minority and women attorneys are skilled and knowledgeable in  their fields and recognized leaders in their communities. Butler Snow's active participation and sponsorship of diverse organizations and events demonstrates our belief in the significance of diversity and underscores our commitment to a diverse team. We promote outreach through professional associations, mentoring, recruiting, sponsorships and networking. We interview at several law schools that have a significant percentage of minority students, including Howard University and participate in interviewing at the Tennessee Bar Association Diversity Job Fair and the Southern Region of the National Black Law Students Association Job Fair. By dedicating ourselves and our firm to diversity, our clients and our firm benefit. 

Butler Snow is proud to be a Law Firm Affiliate of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.



 Butler Snow is a proud recipient of the AT&T Legal Department's 2011 Diversity Award for mid-size firms. 

Importance of diversity 

Hear what General Counsel of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Marla Persky, has to say about Butler Snow’s diversity, click here.  

Professional Women and Minorities

  • Charles E. Griffin is an Elected Member of the American Law Institute, a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and is Chairman of the Business Development Subcommittee of the Minority Trial Lawyer Committee (Litigation Section of the American Bar Association). 
  • Paula Graves Ardelean is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Paula is currently Co-Chair of the American Bar Association's 5th Annual Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference, and is past Co-Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Section's Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee.
  • Cara R. Baer and Hemant Gupta were elected and served on the board of the Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association (TIPLA).
  • M. Melissa Baltz is Chair of the Website/Technology Committee and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Capital Area Bar Association. She is a past recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from that association.
  • Amanda B. Barbour served as lead counsel in over 30 jury trials and conducted dozens of criminal investigations as a former prosecutor before coming to Butler Snow. She currently assists as a specially appointed prosecutor for Hinds County and was honored in 2010 by the Jackson Free Press for her pro bono work.
  • Julie H. Ellis serves on the Board of the Greater Memphis Regional Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the International Aviation Women's Association and is a former President. She is a Trustee of Randolph College, a member of the Board of Advisors for Facing History and Ourselves. She Chaired the Memphis Shelby County Metro Chamber Commission and is both a board member and Master of the Leadership Academy of Memphis. 
  • Donna Brown Jacobs is Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Appellate and Written Advocacy Group.
  • Alyson Bustamante Jones served as a key member of the Merck trial team in defending Vioxx litigation in New Jersey, Florida, and Alabama. She has also served on trial teams for Johnson & Johnson in litigation involving Children's Motrin. She served as second-chair to a week-long jury trial in Forrest County, Mississippi.
  • Christy D. Jones, one of our first female associates, is a nationally renowned trial lawyer, and Chair of our Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Healthcare Industry Group. As lead counsel, she has successfully tried to verdict numerous high profile pharmaceutical cases in recent years including Merck’s Vioxx and Johnson & Johnson’s Children’s Motrin. She has been named as one of the Top 6 product liability lawyers in the world by the Guide to the World’s Leading Product Liability Lawyers, and is currently the District 6 Regent and Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. 
  • Melody McAnally is a recipient of the Mississippi Bar Association’s Curtis E. Coker Access to Justice Award and the Jackson Young Lawyers' Pro Bono Award. 
  • LeAnn W. Nealey heads the firm’s Professional Development Committee, including providing leadership for the firm’s mentoring program.
  • Amy M. Pepke currently serves as a board member and immediate Past President of the Mid-South Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. She is past President of the Association of Women Attorneys and past Co-Chair of the Memphis Bar Association’s Quality of Life Committee.
  • Orlando R. Richmond, Sr. is a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. One of the missions of the Foundation is to improve the administration of justice through support of organizations which provide legal services to the poor and needy. He is past President of the Mississippi Bar Association’s Litigation/General Practice Section.
  • Kari L. Sutherland recently served as trial counsel, successfully defending Johnson & Johnson in a high profile case in connection with Children’s Motrin and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. After working for Butler Snow early in her career, Kari spent three years serving as a Special Agent for the United States Secret Service. At the completion of her service in 2007, Kari returned to Butler Snow to continue her successful legal career.


Sponsorships/Professional Activities

Butler Snow dedicates a significant portion of the firm’s sponsorship dollars to events and programs dedicated to furthering diversity in our profession. A few of these recent sponsorships included:

  • Boys and Girls Club Law Camp at Tougaloo through Magnolia Bar Association
  • NAACP Annual Gala
  • Tennessee Alliance for Black Lawyers' Annual Conference
  • Youth Life Learning Center's Annual Luncheon/Breakfast
  • Napier-Looby Bar Foundation's Annual Event

Butler Snow is dedicated to helping promote diversity in the communities in which we work. Examples of those efforts include sponsorship and participation in:

  • The National Civil Rights Museum’s Freedom Awards Banquet
  • Memphis Benefit Dinner for Facing History and Ourselves
  • Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Blitz in Jackson
  • Mississippi Center for Justice’s Champions of Justice
  • Minority Business Council
  • Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis Tribute Luncheon
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade in Jackson

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