Diversity & Inclusion

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“The term ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ is more than just a catchphrase to FormanWatkins; it is a call to action. I am excited about our commitment to fostering and maintaining a diverse and inclusive work environment both for our attorneys and support staff. Such an environment brings an awareness of, and respect for, those qualities that make each of us unique. And in the end, we are individually and collectively better because of it.”
-Amorya Orr, Committee Chair


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“‘Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes,’ so sang the Beatles decades ago, and it remains true. Our views and our thoughts are founded upon who we are and the world we have known as we try to change the world in which we live. The more diversity of life we bring to any project, the more diversity of thought we have; the more diversity of thought, the more creative the ideas; and the more creative the ideas, the better solutions we find to problems. Diversity in our Firm allows us to think more creatively and more broadly from a wider scope of life experiences.”
-W.G. Watkins


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“Diversity motivates, inspires, and challenges people. In its truest sense, diversity allows you to step outside your individual ‘box’ and view the world, and all its challenges and issues, through the perspective of others. To do so in a legal setting allows FormanWatkins to present unique solutions and actions to the challenges and issues its clients face. It also allows FormanWatkins to be a place where individual expression of thought, beliefs, and values is encouraged, welcomed, and included. Including diverse people, diverse perspectives, and diverse experiences on a FormanWatkins team results in unique problem solving.”
-Nick Giallourakis


At FormanWatkins, our job is to provide clients with the best solutions for sophisticated legal issues. In our experience, the most innovative ideas are created when a divergence of perspectives and backgrounds come together. For this reason, Diversity & Inclusion is critical at FormanWatkins, and we strive continuously to honor individuality and equality. We celebrate the unique experiences of each member of our team and, through dialogue and collaboration, inspire inclusion throughout our entire firm.

T. Peyton Smith

"As an attorney, I value FormanWatkins' commitment to diversity because it ensures I will always be working with the best and the brightest attorneys. Furthermore, because my colleagues bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the table we are able to serve an increasingly more diverse client-base that is, in turn, serving an increasingly more diverse world. But, above all, I value FormanWatkins' diversity because, as an individual, it broadens my understanding of others and, in so doing, deepens my understanding of myself."

T. Peyton Smith

FormanWatkins’ culture of inclusion and commitment to diversity is supported by thoughtful planning and measured through intentional action. Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee was established to facilitate programming that would encourage the representation of diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences at every level of the firm. Since its inception, the Committee has worked with the firm’s leadership to incorporate its goals into the management of the firm.

Tanya D. Ellis

"We are each unique and bring something new and different to the table – we are new associates and veteran trial attorneys; we have practiced in courtrooms all over the country, in all types of litigation, on behalf of hundreds of different clients; we are from small towns and big cities; we are men and women; we are black and white; we are conservative, liberal, and everything in between. Together we are better. We are FormanWatkins."

Tanya D. Ellis

We believe that our commitment is best demonstrated through the work of our people. Therefore, in a time where firms choose to simply write a check, FormanWatkins makes it a priority to actively engage in diverse and inclusive endeavors, both internally and in the local communities we serve. For further information on FormanWatkins’ Diversity & Inclusion activities and efforts, please contact the firm’s Committee Chair.

Internal Firm Development

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Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee hosts programming for both staff and attorneys across all of our offices. FormanWatkins has consulted with leading professionals in the areas of inclusion, leadership and diversity to ensure that each member of our team has the necessary tools and knowledge to further promote FormanWatkins’ commitment to Diversity & Inclusion. As a result of these endeavors, we have developed training modules that have been implemented throughout the firm. Our Lunch and Learn series on Diversity & Inclusion is a cultural awareness training tool that encourages discussion among the members of our firm about the ways to recognize and overcome biases that may hinder an inclusive work environment. These sessions provide both attorneys and staff with a greater understanding of the importance of fostering and maintaining a diverse and inclusive work environment.

Community Partnerships

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We are proud of our long-term service to organizations supporting diverse interests as well as our participation in diverse and inclusive initiatives and programming. We are excited about our partnerships with the Mississippi Center for Justice, the Magnolia Bar Association, and the Mississippi Center for Legal Services Corporation. Additionally, our attorneys have taken active roles in Diversity & Inclusion centered events, including activities such as the Magnolia Bar Foundation Girls’ and Boys’ Law Camp, National Black Law Students’ Association’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Convention and Southeastern Regional Academic Retreats, multiple events hosted by the Southern University Law Center, and the Louisiana State Bar Association Diversity Conclave.

Women's Initiative

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At FormanWatkins, we strive to provide our female attorneys with the mentoring and support they need to obtain success. We encourage the promotion and retention of women within the firm and provide opportunities for training on the issues facing women lawyers. Our attorneys have participated in panel discussions concerning issues women face in the practice of law, and have sponsored local law students seeking to participate in such events. Additionally, we are proud of our firm’s participation in the programmatic efforts of local affinity groups, including the Mississippi Women’s Lawyers Association and the Texas Women’s Lawyers’ Association.