Firm Embarks on Next 100 Years with “100 Acts of Service” to Celebrate Strong Foundation of Service to Clients, Communities and Legal Industry
Nashville, Tenn., (June 9, 2022) – Bass, Berry & Sims is pleased to announce the celebration of its 100th anniversary with 100 Acts of Service through the end of the year, inclusive of charitable service and an expanded pro bono initiative. Launched in May 1922 with five attorneys in Nashville, the firm today has more than 300 attorneys across four offices in Tennessee and Washington, D.C., several nationally recognized practice areas, and a robust Pro Bono Commitment.
“As we mark the beginning of our firm’s next 100 years, these acts of service underscore our commitment to our communities, a foundation laid 100 years ago,” said Todd Rolapp, managing partner at Bass, Berry & Sims. “We are proud of the work our attorneys have done over the years to improve our communities, expand access to justice under the law, and promote a more diverse, equitable and inclusive legal industry. Public service has been a cornerstone of our firm’s identity since our inception, and we are proud to celebrate this important anniversary by proactively focusing on even more ways we can give back.”
Bass, Berry & Sims’s 100 Acts of Service program is open to everyone at the firm to support organizations of their choosing, whether individually or in group projects. Eligible activities include volunteering time and pro bono legal services to causes important to the firm and its employees.
“This milestone allows us to celebrate our history while focusing on our future,” Rolapp said. “Through 100 years of building a strong, growing law firm with a national reputation across a broad spectrum of practice areas, we are well-positioned to continue serving our clients and communities with excellence.”
Pro Bono Commitment and Diversity & Inclusion
The firm has developed several programs dedicated to advancing access to justice. The firm’s Pro Bono Commitment is helmed by Pro Bono Member David Esquivel, who devotes half his practice to managing the firm’s overall pro bono efforts. A cornerstone of the pro bono initiative is the Pro Bono Fellows Program, which allows attorneys to spend up to six months working full-time in a pro bono capacity within the community. To date, Pro Bono Fellows have worked with organizations like the Choosing Justice Initiative to advocate for bail reform in Nashville, the Tennessee Innocence Project to represent the wrongfully convicted, and with the General Sessions Court of Metropolitan Nashville & Davidson County to help fully and fairly address the surge of eviction filings during COVID-19.
Much of the firm’s pro bono service addresses racial justice and diversity and inclusion in society and within the legal industry. In addition to attorneys’ advocacy of public policy to improve access to justice and unequal treatment under the law, Bass, Berry & Sims has developed and supported programs to address issues within the legal industry and improve representation and opportunities for diverse attorneys. The firm is committed to providing financial resources, mentorship and career opportunities for attorneys across diverse backgrounds around the country. That commitment includes a Diversity Leadership Endowment at the University of Tennessee College of Law, a Diversity Scholarship Program in partnership with the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and two scholarships at Fisk University.
“We are proud of the programs we have developed to promote a more equitable society and industry,” Esquivel said. “We know progress requires constant effort and innovation, which is why pro bono and equity and inclusion initiatives are a strategic priority of our firm now and will continue to be so in the future.”
Forward Looking Growth
“As client legal needs evolve, our firm proactively addresses those needs with strategic growth wholly tied to improving our service to both our clients and our communities,” Rolapp said. “We continue to announce new attorneys, service areas and initiatives, and as we turn the page to the next 100 years, we’re excited to collaborate with our clients to build a firm that continues to meet their needs for service and expertise.”
Since the firm was formed in 1922 by partners Francis Marion Bass, Frank A. Berry, and Cecil Sims, the firm has strategically grown today to include more than 300 attorneys across four offices in Tennessee (Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville) and Washington, D.C. practicing within nearly 100 different legal specialties. The firm is home to top-tier attorneys with varied backgrounds, including former government attorneys and in-house counsel, experienced laterals, and career-long Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys.
Several of the firm’s practice groups have earned national recognitions, including nine practices ranked in the top tier for Tennessee in Chambers USA 2022. The publication also recognized the firm’s healthcare practice, which is the third largest in the nation according to the American Health Law Association (2021), with a nationwide ranking in the Healthcare: The Elite category. Bass, Berry & Sims is regularly recognized by the annual M&A Advisor, including earning the Law Firm of the Year Award in 2021. Of note, the firm was ranked the #5 most active in healthcare private equity transactions by PitchBook in 2021. Beyond its many accolades for legal service, the firm has received a perfect score of 100% on the Corporate Equality Index, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, for the past five years.
For more information on the firm’s history and accolades, please visit the History & Accolades page of the firm website.
About Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
Bass, Berry & Sims is a national law firm with over 300 attorneys dedicated to delivering exceptional service to numerous publicly traded companies and Fortune 500 businesses in significant litigation and investigations, complex business transactions, and international regulatory matters. Our people are true partners who work seamlessly across substantive practice disciplines, industries and geographies to deliver highly-effective legal advice and innovative, business-focused solutions. In 2022 the firm celebrates its centennial anniversary and continues to build on our foundational attributes of agility, tenacity and collaboration. For more information, visit www.bassberry.com.