Of the 203 attorneys, staff, and partners we counted on Balch & Bingham’s webpage, only three are African-American women. Scattered each in a different regional office, none are located in Balch’s principal office in Birmingham.
Kimberly Bell appears to have been the only African-American female attorney in Balch’s central office in Birmingham.
This afternoon, we wrote to Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning thanking him for quietly distancing the utility from the embattled law firm and observing:
We are sure the layoff or firing of the only African-American female attorney at Balch’s offices in Birmingham, who led diversity efforts, won’t resonate well.
Kimberly Bell was named as a counselor in the Newsome Conspiracy Case in June of 2017.
We applauded the move and wrote at the time:
Under pressure, Balch is embracing change. On June 15th, Balch filed a notice of appearance as additional counsel in the Newsome matter, Kimberly Bell, an attorney with Balch. Bell is a member of the Birmingham Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, according to Balch’s 2016 Diversity Report. We applaud Balch for taking a second step in the right direction.
Now Balch has taken two giant leaps in the wrong direction.
Our sources at Balch tell us the firm is so upset about our posts, our emails, and our advocacy, that one associate was reviewing all of our Facebook advertisements online this afternoon.
Balch’s anger should not be unleashed on the messenger; it should be unleashed on the fools that let Kimberly go.
These may be the same fools who have refused to put the Newsome Conspiracy Case or North Birmingham Bribery Scandal behind them.
We close by wishing Kimberly Bell all the best during these very unusual times.