Balch Turmoil: Young Attorneys Depart while Alleged Racial Tokenism Continues

In August, after only two years at Balch & Bingham, Addison Watson departed to the private sector.

This week, after four years as a Balch attorney, Katlyn S. Caldwell looks like she has left the embattled firm abruptly.

With an ex-Balch attorney who allegedly solicited a child for sex online and another ex-Balch partner sitting in the federal penitentiary, young attorneys at Balch are exiting just like the exodus of legacy and money-making partners in the recent past.

As the alleged racist law firm saw an African-American attorney depart after only eight short months, the embattled firm has hired three African-American attorneys in recent weeks.

Demonstrating alleged racial tokenism, Balch has placed each of them in a different office (Birmingham, Jackson and Atlanta).

Even with these diverse hires, about 95 percent of Balch attorneys are white, while 99 percent of partners are white.

Only 1 percent of Balch partners are people of color.

Young people running to the exits and not dedicating decades with the firm appears to show turmoil, unsettling turmoil in what was Alabama’s once most respected and feared silk-stocking law firms.

And no matter the amount of window dressing Balch engages in, who can believe a law firm that refuses to apologize for the criminal and alleged racist misconduct in North Birmingham?

And sadly, now not even the freshmen appear to have confidence in Balch.