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Barnes & Thornburg’s New Atlanta Office Space Reflects Commitment to DEI, Pays Homage to Area’s Culture

March 29, 2023 Atlanta

Pictured is the “Point of Interest” art installation by Atlanta artist and photographer Isaac Diggs.

ATLANTA – The new art installation that welcomes visitors into the reception area of the new Atlanta office of Barnes & Thornburg has a distinct, symbolic purpose.

Curated by Atlanta artist and photographer Isaac Diggs, the “Point of Interest” installation consists of 16 photos of the Tower Place 100 office building from different angles. Diggs is the owner of Diggs & Co., a respected minority-owned business in Atlanta, and also is the subject of a video about the artwork.

The inviting grid-like display of differing perspectives is illustrative of the kind of office attorney John T.L. Koenig envisioned since becoming managing partner of the Atlanta office. It’s also indicative of new Firm Managing Partner Andy Detherage’s vision of continuing the firm’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) commitment throughout its offices nationwide. 

“We designed a workspace built for post-pandemic activities that promote engagement not just among our internal staff, but also with our clients and community partners,” Koenig said. Likewise, they also see the space as an effective tool for lateral attorney recruiting. 

Koenig and others challenged the lead architects to create a warm, comfortable space that would create a collaborative environment with a nod to the diverse perspectives and communities that make up Atlanta. 

Roam the hallways of the 28th and 29th floors and one will notice the conference rooms that are named after Atlanta parks – like Chastain Park and Grant Park – while other areas are named after historically Black neighborhoods, such as Castleberry Hill, Sweet Auburn and Old Fourth Ward. Outside of those conference rooms are informal gathering spaces, including a large social hub for employees with upholstered soft seating and collaboration spots.  

The commitment to honoring the diverse communities that make up the city of Atlanta and those who work in the firm’s office extends throughout everything Barnes & Thornburg does. 

Take, for example, the Atlanta office open house, where event planners were intentional about using diverse vendors, from the violinist who played during the event to the dessert, balloon and food vendors hired. 

The firm also introduced open house guests to some of Barnes & Thornburg’s local nonprofit partners, including Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network, Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, Project Pinnacle, and Family Promise.

A founder of Project Pinnacle, DeKalb County Court Judge Asha Jackson attended the event, returning to Barnes & Thornburg where she had been a litigation partner. “This was a wonderful event and it was a great way to allow nonprofit organizations to highlight their programs and seek volunteers,” she said.

“The open house was a great opportunity for us to re-introduce these nonprofit organizations to our colleagues, clients and friends,” Koenig said. “It was meaningful to share their stories and raise awareness. As a firm, we want to walk the walk by allowing nonprofits and other community organizations to use our space for their benefit.” 

After the open house, Barnes & Thornburg has fielded many calls from firm clients and community partners interested in using the space for board meetings, law school events and other activities. In the meantime, office leaders are discussing hosting regular networking events to introduce even more people to the space and the firm.

The Atlanta office has been identified as one of the fastest growing law firms in Atlanta and has nearly 90 professionals on the team. 

At the end of the day, firm leaders seek to grow a firm that aligns its business with the business of cultivating an inclusive, respectful and open culture of different perspectives. And that is absolutely in line with the Atlanta office’s new space, down to the new art installation that welcomes visitors every day.

With more than 800 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Atlanta, Boston, California, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minneapolis, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Philadelphia, Raleigh, South Florida, Salt Lake City, Texas and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit us online at www.btlaw.com or on Twitter @BTLawNews.



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