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Black Owned Law Firm Celebrates Black History Month

Updated: Feb 20

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Field


Black employees of the Oliver Bell Group legal team, black-owned business, black attorneys and lawyers at law firm in corporate office

As a black-owned law firm, we understand the importance of promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal field. We believe that diversity brings different perspectives and experiences, which in turn leads to better solutions and outcomes for our clients. We're working to create a more equitable and representative legal profession, not just during black history month, but each and every day.


We actively recruit and support black lawyers, paralegals, and staff members, providing them with opportunities for growth and advancement. Our firm takes pride in fostering an inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to succeed. By embracing diversity, we are not only enhancing our own capabilities but also setting an example for the legal community as a whole.


Partner and attorney Cameron Bell dedicates his free time to helping the youth, especially black youth, make informed decisions to better their futures. Bell understands being a black partner and member of the upper echelon in the legal field is a rarity, and does not take the significance of his work lightly. Law firm partners are a special breed of people whose life stories are often resplendent with grit, determination, and resilience. Nowhere are there more stories of perseverance than those of black partners and business owners.

 

According to the American Bar Association’s 2020 Profile of the Legal Profession, 5% of all lawyers are black. Given that percentage, Bell acknowledges the probability of having joined a firm where inclusivity was not clearly and consistently communicated; making the Oliver Bell Group a special abnormality. Relatability amongst clients is essential to build trust and our firm takes pride in having a diverse, passionate legal team.


People of color can help bring unique insights and innovative approaches to legal challenges, contributing to the development of creative solutions that benefit both clients and the legal industry. Clients do not want to be met with a homogeneous legal team. Clients come from diverse backgrounds, and having people of color as legal representatives and firm partners ensures said diversity is reflected and understood.


Employee Spotlight: Celebrating Black Excellence


In celebration of Black History Month, we want to shine a spotlight on the exceptional black professionals who are part of our firm, and the influential black figures who inspire them. These individuals embody excellence in their respective areas of practice and contribute significantly to our firm's success.


lawyer smiling
Partner & Attorney: Cameron Bell

"The figures who inform the proud black man I am today are my mom and dad. My mom has always been a constant inspiration in my life as she was always there for me to support my needs. Without her supporting me through school, especially undergrad and law school, I would not be the man I am today, nor would I be in the position I’m in. She has a prominent position with the company she works for, and I admire her loyalty, having been there more than twenty years. I have seen her handle life with grace and class, even when things were not the best for us growing up; she did the best she could.

 

My dad was in the military (Army) for 28 years. He served in Desert Storm and a lot of his life was centered around the military when he first entered. He was always an authoritative figure in my life, making sure his presence was known. I find a lot of my inspiration pertaining to my dad has changed since his passing, the most important being his emphasis on ‘being nice to people’. He always stressed that people never forget when you’re nice to them. That is something that has always stuck with me and I apply to my daily life" (Cameron Bell).


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Intake Specialist: Mia Doakes

"The person I have chosen is Maya Angelou. There is something about Ms. Angelou's poetic words that touch my soul.  One of my favorite poems written by her is ‘And Still I Rise’. I enjoy this poem because it expresses self-confidence and respect for oneself. It helps me to remember that we are still capable of overcoming our trials and tribulations no matter what we face.

 

As an African American woman with dwarfism, I felt my self-esteem diminished a great deal because I was not surrounded by people who looked like me both in my personal and professional lives. The journey of being a black woman with dwarfism has not always been easy. However, as I reflect on my accomplishments, on the relationships I have established and hope to continue to establish, I think of Mrs. Angelou's words, ‘And Still I Rise’. Through this, I hope to set an example for those who come before me and after me that it does not matter who you are or what you look like, have confidence in yourself, and understand that your worth cannot be measured by others.  

 

My favorite thing about working at Oliver Bell Group is that it is the first environment that is largely inclusive. This group consists of a beautiful melting pot of like-minded individuals who all share a common goal to seek justice and assist others in achieving it. As a new employee of Oliver Bell Group, I am proud to be part of a team that does not seek to hire by the ‘standard’ but rather by the ‘exception’ or anyone that has the potential to become an exceptional employee. It is an honor to be able to bring a different type of representation to this team, and I am grateful they have opened their doors to me, hoping that others will be inspired to walk through them in the future.

 

It is especially meaningful to me that this month is Black History Month because I not only enjoy coming to work to see amazing people, but I also enjoy seeing faces that look like mine. With the help of Oliver Bell Group, I continue to be inspired to reach my full potential and I have found a sense of belonging through their acceptance and welcomeness to me" (Mia Doakes).


law firm employee
Case Manager: Grant Gabriel

"The first black heavyweight boxing champion of the world (1908-1915). Jack Johnson, the Galveston Giant, was the son of slaves and active in the pre-civil rights era. Though his ring prowess was impressive, what’s most notable about him to me is that he never got the memo that he was to be oppressed. Despite being born a little over a decade after slavery in the Jim Crow South, he would actively hunt down and fight and beat white champions and contenders. His wins over white opponents would often spark brawls and race riots across the country.


Outside of the ring, he lived a lavish lifestyle, drove the latest cars and would interracially date in a time where that alone was an offense subject to lynching. His life was actively at risk for his achievements but that didn’t stop him from seeking greatness. In an era where the black man was portrayed as inferior, as cowardly, as unintelligent, he ignored the prevailing narrative as he demonstrated his dominance, courage and intelligence in the ring. I find him inspiring because I can take that same attitude into my daily life. No matter what people may say, regardless of how you are perceived, when you are given the opportunity, you can tune out the noise and let your performance speak for itself" (Grant Gabriel).


case manager
Case Manager: Taylour Patterson

"Growing up my family always made sure that my siblings and I knew our family’s history and the history of other Black Americans. Being that they were deeply invested in fighting for civil rights, union rights, and political rights, it then became a passion of mine to do the same as I became older. Black American people who have and continue to stand up for justice and rights of all motivate me to continue to do the same. There are many who I could name who have made a mark on this nation, and one of them is Carter G. Woodson, who was also known as the ‘Father of Black History’, establishing what we know as Black History Month. He was a journalist, historian, author, and celebrator of Black historic contributions. He provided the Black community with a time to learn, appreciate, and be proud of our culture.

 

Another person who comes to mind is Dorothy Height, the ‘Godmother of Civil Rights’. She was a woman who focused on civil rights and women’s rights such as illiteracy, unemployment, and voter awareness within the Black community. She was aware of the inequalities that Black women faced daily and made it her life’s mission nationally and internationally to pry the freedom gates fully open. Height was a founder of organizations that were founded based on these principles and was even served as the 10th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., which I too am a member of, serving the community and promoting leadership, advocacy, and empowerment to effect social change and public policy. The legacy Black Americans have left behind will forever impact each and every individual within the communities they served, and I too hope to leave a legacy full of impact within the communities I serve as well."


legal representative
Case Manager: Tayah Stephens

"When it comes to Black History Month and who inspires me, various events within the past decade come to mind. I was interested in history from an early age, which influenced my decision to major in Political Science / Pre-Law. At the age of 12 I remember coming home from school, watching CNN, and learning about the death of Trayvon Martin. Although I didn’t know who Trayvon Martin was personally, I remember feeling deeply saddened by the tragic events.  It didn’t sit well with me that he was a victim of racial violence. I wanted to help the family of Trayvon but how was a 12-year-old supposed to help?


As I got older, the presence of social media grew, and the death of Sandra Bland received nationwide attention during the summer of 2015.  Again, although I did not know Sandra personally, it kept me up at night knowing that there might have been foul play resulting in her death. After going on to study Political Science / Pre-Law at Michigan State University I took many classes that sharpened my knowledge about the political structure and the racial injustices that African Americans face in America. Having immediate access to technology at a young age and constantly seeing the deaths of many African Americans at the hands of the injustices of our country inspired me to pursue a career in law. I want to help victims who are no longer here with us acquire justice" (Tayah Stephens).  

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