Teresa Walker

The Mostly Legal Podcast: Season 2, Episode 6 "Rise to the Top: What You Learn After 45 Years at a Law Firm"

Amanda Koplos

This week’s guest needs no introduction. As a long-time member and past president of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA), Teresa Walker’s (CEO, Tennessee Private Trust Services) legacy precedes her. Teresa has been at the same law firm for 45 (yes, you read that right!) years and she’s on the mic this week with lots of knowledge to share.

When Teresa started in legal operations 45 years ago, most firms didn’t even have accounting programs to use. That’s just one example of what has changed throughout the legal industry during her career.

When she's not working in operations or advising law students how to sell themselves as associates, she’s focused on the blockchain industry or singing in a Southern Gospel Music Quartet.

You’ll want to tune in to hear what she has to say about that and what has changed in the legal industry over the years; some of it may even surprise you!

About the Guest

Teresa J. Walker, CLM

CEO, Tennessee Private Trust Services

Walker joined Nashville-based Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, in 1977 fresh out of college, and has helped grow Waller from 16 attorneys to more than 250 with 5 offices in 3 states. She has opened and closed locations; upgraded accounting systems numerous times; handled endless HR issues; negotiated leases for and built out almost 200,000 square feet of office space in various locations; been involved in every aspect of the firm’s technology for years; worked with the Board and been involved in every aspect of Waller’s Board operations for almost 40 years; worked with compensation systems at all levels; partnered with nine managing partners to keep Waller vibrant helping develop and implement strategic plans. Currently, she is CEO of Tennessee Private Trust Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Waller, and is developing an additional subsidiary, Legal Solutions and Innovations. Walker understands the value of servant leadership.

Walker is a Past President of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) completing a three-year term on its Executive Committee of its Board of Directors and a six-year term on the ALA Board. Walker assumed the ALA President role in May 2015. She served on ALA’s Professional Development Advisory Committee from May 2018, to May 2021, serving as both Chair and Vice-Chair of the committee. She also belongs to ALA’s Large Firm Administrators Caucus, has served as a member of the Large Firm Administrators Steering and Education Committees, served as a Trustee of The Foundation of the Association of Legal Administrators, and was a member of the International Relations Committee of ALA. She is a Founding Member of the Middle Tennessee Association of Legal Administrators, which was chartered in 1980.

Inducted as a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management in 2014, Walker was selected in 2017 to join the College Board of Trustees and served as the College Treasurer and on the Executive Committee. She co-chaired the College’s 2019 and 2020 Futures Conferences. Walker also served on the LogicForce Advisory Board and was a co-founder of the Juris Users Group.

Walker was appointed to the Board of Global Legal Blockchain Consortium in July 2018. She is also a member of the Waller team that established TokenizeTN, a nonprofit trade organization created with a vision to realize the full potential of emerging technologies to drive a new era in Tennessee, with a particular focus on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. Walker represents Waller as a member of Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry (SALI) organization. She graduated with a degree in Legal Secretarial Administration from Nashville Community College. She is a Southern Gospel music piano player, singer, and songwriter heading up a quartet that performs regularly, which she has been doing since high school.

Episode Resources

Pitch Your Passion:

  • Son Rise (a Southern Gospel Music Quartet)

Thanks for tuning in! Join us back here in two weeks for episode 7.

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