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Balch’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Director of Talent Management Brandi A. Russell Named to Birmingham Business Journal’s 2023 Top 40 Under 40

Balch & Bingham is pleased to announce that Brandi A. Russell, chief diversity & inclusion officer and director of talent management, was selected as one of Birmingham’s 2023 Top 40 Under 40 by the Birmingham Business Journal (BBJ). The award honors the best and brightest of Birmingham’s business scene who have distinguished themselves in their fields before the age of 40.

This award is among the BBJ’s most prestigious designations, with hundreds of nominations considered.

“Brandi Russell has made an incredible impact on the firm and Birmingham area through her commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Stan Blanton, managing partner. “Brandi is integral to the firm’s governance and helps to ensure that DEI is core to every decision we make. She has helped make us all better lawyers and citizens. It is without question that she has earned the respect and admiration of her peers and the Birmingham community.”

In February of 2021, Brandi joined Balch as its first chief diversity & inclusion officer and director of talent management. In this role, Brandi works alongside firm leadership to identify and address opportunities to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level. By developing, implementing, and strengthening Balch’s strategies and practices, Brandi has established a framework that has and continues to advance the firm’s recognition as a leader in diversity.

Under Brandi’s leadership, the firm has bolstered its DEI efforts, from expanding its diversity pipelines, to strengthening its support of underrepresented organizations and communities, to engaging and serving a broad range of clients. Notably, Brandi led the firm in its enhanced outreach efforts for its signature diversity pipeline program, the Susan B. Livingston Boot Camp for Success. She also supported the firm’s successful application into the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) and has served as a key leader in the firm’s active participation. 

Brandi also manages the firm’s associate attorney recruiting and hiring processes, including its Summer Associate Program, as well as its associate attorney development program, which aims to ensure that Balch’s attorneys have the resources needed to achieve their career goals and deliver value to our clients.

Brandi serves the greater Birmingham community through a variety of volunteer leadership roles – from being named to the alumni advisory board for the Southern Region of the National Black Law Students Association, to serving on Cumberland School of Law’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, to serving on the Lakeshore Foundation’s Junior Board. She is a 2022 graduate of Momentum Upward Early Career Program. Brandi is also an active member of Birmingham’s Junior League

Brandi received her J.D. from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, where she was awarded the School of Law’s Spirit of Service award, given to graduating students who have demonstrated an exceptional amount of time and dedication to pro bono legal work or community service.

In addition to Brandi, Balch is proud of its six BBJ Top 40 Under 40 alumni - Patrick Strong, counsel and member of Balch Sports, Adam Israel, partner and member the Litigation Practice, Jonathan Hoffmann, partner and member of the Consumer Finance Litigation Practice, David Bowsher, partner and member of the Corporate & Commercial Practice, and Julie Wall Khoury, chief marketing officer.