Attorney Spotlight: Get to Know Gary Howard

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Gary L. HowardWhen did you join the firm?

January 2, 2008.

In which office are you located?

Birmingham, Alabama

Tell us a little about your practice.

I practice in the Business Litigation group. My practice has historically been concentrated on life, health, disability & long-term care insurance defense. I also handle business disputes, lost profits cases and class actions.

Why did you want to become an attorney?

In high school and college I competed in forensics (speech/individual events/debate). Many of my teammates ended up going to law school and it was a natural progression for me as well.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far in your career?

Always repay kindness and good deeds you receive from others.

What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction?

Three of my most satisfying accomplishments are being a member of a National Championship Speech/Debate team while a student at the University of Alabama, serving as Chair of DRI’s 2018 Diversity Expo, and serving in the ABA House of Delegates.

What do you feel passionate about?

I feel passionate about diversity and inclusion. I am especially passionate about increasing opportunities for advancement for those attorneys who are traditionally underrepresented in the legal field.

Outside of your practice, what achievements are you most proud of and why?

I am proud of my work with the DRI Diversity & Inclusion Committee. I served as DRI Expo Chair in 2018. As Expo Chair, my team recruited and obtained commitments from corporations dedicated to diversity to come to the Expo in Chicago and interview diverse attorneys for possible representation as outside counsel. Additionally, I am serving as programming Vice-Chair for the 2019 DRI Diversity for Success Seminar. The Diversity & Inclusion Committee has given me an incredible opportunity to meet, network with, and learn from other diverse attorneys and advocates for diversity from across the country.

And of course, I have to mention that anyone who really knows me knows that I am very proud of my two golden retrievers, Dolly and Daisy, who in my eyes are perfect.

What community activities or outside organizations are you involved in?

I am most active in Defense Research Institute (DRI). I serve as DRI State Membership Chair, DRI Life Health & Disability Law Committee Social Media Chair, DRI Diversity & Inclusion Programming Vice-Chair, and on the DRI Philanthropic Committee.

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

I would be a park ranger in Glacier National Park. If that job were not available or if the park were closed for the winter, I would deal blackjack in Las Vegas.

What was your upbringing like?

I grew up as the youngest of five children in rural Morgan County in north Alabama. Our upbringing was modest; but because of that we learned the importance of hard work and self-motivation. For instance, it was not a given that I would be able to go to college unless I earned a scholarship.

What is one of your best memories from childhood?

My maternal grandparents had a small cattle farm. Spending time “helping” them do anything with the cows are some of my favorite childhood memories.

What is on your bucket list?

The Golden Retriever Club of Scotland hosts a gathering every few years in the village of Cannich Scotland to commemorate the founding of the golden retriever breed. As a golden retriever lover, being surrounded by hundreds of goldens at the point of origin of the breed is absolutely on my bucket list.