Lavern J. Wilson

Lavern J. Wilson

Talent and Recruiting Partner / Atlanta

Lavern was named FordHarrison's first Talent and Recruiting Partner in 2018. In this role, she is responsible for recruiting and developing lawyers firm-wide. She oversees the hiring and on-boarding of new lawyers, manages utilization and workflow, and designs and implements talent development initiatives to support the career growth of our lawyers.

Prior to taking on this role, Lavern concentrated her legal practice on defending employers in discrimination, harassment, wage and hour, whistle-blower, retaliation, employment/business torts and wrongful termination litigation, in both state and federal courts.

Lavern also represented employers in defending charges of discrimination before the EEOC, state and local human rights commissions. Lavern has experience in representing employers in a variety of industries, including airline, banking, cable installation, correction, healthcare, insurance, retail, restaurant, and not-for-profit industries.

Lavern frequently counseled employers on employee discipline, terminations, sexual harassment avoidance, and internal investigations. Lavern also conducted employee trainings, and drafted settlement agreements, general releases, employee policies and employee handbooks.

During law school, Lavern was a Moot Court Board Member and placed in the Top Ten Overall Best Oral Advocates at the 2005 William H. McGee Civil Rights Moot Court Competition. She also participated in the Black Law Students' Association serving as its President from 2004-2005. Lavern is a member of Phi Delta Phi Honor Society and served as a Stetson Ambassador. Lavern also served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Mark A. Pizzo, District Court for Middle District of Florida.

Representative Experience
  • Represented nationwide healthcare client in jury trial of Florida tort claims in 2012.
  • Defended a Florida-based airline in jury trial of whistle-blower claim in 2011.
  • Defended a local hospital in jury trial of whistle-blower claim in 2010.
  • Defended a healthcare client in federal discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation case in 2010.
  • Defended a local bank in Florida state court jury trial of a race discrimination claim in 2009.
  • Defended a large national staffing company in a jury trial of Florida workers' compensation retaliation claim in 2009.
  • Represented clients before the EEOC and state and local human rights commissions in multiple charges of discrimination, harassment and retaliation
  • Per Florida Bar rules, information on litigation and other legal successes has not been disclosed but is available upon request.
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America - Litigation - Labor and Employment (2018-2021, 2023), Employment Law - Management (2019-2023) 
  • 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 "Florida Rising Star" by Super Lawyers magazine
  • Recognized by Tampa Connection, a local all volunteer not-for-profit leadership program for community leadership and volunteer service
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, 2015 Class of Fellows