Power Lunch Series Featuring Juanita Harris
This event has already occurred. Read event recap.
With a legal career spanning over 20 years, Juanita Harris is a veteran corporate attorney. She currently serves as Assistant Vice President and Senior Legal Counsel to Human Resources at AT&T, Inc. at its global headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Her expert advice and counsel on myriad employment matters helps drive business growth for AT&T. Ms. Harris partners with the HR Chief Diversity Officer’s organization to mitigate risk associated with a diverse workforce of more than 250,000 domestic and international management and unionized employees by offering counsel on issues related to human capital management including:
• Talent Development
• Affirmative Action
• Diversity and Inclusion
• Title VII
• Department of Labor OFCCP compliance reporting, and
• EEOC, VEVRAA and FCC MVPD compliance reporting.
Prior to her current role, Ms. Harris spent two years as a Labor & Employment attorney for AT&T where she managed labor arbitrations and litigation, while also represented the company before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the Department of Labor.
Since starting her career with AT&T in Washington, DC in 2001, Ms. Harris has provided advice and counsel to various business units including Federal Regulatory (successfully represented the Company before the FCC advocating for regulatory relief), Wholesale Sales (closed several million dollars in new and renewing business), Finance – Revenue Recovery/Fraud litigation (received favorable awards in several state and federal jurisdictions resulting in the recovery of several million dollars in funds and assets), Public Sector Sales (closed new business valued at more than $1 billion dollars), and Healthcare Sales (successfully closed on several high profile deals valued at more than $1 million dollars).
Prior to joining AT&T, Ms. Harris was a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Honors Attorney Program. During her seven-year stint with the DOJ, Ms. Harris worked on several high-profile mergers, antitrust investigations, and litigation matters.
Ms. Harris’ mentoring spirit has been exemplified throughout her career. As an accountant, she mentored a high school student participating in the INROADS program who later became a Certified Public Accountant and is now the Chief Financial Officer at the very company where she began as a mentee of Ms. Harris. Later, as a trial attorney with the DOJ, Ms. Harris mentored a paralegal who is now an attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ms. Harris is active in the AT&T Legal Department’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and she serves as an AT&T Preferred Counsel “Front Door” Attorney. In this capacity she acts as a liaison between AT&T and its preferred counsel (including women and minority owned firms). While serving as Chair of the Pipeline Subcommittee she collaborated with AT&T attorneys to establish programs in support of the Company’s commitment to increase the diversity in the legal pipeline. Under her leadership, AT&T attorneys have mentored hundreds of economically disadvantaged high school students in Dallas, San Antonio, Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco. The mentoring program is such a success that it is now inaugurated in Mexico.
Ms. Harris has also led the legal team’s development of a mentoring program with the University of Texas at Arlington Pre-Law Center. She garnered the support of law firms representing AT&T, successfully encouraging them to join corporate attorneys in mentoring undergraduate students at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Notably, some previously-mentored students have entered the legal profession. Determined to eradicate one of the barriers of entry to law school faced by economically disadvantaged students (i.e. law school entrance exam), Ms. Harris led an effort at AT&T which resulted in establishment of an endowment for scholarships to cover the cost of the Law School Admissions Test (“LSAT”) prep course for UTA Pre-Law Center undergraduate students. In keeping with her servant’s heart, she serves on AT&T’s Employee Giving Cabinet. In 2017, she introduced several new fundraising and Day of Service programs to the Cabinet which resulted in the mobilization of more than 500 AT&T attorneys. The cross-country team raised nearly $1M in financial contributions and volunteered hundreds of hours with various charities across the nation.
A mother to three adult children, Juanita has been a volunteer with Girl Scouts of Northwest Texas for over 15 years. She started a troop to meet the needs and schedules of working parents who wanted to participate with their daughters in the girl scouting experience, and for several years has served as a member of the Financial Services Committee, working collaboratively with a team to allocate resources to girls in underserved communities.
Ms. Harris is a certified FINRA arbitrator and holds a J.D. from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and a BBA in Accounting (Finance minor) from University of North Texas. She is engaged in various professional and community organizations, including the Corporate Counsel Women of Color, the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, and the J.L. Turner Legal Association. She is an American Bar Fellow, and serves on the Texas Bar Office of Minority Affairs Steering Committee of the Texas Minority Counsel Program (TMCP) whose mission is to increase opportunities for minority and women attorneys. Ms. Harris is also a member of the Leaders Circle of the Center for Women in Law (CWIL), and serves on the Board of Directors of the Family Gateway, an organization working to provide stability and life-changing supportive services to children and families affected by homelessness. Ms. Harris was awarded the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel of the Year for Diversity Award by the DFW Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Texas Lawbook upon receiving the highest number of nominations from in-house and outside counsel in the Dallas – Fort Worth Legal community. In 2018, she was appointed as a member of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.
Her personal mantra: “So long as everyone is giving, then everyone is receiving.”
Hortense Ward Speakers Fund
Asian Law Students Association
Chicano/Hispanic Law Students Association
Thurgood Marshall Legal Society
Women’s Law Caucus