UA alumnus heads major Atlanta law firmBy Austin Frederick | 04/08/2014 11:00pm
Three years ago, 150 employees of a company in Atlanta went to the National Labor Relations Board with the intent of having an election to bring in the Teamsters Union, which represents a diverse group of blue-collar and professional workers in the public and private sectors. The company sought out the help of attorney John Wymer III.
Wymer, a University of Alabama graduate, not only represented the company, but also helped set up programs that provided more communication between the company and the employees.
Although the union lost the election, the employees told Wymer that he had changed the way they did business and the way they communicated with each other.
Wymer is a labor and employment attorney based out of Atlanta, currently leading the city’s office of one of the country’s oldest and most successful law firms, Sherman & Howard.
(See also "UA law review to host symposium on civil rights")
“I help people achieve legal compliance,” Wymer said. “There are thousands of laws that they have to deal with. I help them comply with these laws so that they don’t get fined or have to pay large damage fees. Also, so that they treat their employees right.”
In 2013, Wymer was chosen to head Rocky Mountain region firm, Sherman & Howard LLC’s first office in the Southeast.
Wymer represents many companies and businesses, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies throughout the U.S., to help deal with their employees.
Wymer graduated from the University with a bachelor’s degree in 1971 before earning his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1974.
Over the course of a 40 year career, Wymer has served as lead counsel in over 70 reported labor and employment law cases. Since 1995, Wymer has been included in the annual publication, Best Lawyers in America, in the area of labor and employment law and was ranked in the “Top 10 Attorneys in Georgia” by Atlanta Magazine from 2008 to 2010. Wymer is a contributing editor of multiple journals and has authored numerous articles for various publications.
“John helps his clients by providing practical, accurate and insightful advice,” Bryan Stillwagon, an associate at Sherman & Howard, said. “Additionally, John bases his advice on 40 years of experience, which means there’s a good chance he not only knows the answer to the client’s question, but also had a client with the same question in the past. This results in a great cost savings to the client because they’re not paying for a novice attorney to spend hours researching the issue.”
For Wymer, however, law is about more than just winning cases.
On top of being an attorney, Wymer was also the chairman of the board for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta. Big Brothers, Big Sisters is a mentoring program for young kids to find good role models. The mentors are called “Bigs” and the kids are called “Littles”.
Wymer said that during board meetings, they would bring in a “Big” and a “Little” and during one particular meeting, Wymer asked the Little how the program had changed his life.
“The ‘Little’ said, ‘I want to open up my own business, just like my big brother,’” Wymer said. “It almost made me cry. That’s the whole purpose of this program - to have role models that kids can really look up to instead of drug dealers and not-so-good role models.”
Stillwagon said Wymer has helped many people across the country, giving aid to employers who need legal help and helping companies re-evaluate the way they do business.
“John is a caring person,” Stillwagon said. “He cares about his clients, not only their legal issues, but also their business and their family.”
(See also "Law School hosts 5k for charity")