That commitment is demonstrated by our emphasis on being culturally competent in cross-cultural situations and transactions. That emphasis is reflected by the personal and professional background of our team, some of whom are bi-lingual or multi-lingual.
GSC was founded in 2008 by Wendell L. Griffen, an Arkansas lawyer, jurist, legal educator, religious leader, and public speaker. For more than three decades, Wendell Griffen has counseled business, military, government, non-profit organizations, and religious institutions about strategic planning, organizational teamwork, development, leadership, and morale, community and client relations, government relations and public policy, as well as legal affairs and litigation management.
His principal areas of emphasis within GSC include diversity and inclusion, strategic planning and development, people development and team-building, public policy and government relations, law and technology (including ethical issues arising from the interaction of law and technology). He is admitted to practice law in Arkansas before state and federal courts and before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Griffen is a 1975 graduate of the Department of Defense Race Relations Institute (DRRI), now known as the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI). In 1974 Griffen began counseling mid-level military unit leaders and managers about cultural competency, cross-cultural relationships, conflict resolution, team-building and morale as an officer in the United States Army. In 1976, Griffen received the Army Commendation Medal for his work in those areas as leader of the Race Relations/Equal Opportunity Office of the 43d General Support Group, the largest combat service support unit stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado.
After graduating from the School of Law of the University of Arkansas in 1979, Griffen became the first person of color join a major Arkansas law firm (Wright, Lindsey & Jennings of Little Rock), and eventually became a litigation partner in that firm in 1983. In 1985, then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton named Griffen as Chairman of the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission, making Griffen the first person of color named to that state agency and the first to chair it. After returning to his private law practice in 1987, Griffen continued his law practice representing corporate and business clients in litigated matters before state agencies and in state and federal courts.
In 1995, then Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker appointed Griffen to the Arkansas Court of Appeals, effective January 1, 1996. While on the Court of Appeals, Griffen also remained active in professional, civic, and religious life, including service as President of the Pulaski County Bar Association, President of the Judge William R. Overton Inn of Court, Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church of Little Rock, Parliamentarian of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. He has authored published articles on subjects ranging from racial diversity and inclusion in the 21st Century, judicial accountability and discipline, extra-judicial speech and the First Amendment, and civility in legal litigation. Griffen has also served on the Council for the American Bar Association Section of Science and Technology Law, co-moderated a 2001 ABA Annual Meeting Forum on envisioning the implication of science and technology on law in the next millennium, and is a frequent speaker concerning professionalism, diversity, cultural competency, and public policy.
Judge Griffen concluded his tenure on the Arkansas Court of Appeals at the end of 2008 and joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law in January 2009. As a Visiting Professor of Law, Griffen's teaching included pretrial criminal procedure and a seminar titled "Cultural Competency, Inclusion, and Law."
In 2010, Griffen was elected to Circuit Judge for 5th Division in Arkansas. He continues to lead GSC in pursuing a vision for cultural competency throughout our communities.
Click Here to download Wendell Griffen's biography (pdf)
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