G – The Magazine of Greenville
The March/April 2009 edition of G – The Magazine of Greenville includes an article entitled “Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham: creating a corporate culture of giving,” written by Lydia Dishman.
Dishman starts the article saying “Not many businesses in Greenville have come as close to changing the landscape, both literally and figuratively, as the Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham, P.A. law firm. From the Hyatt hotel to the Peace Center, from the Warehouse Theatre to Heritage Green, the firm’s attorneys have volunteered their time, talents, and pocketbooks to help share our community into what it is today.”
Dishman interviewed attorney Tommy Wyche, who played a big part in shaping downtown Greenville into what it is today. Wyche says modestly “My legal experience allowed me to be effective with the complex details of the renovation of downtown.” Dishman believes that it is innate character- not professional background – that has driven Tommy Wyche and his law partners to create a corporate cultute of giving back.
Wyche attorney Henry Parr affirms that the philanthropic spirit was in full swing when he arrived in 1979. Parr says “I responded to it and followed in their example.”
Other Wyche attorneys say that the Wyche culture held influence over them before they were hired. Eric Graben, S.C. Pro Bono Attorney of the Year in 2009, says he found out about the firm prior to attending law school. Graben was “struck by the credentials and the compassion of its people.” While Graben’s practice is focused on corporate and securities law, he spent over 1,000 hours one year volunteering as counsel on guardian ad litem cases.
Melinda Davis Lux comments that “the firm sets up training and mentoring to encourage early involvement.” Associates are spurred to go with their passion at the beginning of their careers and truly participate.
Wallace Lightsey says other Wyche lawyers helped him pursue his interest in music by recommending he serve on the Greenville Symphony Orchestra board, but he’s also worked on a number of different projects such as reading to children for Head Start. He says that his volunteer work has given him a real appreciation for the generous corporate community Greenville has and “that plays such a major role making it more vibrant.”