Latosha Dexter, an attorney with Rainey Kizer Reviere & Bell PLC, has been named board chair of Girls Inc. of Memphis, as well as the organization’s Mentor of the Year.
She has been involved with Girls Inc. since 2007, but her passion for helping began at an early age.
“Mentoring has always been a big thing for me even at home growing up in Jackson (Tenn.),” she said. “I started mentoring with the Boys & Girls Club when I was in ninth grade.”
Dexter had an interest in becoming a pediatrician, yet she later discovered a greater interest in history and English. In conversation with a friend in college administration, she worked through these interests to learn where they might lead as a career, and law became the obvious choice for her.
She earned a Bachelor of Science in political science from Middle Tennessee State University before heading farther east for a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2000.
Dexter’s area of practice at Rainey Kizer focuses on employment law.
“I really had an interest in that, specifically from a defense perspective just because I enjoy helping, but I also enjoy teaching, so I do a lot of preventive advice and counseling,” she said. “It just fit with my overall personality.”
Within that specialty, Dexter’s focus is on municipalities and governmental liability issues. Municipalities will have concerns that do not apply to a private employer such as First Amendment issues, due process rights and constitutional rights in law enforcement issues. “They have their own unique issues that makes it a lot more interesting, and then you’ve got that political aspect of it too.”
Dexter left the practice of law briefly to become program management adviser with FedEx Corp. in the human resources department, an experience that gave her more insight into working with employers and human resources specialists. She is now certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
It was her love of helping that would see her go on to serve on the board of the Boys & Girls Club in Jackson. When she moved to Memphis in 2003 to get married and open an office for Rainey Kizer here, she looked for an opportunity to become involved civically, saying, “I always liked anything that has to do with children because I believe that that’s where it starts.”
“I always liked anything that has to do with children because I believe that that’s where it starts.”
Attorney, Rainey Kizer Reviere & Bell PLC
She made a serendipitous phone call to Girls Inc., which had just received a grant from the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation to begin a mentoring program.
“I ended up being their first mentor,” Dexter said.
Currently in the Executive Program with Leadership Memphis, Dexter is working with Kingsbury High School. She has been impressed with the students and faculty, and finds that one of the challenges facing them both is resources. She’s working with seniors toward goals such as identifying the colleges they might want to attend and filling out applications.
In addition to her legal work and mentoring, Dexter participates in speaking engagements, is an adjunct professor with ITT Technical Institute, teaching a paralegal class, and writes for HR Professional Magazine.
Her husband, Michael Dexter, works for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and is the incoming president for the Memphis Chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives. The couple has two children – Aaliyah, 10, and Jazz Mason, 19, a sophomore at University of Central Arkansas.
Though she didn’t follow the path to pediatrician, Dexter has made a life of serving and helping those in need. She has been proactive in addressing the concerns of her community through working with children at the Boys & Girls Club and Girls Inc., as well as with clients in her work as an employment law attorney.
“I don’t think my job is just to fix the immediate problem that I’m focused with for the client,” she said. “I think my job is to fix the immediate problem and to also advise them and provide counsel for how they can avoid the problem in the future. So it’s more about training and coaching than just providing legal advice and that’s the aspect I really enjoy about it.”