Sybil Hadley is the general counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center and its lobbying arm, the SPLC Action Fund. She leads a team of dedicated legal advocates and is responsible for providing legal counsel to SPLC leadership as they guide the organization in its mission to be a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond. She works closely with the SPLC’s board of directors and supports agenda-setting and governance matters.
A veteran attorney, Hadley has practiced law in the Atlanta area for more than 30 years. Before joining the SPLC, she worked for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, managing its risk and insurance program, handling employment and general liability matters, and acting as liaison with its safety departments and affiliated organizations. Hadley supported the organization with Americans with Disability Act training and related issues.
She was formerly general counsel for Pediatric Services of America (PSA), a home health company with 180 locations and 25,000 employees that provides in-home nursing care to children. She worked with its chief executive and board of directors as she managed PSA’s corporate records. Hadley oversaw risk management, workers’ compensation, professional liability and employment practices. She worked with PSA’s government, finance and information technology teams. Hadley also assisted with contract review, business acquisition and integration.
Earlier, she served as director of the in-house legal department of The Home Depot, where she managed the home improvement retailer’s general liability litigation and claims worldwide. She directed alternative dispute resolution, trial and post-trial issues. She also managed outside counsel. Hadley worked with compliance, safety and loss prevention groups on a multitude of initiatives. During her tenure, the legal department grew from six to 43 employees.
Throughout her career, Hadley has found opportunities to pursue social justice. As a law student, she interned at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, where she worked on racial justice and death penalty issues. She was a member and active volunteer with Junior League of Atlanta. Hadley was also the first female chair of the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections in Georgia, a role she held for six years. She remains active in voter registration and poll work.
Hadley is a trustee of Pace Academy in Atlanta, where she served on the board for nine years, including six years on the executive committee. While serving, she helped lead the drafting of the school’s 20-year long-range plan. She also led and drafted its 2010-15 strategic plan. She served on the Parents Association of Bucknell University for four years, including two years as president.
Hadley is a graduate of the University of Houston and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law. She is a former member of the editorial board of the J.B. Moore Society of International Law and a moot court participant and judge.
Read Hadley’s public interest profile in Practical Law the Journal.