20 Under 40 Feature: Tommy AtchisonPublished 3:32pm Monday, July 29, 2013
Growing up in Tuscaloosa and vacationing on the shores of Delaware, Tommy Atchison, attorney at Pitts, Pitts & Williams Law Firm, never envisioned himself settling down and raising a family in Selma.
However, Atchison said with its tight-knit community and quality trial work opportunities, he’s glad he ended up in the Black Belt.
After graduating from the University of Alabama in 2004 and then law school in 2007, Atchison said he wasn’t sure what his future held. However, after his father was diagnosed with stage-four cancer, he knew he needed to be closer to his family.
“When I graduated from high school, my parents moved out to Selma and built a house on some family property,” Atchison said. “My dad was working for [Alabama Power Compnay], and since I knew I needed to be closer to him and my mom, I took a job working with Gamble & Gamble [law firm].”
Once in Selma, Atchison said he fell in love with the area and its people. Atchison was originally from a bigger city, he said the “small town feel” was something that instantly clicked with him.
Immediately submersing himself in the community, Atchison became an active member of Rotary Club, the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and took on a leadership role in the Selma City Council.
“I’ve never lived in a small town before, and I found out quickly that it was a pace I really enjoyed,” Atchison said. “It’s not like the rat race it would be if I was practicing law in one of the bigger cities.”
After working with Gamble, Gamble & Calame Law Firm for five years, Atchison took on an attorney position at Pitts, Pitts & Williams.
“My passion is trial work and that’s why I like it here,” Atchison said. “I’ve been involved in probably four or five trials since I’ve been here, ranging from malpractice cases to car wrecks to criminal work.”
Representing residents of Selma — and the rest of the Black Belt — is something Atchison said he takes great pride in also.
“I like representing the people of the Black Belt — they’re just the salt of the Earth people,” Atchison said. “They’re hard working families that have worked for everything they’ve ever received. They’re extremely grateful.”
Aside from staying busy at the law firm while also staying involved in the community, Atchison said it’s Selma’s residents and their outstanding support that keep him and his family in Dallas County.
“It’s the small town hospitality and the good, hard working people that I love about Selma,” Atchison said. “Old, pretty buildings are great, but they don’t necessarily blow my skirt up. It’s the people and the community that makes Selma great.”