With over 25 years of diverse legal experience, attorney
Ken Hairston now focuses on solving problems and making an impact for plaintiffs, businesses and attorneys who benefit from his unique perspective.
He focuses on the areas of auto accidents, personal injury, civil litigation, civil rights, compliance, business and corporate, defective drugs and medical devices, employment law, products liability, estate and probate matters, and workers’ compensation.
In addition to his experience in private practice, Ken has previously served as university counsel, agency counsel for housing authorities, and prosecutor for municipal government clients.
Ken began his career in broadcast journalism; however, after 10 years as a television reporter, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a lawyer.
After graduating law school, Ken clerked for Supreme Court Justice Ralph D. Cook from 1994 to 1996. He then transitioned to private practice where he focused on general litigation involving employment discrimination, workers’ compensation, personal injury, property and probate disputes. Ken has also served as prosecutor for municipal government ordinance violations and appeals; worked with municipal insurance appointed counsel on employment and personnel claims; and advised council members on transactions, compliance, risk management, and general business matters.
In addition to this private practice experience, Ken served as University Counsel for Alabama A&M University from 2006 to 2010, where he advised the president and administrators on all legal issues in university operations including employment and personnel claims, employee investigations, contracts, athletics, procurement, intellectual property licensing, property and real estate transactions, compliance and governance, and human resources management.
From 2013 to 2015, Ken served as Agency Counsel for the Housing Authority for the Birmingham District, where he supported administration and management operations for the Authority’s housing communities and section 8 program.
Cumberland School of Law, Samford University
Juris Doctorate (J.D.)
Cumberland National Trial Advocacy Team
Research and Writing Teaching Fellow
Honor Court Associate Justice
Eastern New Mexico University
Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Broadcast Journalism
Alabama State Bar (ASB)
Alabama Association for Justice (AAJ)
Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (ACDLA)
Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)
National Association of College and University Counsel (NACUA)
Leadership Huntsville, Class 20
Board Member, Huntsville Inner City Learning Center
Board Member, Junior Achievement of North Alabama
Board Member, Volunteer Center of Madison County
Commissioner, Alabama Environmental Management Commission
Adjunct Professor, Faulkner University, Birmingham Campus
Public school speaker and volunteer
Family Tradition of Community
Service & the Law
Learn more about how attorney Ken Hairston followed in his father's footsteps of serving his community with the practice of law.
Ken’s father, Andrew Hairston, was a minister who moved his family to Atlanta in 1961, at the height of the civil rights movement, to fill a vacancy as minister at the Simpson Street Church of Christ. As the minister of Simpson Street, Hairston came into contact with some of the key organizations and figures of the civil rights movement, even serving as a leader in Operation Breadbasket, a program that was started in Atlanta in 1962 by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Hairston was one of Operation Breadbasket’s “call me” or local chairmen, encouraging businesses to adopt fair hiring practices.
After one of his African American congregants benefited from his participation in Operation Breadbasket and was able to obtain a job as a secretary at Gulf Oil, Hairston realized that he could better serve his predominantly African American congregation if he had a knowledge of legal matters, so he began attending law school just five years after moving to Atlanta.
After passing the bar and working in private practice, Hairston became assistant solicitor general for Fulton County, Georgia. Hairston was appointed Atlanta City Solicitor by Mayor Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African-American mayor. In 1982, he was appointed as an Atlanta City Court Judge by Mayor Andrew Young. Hairston later became the court’s chief judge — the first African American to hold the office — where he served until 2005.