Heather M. Palmore, Esq. discovered her passion for advocacy when she was awarded the Elsie Van Buren Award, Cornell University’s highest honor for speech and advocacy, and received that distinction for two consecutive years. While earning a Bachelor of Science degree, with Honors, in Policy Analysis and Consumer Economics and Housing, she was also selected as a Ford-Mellon Foundation Scholar to Yale University. She studied, under Dr. Jessie Geller, the reliability of child eyewitness testimony in legal proceedings. It was from these combined experiences that she decided to pursue a career in law.
Immediately upon graduation from Cornell, Palmore enrolled in Syracuse University’s College of Law. In her third year of law school at Syracuse, she made history at the College of Law by being selected as the first African American Teaching Assistant to teach first-year law students both writing and oral advocacy skills with her law section. In 1995, Heather graduated from Syracuse University’s College of Law with distinction. She was the Executive Director of the award-winning Moot Court program and led the school to a national championship in Dallas, Texas.
After graduation, Heather entered public service and was appointed as an Assistant to the District Attorney of Queens County by the late Honorable Richard A. Brown. During this time, Palmore worked as an Assistant District Attorney, where she led the entire office in trials and convictions for two consecutive years. She worked on trials in the areas of homicide, sexual assault, narcotics, and other major crimes. During this time, she was featured as a panelist on Dateline NBC with respect to race and perceptions in the field of criminal law following the Amadou Diallo shooting in New York City.
In 2000, she joined the law firm of Conway, Farrell, Curtin & Kelly, P.C., as a Trial Attorney. In 2007, Heather was elected partner, becoming the first African American female elected partner at the firm and becoming the only woman of color to be named partner in the firm’s 60-year history. At Conway Farrell, Palmore was the “go-to” attorney on the firm’s high exposure cases, including premises, wrongful death, construction/labor law, education law, and other related matters. During her tenure at Conway Farrell, Palmore tried over 50 cases to verdict, all resulting in favor of her clients.
Palmore has also worked at Nationwide Insurance and CNA Insurance as a Senior Trial Attorney, where she continued to litigate high exposure cases on behalf of her clients. From 2017-2019, she served as Chair of the African American Employee Network, a national position for CNA Financial, a multi-billion dollar, Fortune 500 company, based in Chicago, Illinois, where she specialized in high exposure premises, wrongful death, construction/labor law, and other related practice areas. Palmore was most recently a Partner at Quintarios, Prieto, Wood, and Boyer, a Miami, Florida-based law firm and the largest minority and women-owned law firm in the United States. Palmore has been a frequent presenter for CLE courses, conferences, universities, and to the state and regional communities at large.
Some of Palmore’s most recent accomplishments include leading the legal team for Travis Williams, owner of HBCU All-Stars. Through her work and that of attorney Benjamin L. Crump, they negotiated a multi-million dollar contract with CBS to bring to viewers the first-ever HBCU All-Star Game, to air on CBS, during the Final Four © weekend in March of 2022, in New Orleans. For the first time, this historic endeavor will showcase, nationally, the best student-athletes in a cross-section of HBCU talent. Palmore also represented Jennifer McLeggan, the Valley Stream, New York, single mother, harassed by her neighbors and ultimately convicted of their crimes.
In July of 2020, at the height of the social justice reforms throughout the country, Palmore was a founding Board member of Advancement of Blacks in Sports, where she was an Executive Board member and served as General Counsel for the organization. Advancement of Blacks in Sports serves Black student-athletes and coaches in every sport, and in collegiate athletics, from Division I, II, and III, as well as professional athletes. Members of Advancement of Blacks in sports include Craig Robinson, Mike Anderson, Dave Leito, Felicia Hall Allen, and Julius Erving, among other coaches and athletes whose mission is to address racial, social, and economic inequality in sports.
Some of Palmore’s honors include receiving the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Drum Major Award and the Soror of the Year Award. She was awarded by the PanHellenic Council for her work in both her chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha and in the community, North Atlantic Region Citizen of the Year for Alpha Kappa Alpha, The Network Journal Magazine’s Top 40 Under Forty Achievement Award for her impact in the business community; Long Island Business News named her one of the Top 50 Influential Women in Business for her contributions to the Long Island regional business community, Chair of the Suffolk County Board of Ethics, where she was appointed unanimously by the Suffolk County Legislature and an induction into the Malverne Hall of Fame for her outstanding athleticism.
Heather has served in leadership positions. She is a Wake Forest University Parents’ Council member, where she and other members have raised and maintained a 1.3 billion dollar endowment for the university. She previously served as President of Jack and Jill of America, Suffolk County Chapter, for four years.
Palmore’s additional honors include appointment by the New York State Board of Regents to the Roosevelt Board of Education as a Trustee, a member of the Energeia Partnership-Academy for Regional Stewardship at Molloy College, and serving as a Trustee at Molloy College.
Heather is a mother to one son, Miles Palmore Middleton, a 2021 graduate of Wake Forest University, where he was Student Body President. He is currently serving in the Infantry branch as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.