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Lightfoot Partner Lana Olson Named President of DRI

Olson is DRI’s fifth female president, first female president from Alabama in the organization’s history

October 26, 2022

Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC partner Lana A. Olson will assume the role of president of DRI, the leading organization of defense attorneys and in-house counsel, at the organization’s annual meeting this week.

With more than 16,000 members, DRI is the largest international membership organization of attorneys defending the interests of businesses and individuals in civil litigation. Olson is the fifth female president in DRI’s history and its first female president from Alabama.

A longtime DRI member and board director, Olson has broadened the organization’s membership and influence on the legal industry, revolutionizing the organization’s charitable and lawyer self-care initiatives. She helped establish the Women in the Law Committee, which has grown into one of DRI’s most respected and influential groups. Olson also broadened DRI’s philanthropic arm, DRI Cares, to create new community service opportunities for DRI members nationwide.

Olson said her plan as president is to continue reshaping DRI into an organization that arms today’s defense lawyers and in-house counsel with the tools they need to grow successful careers. Her planned initiatives include expanding on-demand CLE offerings, networking events and leadership training opportunities for members. 

“As president of DRI, I plan to continue transforming the organization for the benefit of all members,” Olson said. “Our initiatives will help DRI stay in tune and touch with members, providing them what they need as they face emerging challenges in their practices and professional lives.”

Olson most recently served as first vice president of DRI from 2020-21, following her first year on the organization's presidential track as second vice president from 2019-20. Before that, Olson was DRI's secretary-treasurer from 2018-19 and served on its board of directors for three years, where she was the chair of the organization’s Philanthropic Activities Committee (2016-18) and vice-chair (2015-16). She was also a founding member of DRI’s Women in the Law Committee and served as its chair from 2013-15.

In 2018, the DRI Foundation established a tribute in Olson’s name in recognition of her years of dedication to DRI and her commitment to philanthropy and public service on behalf of the organization. She also received the Davis Carr Outstanding Committee Chair Award in 2015 for her work on the Women in the Law Committee.

Olson focuses her legal practice on complex, high-stakes litigation in various areas, including environmental and toxic torts, product liability, business disputes and catastrophic injury. In addition to her regular litigation practice, Olson served as the assistant general counsel for a leading heavy truck component distributor for seven years. Benchmark Litigation named Olson a “Litigation Star” and one of its “Top 250 Women in Litigation” four years in a row (2017-20). She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America© and is a Mid-South Super Lawyer.

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