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Melody Eagan Discusses Law Firm Succession Planning in Webinar

May 8, 2024

Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC managing partner Melody H. Eagan recently participated in a webinar on the challenges of law firm succession planning hosted by The American Lawyer’s editor-in-chief, David Gialanella, moderated the April 25 panel discussion, noting that succession planning is crucial as the legal industry experiences unprecedented competition. 

When an attorney or managing partner retires, firms must have a plan for who will fill their shoes. However, Eagan explained that many firms put off these big decisions, fearing disruption.

Having developed much of Lightfoot’s succession plan as managing partner, Eagan emphasized the importance of transparency regarding the details and implementation of the plan. She encourages attorneys to engage their clients in succession discussions, as they often like to be part of the process as firms change and develop. She also advises associates and younger attorneys on developing strong client relationships. 

“We believe in a culture of continual organic succession planning because our philosophy is that we want our clients to build trust in the younger generation and not call the older lawyer, but instead the younger lawyer because they developed that relationship,” Eagan said during the webinar. “It has made it easier for us when looking at succession planning because it is a continual process.”

Watch the full webinar here. 

Eagan became Lightfoot’s first female managing partner in 2018. She has decades of experience defending high-stakes product liability and catastrophic injury lawsuits and has successfully tried numerous cases to verdict in the Southeast. Eagan also represents medical providers facing malpractice claims and serves as appellate counsel for multiple clients. Benchmark Litigation has named Eagan one of the country’s “Top 250 Women in Litigation” for the past two years. She is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America© and Mid-South Super Lawyers, and the National Law Journal has recognized her as an Elite Boutique Trailblazer. 

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