Born and raised in Monroe, Louisiana, Holly Nash Hodge always knew that she wanted to pursue a career in law. “I was fascinated with the legal field, especially the criminal justice side, from an early age,” she says. As Holly worked toward her goal of becoming an attorney, the path was anything but static—she would go on to raise two children before graduating from law school, break barriers to become the first female partner at a Mississippi firm in 2007 and open MGC’s Jackson office with two male colleagues in 2018.
Holly graduated from Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana at Monroe) in 1994 with a degree in constitutional law and criminal justice. Prior to attending the Mississippi College School of Law, Holly was a deputy clerk of court in the criminal division for two years. “At the time, my now-father-in-law was the clerk of court,” she adds.
Holly’s original intention to become a prosecutor or join the FBI shifted as she gave birth to her first son the summer before her second year of law school. “My, how our paths can deviate and change!” she adds. “During my third year, I determined that criminal trial work was not what I wanted to do—I wanted the time to be a good and present mother to my son.” As her family grew and she navigated her way through finishing her Juris Doctor, Holly began working for a female workers’ compensation attorney—“all while raising two kids!” she adds.
The week after passing the Bar exam in her new town of Jackson, Mississippi, Holly joined an all-male law firm where she began practicing workers’ compensation defense, and in 2007, she became their first female partner. “While I certainly think things have improved since I started practicing, I do think there is more to be done,” says Holly. “Too often still, generally speaking, women are overlooked at the table when important topics are being discussed or decisions are being made.”
In 2018, after joining another Mississippi law firm in 2009 and becoming a shareholder in 2010, Holly opened MGC’s Jackson office alongside of two male colleagues—attorneys Bobby Thompson and Roger Riddick. “MGC has taken on the task of outwardly showing they are committed to supporting women in whatever role they may play in the firm,” she says. “We have many strong women leaders in various positions throughout the firm—finance, support staff, members…”
Today, Holly is a workers’ compensation attorney who represents insurance companies, TPA’s and self-insured funds. “Some of my clients have been with me for over 20 years,” she adds. Holly was named in The Best Lawyers in America list in 2020 and 2021, and—to top it all off—MGC’s Jackson office celebrated their third anniversary on June 18.