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L. Michele McCain

Partner at Adams & Reese, LLP

L. Michele McCain, a partner at Adams & Reese, LLP, chose to specialize in an area of the law, oil and gas, that is dominated by older men. Yet in just a short time she has distinguished herself by being selected as the president of the Mississippi Oil and Gas Lawyer’s Association in 2004.

“That was a huge professional honor for me,” says McCain, who graduated with a degree in political science at Delta State University before getting a law degree from the Mississippi College School of Law. “There are very few young attorneys handling oil and gas matters in Mississippi and even fewer women. Being named by other oil and gas attorneys in this state to be president of the organization was a point in my career where I was considered to not only be their peer, but a leader amongst other oil and gas lawyers across the state. I was the first woman to hold that position.”

In 2005 she achieved another honor, being named chair of the Mississippi Oil and Gas Institute. And 2009 brought another career highlight, being named a partner at Adams and Reese, LLP, which has more than 300 attorneys in offices across the Southeast and Washington D.C.

“Michele’s actions and career exemplify a leading businesswoman in Mississippi,” said Allison C. Simpson, an attorney with Copeland, Cook, Taylor & Bush. “As a new attorney starting out in the legal profession, Michele was a mentor to me. Michele’s dedication to her career and her ability to give back to the community and other lawyers make her a valuable asset to the Mississippi Bar, as well as an example for other young, female lawyers.”

Simpson admires that McCain accomplishes her career goals while also raising a family and volunteering in the community. Her husband, Curt McCain, is headmaster at Canton Academy, and they have two daughters, Taylor, 5, and Caroline, 1.

“Michele has been able to accomplish a successful legal career while at the same time juggling the demands of raising a family, something many businesswomen with families struggle with every day,” Simpson said. “The balance she has been able to achieve between work and family really does make her a leading businesswoman in a profession, which is only recently, in my opinion, coming around to the idea of women having both families and careers.”

A partner at her law firm, Katie Gilchrist, admires McCain’s volunteer work with Stewpot ministries where she organizes a food drive to help the hungry and homeless for Thanksgiving. Gilchrist also appreciates McCain mentoring younger attorneys in their firm, while also growing the business.

“Her working in the field of oil and gas has gained her clients not just from Mississippi, but across the Southeast,” Gilchrist said. “She has been a leader in her field as a young lawyer, and promises to continue to do great things in that world in the years to come.”

McCain has more than 10 years of experience preparing oil and gas title opinions, drilling title opinions, division order title opinions, advising clients on curing title defects, and handling oil and gas related transactions.

“Basically, my responsibilities to most of my clients include chaining mineral title (that title running beneath the surface) from the patent out of the U.S. to the present owners,” she said. “I prepare spreadsheets with a decimal interest for each mineral owner so the clients, once a well is drilled and producing, they will know exactly the decimal interest to pay the mineral owners out of the royalty. I also handle numerous property site issues including negotiating pipeline rights of way, road easements, meter site easements, and eminent domain matters.”

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