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Top 40: J. Tyler McCaughn

For a small town Mississippi lawyer, versatility is a necessity. Ask Tyler McCaughn.

Not only is the Morton native a partner in Newton law firm Monroe & McCaughn, he’s also an adjunct professor at nearby East Central Community College and city attorney for the Town of Hickory.

And the 28-year-old McCaughn is president of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce.

“I switch gears literally on an hourly basis, from practice in federal court to prosecuting in city court to teaching a business law class at ECCC,” he said. “I believe my experience being raised on a family farm in rural Mississippi has kept me focused on helping remain in touch with the clients that I serve.”

Making a contribution to the local business community is a major part of a small town lawyer’s agenda, says McCaughn.

“Though my office is not a stereotypical business by society’s standards, I feel we do contribute,” McCaughn said. “There is not a day goes by that I do not get a call or visit from a business person seeking legal counsel. It is crucial to stay in-tune to the needs of your clients.”

Growing up on his family’s farm taught McCaughn some valuable life lessons about staying the course when times are tough.

“Though I helped out, my parents always stressed that there are opportunities outside the confines of the farm,” McCaughn said. “The best way for me to give back to the community is by using the legal skills I developed and put them to use solving small town legal problems.”

State Sen. Terry Burton, who represents McCaughn’s district in Newton County, says the young lawyer is an outstanding role model for other young leaders.

“I’ve watched Tyler grow into a great civic leader, as well as an attorney,” said Burton. “He has fast-tracked an exceptional law practice into one of the more successful, in my memory. Tyler is certainly worthy of the Top 40 Under 40 nomination by the Mississippi Business Journal.”

Attributes of a quality leader include honesty, good communication skills, determination and an open mind, McCaughn says.

“I look for a peacemaker with a backbone,” he said. “To be an effective leader, you have to be willing to stand up and take on the tough tasks that arise, but also have the presence of mind to maintain a level of calm.”

When he’s not working, McCaughn enjoys playing golf, woodworking and officiating high school football games.

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