By NASH NUNNERY
Elizabeth Ross Hadley left her heart in Mississippi.
A lawyer/lobbyist with prestigious Texas firm Greenberg Traurig, Hadley and her husband Bryan made the decision ten years ago to move to Austin for better and bigger opportunities than her home state could offer.
But the Jackson native comes home several times a year to visit family, attend Ole Miss football games and tailgate in the Grove.
With her recent appointment to the advisory board of the University of Mississippi’s Department of Political Science, Hadley is looking forward to becoming an even more frequent visitor to her beloved Mississippi.
“I am honored to be selected for this opportunity and to play a role in serving the university that gave me a terrific education,” said Hadley, who earned her undergraduate and law degrees from Ole Miss. “My love of politics started at (Ole Miss) and it has a special place in my heart. I’m looking forward to working with my fellow trustees, and helping current and future students have the best opportunities available to them.”
As a board member, she’ll work closely with the university’s department chair to offer strategic counsel and recommendations, advising on the creation of scholarship programs and endowments.
Growing up in Jackson, Hadley certainly had plenty of exposure to the legal business – both her dad and grandfather were prominent attorneys in the metro. A political science major at Ole Miss, Hadley’s favorite undergraduate course was constitutional law.
“I knew I was going to become an attorney in high school but the class in constitutional law at Ole Miss sealed the deal, I guess,” she said. “I truly loved law school and got the opportunity to work for (then) Senate majority leader Trent Lott in Washington (D.C.) after earning my law degree.
“It was an amazing experience and became a building block in my law career.”
While in Washington, Hadley met her husband, got engaged and moved to Oxford. Soon married, the couple began looking at other locales in 2008 to better utilize their talents.
“Bryan is a native Texan and a (University of Texas) Longhorn, and Austin was just on the cusp of being the city it’s become today,” she said. “I’d never say never to moving back to Mississippi but we both love Austin and raising our kids here.”
Hadley focuses her practice at Greenberg Trauing on both government law and policy, and litigation matters. The mother of three represents clients in several fields, including insurance regulation, economic development, health care, education and campaign finance compliance in Texas. Her litigation practice includes the representation of pharmaceutical, consumer products and medical device companies in national products liability and mass torts matters.
Hadley relishes the challenges of both.
“When we moved to Austin 10 years ago, I knew I’d found the perfect job of lawyer/lobbyist,” she said. “There’s a lot of crossover and I love the legislative process.
“I enjoy advocating for people, whether it’s the courtroom or the (state) capital.”
A self-professed foodie living in one of the nation’s must-do culinary destinations, Hadley is quick to point out Austin has nothing on Mississippi and Jackson, in particular, when it comes to food.
“Every time I come home, a trip to Keifer’s, Amerigos, Broad St. Bakery and the Mayflower is tops on the list,” she said. “Jackson has so many great places to eat. My grandfather took my father to the Mayflower as a child, and my father took me. It’s a tradition, and we keep that tradition alive with our kids when we visit.”
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