2020 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“The people who work here and the early responsibility.”
“The firm is vibrant, hardworking, and dedicated to serving its clients the best way possible.”
“Hours are often long.”
“You need to be a go-getter. Without practice groups, it is on you as a young attorney to forge your own path.”
About Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC
With just over 60 attorneys, Lightfoot, Franklin & White is a litigation boutique with roots in Alabama but a strong reach across the U.S. Over the past 30 years, the firm’s lawyers have spent more than 4,400 days at trial.
A Forward-Thinking Trio
Lightfoot was founded in 1990 by Warren Lightfoot, Sam Franklin, and Jere White. The trio joined together to launch a litigation boutique that would follow a different course than a traditional full-service firm. Among the founders’ priorities were diversity, high-quality work, and work/life balance.
The lawyers at Lightfoot have quite the background in the legal field. They have included the former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama; a former Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court (who served on the Court for 20 years); a former Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau; six Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers (one of whom is past president and another who served as the College’s president from 2002–2003 and continues to serve as a non-voting member of the College’s Board of Regents), and much more.
Lightfoot, Franklin & White has represented a broad range of clients in matters across North America. The firm’s practice includes commercial disputes, antitrust, securities fraud, internal investigations, and much more. And when it comes to trial work, the firm is a force—in fact, Lightfoot was named as a “Top 20 Trial Law Firm” by Benchmark Litigation for 2020. The firm is a member of the Network of Trial Law Firms.
Not Boxed In
While some firms require their litigators to focus on one area, Lightfoot encourages its attorneys to gain broad experience. At Lightfoot, attorneys embrace a specialization, while also gaining broader experience across areas. The firm notes that this approach makes it more “nimble” and better able to serve its clients’ ever-changing needs.
News & Awards
Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC continues the strategic expansion of its Houston office by joining with trial boutique Levinthal Wilkins PLLC. Partners Jared I. Levinthal and Robert A. Wilkins, along with associate Kaitlyn M. Faucett, will join the firm and bring their experienced staff. “Jared and Rob have a stellar reputation in Texas and around the country as talented trial lawyers, and we are pleased to have them as part of our growing Houston office,” said Lightfoot managing partner Melody Eagan. The firm has more than 60 trial lawyers, with 14 licensed to practice in Texas. Lightfoot opened its Houston office in 2017 in an effort to meet demand from existing Texas clients who consistently expressed a desire for the firm to have a base of operations within the state.
Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC was ranked as a best-branded law firm in the BTI Brand Elite 2019 report by BTI Consulting Group. The rankings are based upon 694 in-depth interviews with general counsel and legal decision-makers at the world’s largest organizations. In the one-on-one interviews, BTI asked clients about which law firms they associate with the nine distinct characteristics driving the selection, consideration and hire of new law firms — such as client experience, premium worthiness and innovation.
For the third year in a row, Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC has been named “Alabama Firm of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation. The honor was announced at the 2019 Benchmark Litigation Awards ceremony in New York City. An annual guide to the leading U.S. litigation firms and lawyers, Benchmark Litigation is the only publication that focuses exclusively on litigation in the United States. It is compiled through extensive research, including interviews with litigators and their clients. The annual Benchmark Litigation Awards recognize the country’s most distinguished litigators and their firms for their work over the past 12 months.
Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC’s recent victory on behalf of U-Haul has been chosen for the “Top 10 Most Impressive Defense Verdicts of 2018” by Courtroom View Network (CVN). The online service that provides video and editorial coverage of high-stakes litigation ranked the firm’s September 2018 success in Wing v. U-Haul at No. 2 on its list. The personal injury case arose out of a 2014 rollover accident in Arizona involving a pickup that was using a tow dolly rented from U-Haul to tow another vehicle. The plaintiff sought more than $130 million in compensatory and punitive damages. After weeks of testimony and two days of deliberation, the jury cleared U-Haul on all counts.
The Clark Building
400 20th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Phone: (205) 581-0700
Managing Partner: Melody Eagan
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
50 - 100
Firm declined to disclose associate salary.
Summer Associate Offers:
*Firm declined to include number of permanent offers to 2Ls.
No. of Summer Associates:
13 total (6 2Ls; 7 1Ls) (2019)
Ashley Cox Monk
Energy, Environmental, & Toxic Torts
Media & Communications
NCAA Compliance & Investigations
White Collar Defense & Corporate Investigations