Meet the Team
Attorney Joel Dillard
A pragmatic, creative approach
My unique approach blends proactive advice and relentless advocacy to achieve clients' employment-law goals. My clients are not just a
case or a
recovery: they are real people, strong but in need of support. We will investigate thoroughly to help clients understand the situation. We will creatively explore the practical and legal options. And, if necessary, we will work together to fight for the best outcome for the client.
Learn more about Joel's approach to the practice.
A thorough understanding of employment law and labor law
Joel Dillard has drafted major labor regulations, federal appeals court decisions, and federal agency decisions which continue to govern daily working life. This experience, seeing the law from the inside out, provides for depth and nuance of understanding. No stone remains unturned in the firm's efforts to resolve clients' problems favorably.
One-of-a-kind national experience
- Five years' experience working for the Special Litigation Branch and the Board Members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
- Clerked with Judge Timothy B. Dyk of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
- Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy
- Law School magna cum laude at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC
- Undergraduate summa cum laude at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN
- Seasonal associate work with:
- Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Naomi Earp
- NLRB Region 2 field office in New York City
- American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) General Counsel's office
- Dickstein Shapiro's Washington, D.C., office (now Blank Rome)
- AFL-CIO General Counsel's office
Associate Attorney Jay Kucia
Jay graduated from Jackson Academy in 2012 and Mississippi College in 2017. In 2019, Jay started work with the firm as its first Peggy Browning Fellow. In 2020, he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Mississippi School of Law where he served as a civil rights research assistant and a labor and employment teaching assistant and also founded the Mississippi Workplace Law Society. After graduation, Jay joined the firm as its first associate. In his practice, Jay concentrates on equal employment opportunity cases. Most of Jay's work for the firm involves issues of workplace accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Outside of the law, Jay is an amateur country singer-songwriter, an enthusiastic Southern cook and baker, and an active member of Northside Baptist Church.
Intake Officer Mary Quinn
Mary joined the firm as its Intake Officer in January of 2022. She is a graduate of Lafayette High School, Oxford, MS. She obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the University of Mississippi. Before joining the firm, she had a thirty-plus year career as a claims adjuster and supervisor for Travelers Insurance Company and the Mississippi Municipal Service Company. In that role, she attended numerous trainings on EEO law, and has also participated in numerous settlement conferences involving race, sex, age and disability discrimination cases. She has also been extensively involved in cases that were in litigation. In her spare time, she enjoys comedies, movies, music and spending time with her grandchildren.
Paralegal Bridgette Lifer
Bridgette joined the firm as its Lead Paralegal in February of 2022. She grew up in Richland, Mississippi, and now lives in Rankin County. She received her Associate in Applied Science, Paralegal Technology from Hinds Community College in 2000, and has twenty years experience in paralegal work in the metroplex. The last thirteen years she worked as paralegal for attorney and former Jackson mayor Dale Danks, Jr., until his passing in 2021. She is deeply invested in her family.
Associate Attorney Mary Kate Dugan
Mary Kate is a paralegal and soon-to-be associate attorney, pending her admission to the Indiana bar. She is based in the firm’s Indianapolis, Indiana office. Mary Kate graduated magna cum laude from Indiana University, Maurer School of Law in May 2022. She first joined the firm as a Peggy Browning Fellow in 2020. Since then, she has served as a Peggy Browning Fellow for Gilbert & Sackman and a law clerk for Vlink Law Firm. Prior to attending law school, Mary Kate led Central Indiana Jobs with Justice as its Executive Director from 2013 to 2015. She also has extensive experience as a nonprofit administrator. As a former restaurant worker and the daughter of two hard-working parents, Mary Kate prides herself on her ability to empathize with our clients—no matter their line of work or their goals. She firmly believes that everyone deserves dignity and respect at work and is working hard to achieve that vision, one client at a time.
Read more about our Peggy Browning Fellows and others that have made their mark on the firm over the years.
Pursuant to MRPC 7.4(a)(2)
FREE BACKGROUND INFORMATION AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
This site is for general information only, and creates no attorney-client relationship. Sending inquiries to the firm does not create an attorney-client relationship.
To get legal advice about an employment law, labor law, federal employee law, whistleblower protection, labor unions, worker cooperatives, immigration, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, severance, or any related question, you must first have a conflicts check by the firm. We represent exclusively workers, worker cooperatives and unions, but we still must check for potential conflicts of interest, for example, between a supervisor and employee.
First provide the firm with your name, and the name of the person you are making claims against - and no other information. This allows the firm to check for such conflicts of interest. Until you receive confirmation from an attorney that there is NO CONFLICT, none of the information you provide will be considered confidential. Do NOT provide any confidential information before we have asked you to do so.
Once we have confirmed there is no conflict, you may discuss your matter with the attorney in a little more detail, and, if requested, make an appointment. If at your appointment the firm accepts you as a client in writing, then the attorney will be able to provide you with employment law advice.