DRI President Lana Olson recently spoke with Birmingham Business Journal about her plans for the organization, the impact of her presidency on her firm, and how her membership in the organization has benefited her legal career. Read the full feature below.
Lightfoot Partner Elected President of DRI
November 9, 2022
A local attorney has been elected president of a national organization for defense attorneys.
Lightfoot Franklin & White LLC Partner Lana A. Olson was elected president of DRI, an international membership organization of attorneys, including in-house counsel, defending businesses and individuals in civil litigation, with more than 16,000 members. Olson is the organization’s first female president from Alabama.
“It is national exposure for little old Lightfoot Franklin in Birmingham, Alabama,” she said.
Olson will serve a one-year term that started in October 2022 and runs through October 2023.
Olson decided to host DRI’s annual executive team meeting in Birmingham. She said hosting the meeting here allows her to show off the place she calls home to the leadership team which hails from across the country, and makes sense because of DRI’s large number of Alabamian members — 540 to be
“Birmingham, Alabama is not always a place people have been to,” Olson said.
As president, Olson plans to expand on-demand continuing legal education offerings, networking
events and leadership training opportunities for DRI members.
Law firms, Olson said, “unlike many companies, typically don’t do much in the way of actual leadership training.”
She said she also wants to continue growing DRI’s philanthropic efforts. The group works with the Court Appointed Special Advocates program and has various attorney wellness offerings.
Olson has been on DRI’s board of directors for three years and held numerous other leadership
roles with the organization. During that time she helped establish the organization’s Women in the Law committee, and broadened DRI Cares, the organization’s philanthropic arm, to create new community service opportunities for members.
Olson first became involved in DRI when she sought professional help from the group to handle a toxic tort case early in her legal career. She called her involvement with DRI “the best professional thing that I’ve done other than join my firm.”
Olson’s practice focuses on environmental and toxic torts, product liability, business disputes and catastrophic injury. She has also been assistant general counsel for a leading heavy truck component distributor. Her clients range from small businesses to multinational Fortune 100 companies.
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Birmingham Business Journal