Melissa L. Douthit – Managing Partner
Melissa was raised in a small town outside of St. Louis, Missouri. She attended Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri, and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and minors in psychology and theatre. Two and a half short years later, in December 2014, Melissa graduated cum laude. During college, she worked under the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, served as a freshman mentor, was involved in the Medaille Honor Society and Campus Ministry, and interned with the Honorable Robert M. Scheiber. Melissa’s passion for helping the Dear Neighbor, the mission of Avila University, led her to pursue her law degree and attend Washburn University School of Law. She obtained her Juris Doctor in May 2017.
During law school, she served as a January Section representative in the student bar association, worked as a reading clerk for the Kansas State Senate for the 2016 session, served as a study group leader, was a representative of the BARBRI Group, clerked with Alderson, Alderson, Weiler, Conklin, Burghardt, & Crow, LLC, and served as a legal intern in the Family Law Clinic. During her time as a legal intern, she and her co-counsel prepared and presented testimony before the Senate Committee of Judiciary relating to an amendment of the Protection from Abuse Act and Protection from Stalking Act, which was passed. Melissa comes to Lauren Taylor Law after working for over two years in an insurance defense firm, learning the intricacies of litigation and research. Melissa enjoys crafting, traveling, and spending time with her dog, Anora.
Jessica Franquiz – Office Manager & Paralegal
Jessica is originally from Miami, Florida, and moved to SC ten years ago to be closer to family. Jessica obtained her Associates degree in Paralegal Studies from Greenville Tech in 2015, then went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Kaplan University with a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies in 2017. Jessica held the title of President of the South Carolina Upstate Paralegal Association from 2017-2018. She is active with volunteering in her community and helping those in need Jessica happily serves as Lauren Taylor Law’s billing specialist, senior paralegal, and office manager. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, photography, and is dog mom to her two fur babies, Boomer and Bonnie.
Morgan grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Roanoke, Virginia. She attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Communication Studies. During college, she participated in the Student Government Association, Sigma Kappa Sorority, and Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity. After graduating in 2017, she moved to Columbia, SC to attend the University of South Carolina School of Law.
During law school, Morgan was a member of the Mock Trial Bar, Moot Court Bar, Women in Law, and Student Bar Association. She was awarded the Mark Blickle Scholarship after arguing before the Supreme Court of South Carolina. Throughout law school, Morgan clerked at a firm focused on real estate transactions and served as a Student Attorney in her Criminal Practice Clinic. She received her Juris Doctor in May of 2020. Morgan previously focused her practice on residential real estate and estate planning prior to joining Lauren Taylor Law.Outside of work, you can find Morgan at a spin class, cheering on the Virginia Tech Hokies, or spending time with her rescue pup, Lincoln.
Cristie is a native of Tennessee, but South Carolina is home. She has an undergraduate degree in Human Services with a concentration in Criminology. Cristie is a certified yoga, spin, barre, kickboxing, weight training, and step instructor. In addition to staying active, she loves to be involved in her community. Cristie is a certified Guardian Ad Litem and enjoys volunteering at various agencies that advocate for children.
Andrea Lauren Odom – Paralegal
Andrea was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. She serves as our paralegal in the Greenville office and provides assistance to our lawyers and clients. She received her Associate’s in Paralegal Studies from Greenville Technical College with Honors and has several years of experience working in the legal field. Andrea enjoys creating art, reading, and spending time with her family. She is a new mother to a beautiful daughter.