Our Staff

Vicki L. Gilliam

Vicki L. Gilliam is the owner of The Gilliam Firm, PLLC located in Brandon, Clinton and Greenville, Mississippi. Gilliam obtained her B. A. in Social Studies Education and her M.A. in History at Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe, Louisiana. She earned her Juris Doctor degree at the University of Mississippi School of Law, serving on the Mississippi Law Journal, Moot Court Board and Honor Council. She has practiced for over 20 years in Mississippi and ten years in both Texas and Arkansas, settling and/or trying to verdict cases that have resulted in multi-million dollar results for her clients.


As a young attorney, Gilliam spent over seven years in the criminal courtrooms, developing trial skills by representing indigent criminal defendants in felony cases, including capital murder, murder, rape, armed robbery, theft crimes and drug offenses. She has spent the most recent seventeen years in her career and continues to practice in the areas of nursing home abuse (obtaining a $3.8 million verdict in Tarrant County, Texas), medical malpractice litigation (obtaining a $2.8 million verdict in West Helena, Arkansas and millions of dollars in recovery for her clients across the South),  products liability litigation against Fortune 500 companies (obtaining a multi-million dollar confidential settlement in an automobile products liability case in Mississippi ), automobile accident litigation with catastrophically injured clients (obtaining a multi-million dollar settlement in an 18-wheeler accident) , train wreck litigation (obtaining $2.2 million in a single plaintiff settlement  in Arkansas and total railroad settlements of over $4 million ) and large environmental cases involving hundreds of clients.  She has obtained national recognition among her peers for her work representing 650 members of a Native American tribe in Ringwood, New Jersey in a lawsuit against Ford Motor Company.  As owner of The Gilliam Firm, Vicki enjoys taking challenging and interesting civil and criminal cases.  While she represents folks in Brandon and Clinton in their family law, wills and estates and personal injury cases, most recently, Gilliam has also  returned to criminal defense work, focusing her  representation and efforts in a highly publicized capital murder case She also  continues to handle large, catastrophic personal injury cases across the South. 


In 2011, Gilliam was featured in the HBO documentary Mann v. Ford.  The movie premiered at the Time Warner Building in New York City and Gilliam has been interviewed and featured in television, radio and print about her role as lead counsel for the Ramapough tribe in their fight for environmental justice. 


Gilliam has been named one of the 500 Leading Litigators in America, one of the 500 Leading Plaintiff Lawyers in America, one of the 3000 Leading Lawyers in America and one of the 50 Leading Business Women in Mississippi. She was also recently nominated as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in the Law and was named as one of 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Mid-South Super Lawyers.  MAJ President Vicki Slater recently awarded her the “Least Weasel” award for her fierce fighting for justice. In 2016, Gilliam received an award for the American Institute of Legal Counsel 2016 Top 10 Best Female Attorneys.  She also received an award for the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 2016 10 Best Female Attorneys.



Gilliam served on  the Board of Trustees  of the University of Louisiana at Monroe Foundation and served on the Board of Governors of  the American Association of Justice, having formerly served on their Executive Committee, as well.  She served on the Board of the Batterer's Intervention Program for the Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence in Mississippi.  She takes court appointments for criminal defense, including those facing  the  death penalty.  She is a frequent motivational speaker at High Schools, Colleges, Law Schools and Women's organization events. She has published articles in the areas of History, Criminal Law and Procedure, Litigation, Ethics and Small Business Practice. Gilliam is a Lifetime and active member of the Mississippi Association for Justice, and served on the Executive Committee as the Chair of the Women’s Caucus. She has served as the MAJ delegate to the  American Association for Justice, on the Legislative Committee, is a member of the Leader's Forum of that Organization and  to represented this organization on the Mississippi Corrections and Criminal Justice Task Force.  She is also a member of the Mississippi Public Defender’s Association.


She may be contacted directly at gilliam@gilliamfirm.com.

Melissa Legate

Melissa is the Office Manager and paralegal for The Gilliam Firm. While originally from Indiana she proudly calls herself a Mississippian by living in the state for the past forty years. She has a Bachelors of Business Administration in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. After raising her children, she pursued her life-long love of the law by obtaining a graduate degree in Paralegal Studies from Mississippi College.
Melissa has worked with Vicki Gilliam for the better part of seventeen years. Melissa assisted Vicki as Office Manager and Litigation Paralegal in three large firms, opening two satellite offices and handling complex litigation. Vicki says, "Melissa has been my anchor in the practice of law for years. My clients can rest well knowing Melissa is at the helm of this ship!"
Melissa is a resident of Rankin County and is married with two married children and three grandchildren. She attends Reigning Grace Church and has a passion for gardening, reading, and spending time with her family.