F&P Spotlight on Associate Melissa McGaunn

What is your practice area and how did you choose it?
I primarily practice workers’ compensation defense. I had previously worked in a high-volume defense arena but was interested in exploring an entirely new area of law when I started at F&P in 2014. Taking that opportunity was well worth it. Ten years later, I’m still coming across unique circumstances and questions of law that give me a reason to wear my thinking cap each day.

What’s your favorite thing about working with your clients?
One of the unique aspects of workers’ compensation is that we as the attorneys get to work very collaboratively with our clients. I enjoy that I get to interact with my clients frequently. This allows me to not only get to know each individual personally, but also to get a feel for his or her preferred approach to litigation. There are many ways to achieve an end goal, but I like to think we are working together as a team who each took part in the strategic decisions and actions leading to our success.

What is your favorite aspect about working at F&P?
Definitely the people I get to work with. Everyone says it, but it’s true. We have a great group here.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
Personally: being a mom to my two amazing daughters. Professionally: passing the Maryland Bar Examination in 2011.

Tell us something about you that few of your colleagues and clients would know.
Prior to law school, I worked at an advertising agency in Baltimore and edited copy for print and online advertisements. I think I can still remember most of my proofreaders’ marks.

What do you like to do outside the office?
Outside of work, I spend as much time as I can with my family. We like to spend weekends out and about, usually checking out new parks and playgrounds. I’m a big reader and a loyal Grey’s Anatomy fan (twenty seasons is a commitment). I also started collecting indoor plants last year; one might say it was a fast-growing obsession.

Have you read any good books or seen any good movies this year that you would recommend?
Most recently, I finished the “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series by Sarah Maas. I am excited to start her other series.

What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?
Pigeon. I was studying abroad in Italy during college and one of the restaurants my group would frequent had a weekly rotation of “unusual” meats. It was an experience – but not one that I need to relive. I also tried frog legs on my honeymoon. Again, not going back for seconds of that particular delicacy.

Do you have any bizarre talents?
More random than bizarre, but I am surprisingly good at catching things. (Picture a “think fast!” type scenario). Nobody would call me athletically inclined, but you can sure bet I’m going to catch a tossed set of keys. Note: this is not an open invitation for my colleagues to start throwing stuff at me.

If you had an eighth day every week, how would you spend it?
That’s a tough one. At this stage of my life, I could use an extra day for laundry.

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