Our Staff

Joan L. Lucas
General Counsel

Joan L. Lucas serves as the General Counsel for Mississippi State University and as Special Assistant Attorney General for the state of Mississippi in litigation issues involving MSU. Ms. Lucas joined the University in April of 2009, as Assistant General Counsel and was selected as General Counsel in February 2011.

Prior to joining the General Counsel's office, Ms. Lucas was an attorney in the Jackson office of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell and Berkowitz where she was a member of the Firm's Litigation Group. In private practice, she concentrated her practice in labor and employment, personal injury, and business tort litigation.

Ms. Lucas received her B.A. degree from the University of Mississippi in 2002 and her Juris Doctorate in 2005. While in law school, she was the trial chairman of the Moot Court Board and a member of Phi Delta Phi. She was the winner of the 2004 McGlinchey Stafford Oral Argument Competition, the winner of the 2003 Moot Court Board Oral Argument Competition, and a participant on the Vanderbilt National First Amendment Moot Court Competition team. She also was the recipient of the Hardy Law, Bowling Law, and Clayton Law Scholarships.

Ms. Lucas is a member of the Mississippi State Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Oktibbeha County Bar Association, serving as President, and the Golden Triangle Young Lawyers Division. She is also a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys.

Brandon L. Jolly
Associate General Counsel

Brandon Jolly joined Mississippi State University as Associate General Counsel in April 2011. Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel, Mr. Jolly was in private practice with the Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz law firm in Jackson, Mississippi. Mr. Jolly's private practice was concentrated in the areas of labor and employment, complex commercial litigation, catastrophic personal injury litigation, and contract and property disputes. Mr. Jolly also served as a law clerk to United States District Court Judge William H. Barbour, Jr.

Mr. Jolly received his B.A. degree in Political Science from Mississippi State University in 2002 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 2005. During his undergraduate studies, Mr. Jolly was a John C. Stennis Scholar and served as Attorney General of the Mississippi State Student Association. In law school, Mr. Jolly was a member of the Mississippi Law Journal, where he served as Associate Mississippi Cases Editor, and received the Mississippi Defense Lawyers and the Mississippi Association of County Board Attorneys scholarships.

Mr. Jolly is a member of the American, Mississippi, and the Oktibbeha County Bar Associations. He is admitted to practice law in all federal and state courts of Mississippi and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Mr. Jolly also serves on the board of directors of Son Valley, a community home for special needs adults.

Dylan White
Assistant General Counsel

Dylan White joined Mississippi State University as the Law Fellow in September 2015. Dylan is a native of Starkville and lifelong Bulldog. Before returning to Mississippi State he interned with Mississippi’s 16th District’s District Attorney’s Office as well as the 1St District Chancery Court.

Dylan graduated from Mississippi State in 2011 where he received a BBA in Finance along with a Minor in Spanish. He received his Juris Doctorate from Penn State University in 2014. During his undergraduate studies, Dylan acted as a Business Ambassador and an Executive Member of the Interfraternity Council. In law school, Dylan was a Dean’s Scholarship recipient and Trial Advocacy student.   
Dylan is a member of  the American and  Mississippi Bar Associations as well as a member of the Golden Triangle Young Lawyers Association. He is licensed to practice law in all state courts.

Sharon Hewlett
Senior Legal Administrator and Director of Licensing

Sharon Hewlett is the Senior Legal Administrator and Director of Licensing for the Office of General Counsel. Ms. Hewlett joined the university in 1999 as a Legal Assistant. In 2001, she began serving as the Business and Licensing Manager, and served in that capacity until May 2010. In her current position, Ms. Hewlett directs, manages, and supervises the administrative operations of the Office of General Counsel and the Trademark Licensing Program for the university.

Prior to joining MSU, Ms. Hewlett owned and managed a secretarial service for 10 years. She has worked as an Office Manager/Legal Assistant for private law firms and with the District Attorney's Office. Ms. Hewlett has 10 years experience in the financial planning/commercial banking fields, recognized as the first individual in the state of Mississippi to earn the financial paraplanner certification. She has earned various banking diplomas through the American Banking Association with an emphasis in commercial lending.

Ms. Hewlett is a member of the International Collegiate Licensing Association, the Higher Education Legal Managers, the Communications Council, and the MSU Symbols, Trademarks, and Licensing Committee.

Cortney Goodson
Paralegal/Licensing Assistant

Cortney Goodson is the Paralegal/Licensing Assistant for the Office of General Counsel. Cortney joined the university in 2013 as a Legal Assistant. Prior to joining MSU, Cortney worked for the City of Starkville as a Deputy Court Clerk in the Municipal Court.

Cortney graduated from Mississippi University for Women in 2012 where she received a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies. Cortney is a Certified Paralegal through the National Association of Legal Assistants, a Paralegal Association.

Cortney is a member of the International Collegiate Licensing Association and the National Association of Legal Assistants.