Melba Hughes Partner

Melba Hughes


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In the News

MLA Places Beth Littrell as Senior Staff Attorney, Special Litigation at Southern Poverty Law Center August 16, 2018 MLA announces that Beth Littrell has been placed a... Read More
Major, Lindsey & Africa Places Gail Sharps Myers as General Counsel at American Tire Distributors June 21, 2018 Myers will succeed J. Michael Gaither who announce... Read More
Major, Lindsey & Africa Places Lanesha Minnix as General Counsel of BMC Stock Holdings June 1, 2017 Lanesha Minnix has been placed as Senior Vice Pres... Read More
General Counsels Discuss Links Between Diversity and Winning Business April 13, 2016 While law firms' efforts to increase diversity see... Read More

For two decades, I have been an executive search consultant, a trusted advisor and confidant, committed to leadership and talent recruitment for the Office of General Counsel. Many clients are former candidates who I placed in their first in-house jobs. Reflecting on their earlier experience with me, they turn to me for their companies’ legal placement needs as they advance to decision-making roles in their respective organizations.

Melba Hughes is a Partner and a member of the In-House Practice team. She is the co-Managing Partner of the Atlanta office and leads the National Consumer Products team.

Melba lives in Midtown Atlanta with her husband, James B. Hughes, Jr, a law professor with Emory University School of Law. A native of Jamaica, she appreciates Caribbean history, foreign travel and World Cup Soccer. She enjoys cooking, music, gardening and the beach. Her favorite spot at home is the front porch with a good book and a cup of coffee.


Melba's consulting practice includes placements of strategic and organizational importance to corporate legal departments. She conducts senior leadership searches, including general counsel and other high potential legal and compliance positions. She has successfully completed placements throughout the U.S., and internationally, with both public and private companies and in a variety of industries.  In addition, Melba leads the firm's consumer products segment team, which is dedicated to helping consumer-facing companies recruit legal talent who not only have experience working for these types of companies, but who also appreciate the importance of technology in marketing products in today's digital world.

Representative consumer product clients include: Carter's Inc., FOCUS Brands, Tupperware, Wingstop Restaurants, Inc., Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, and Asbury Automotive Group, The Home Depot, Inc. and Hanesbrands, Inc.

An innovative and creative leader in the legal search field, Melba, in conjunction with the Emory University School of Law, launched the Diversity Speakers Series in 2014. She is a certified professional career coach and a graduate of Leadership Atlanta. An actively engaged professional and community leader, she serves on the boards of several charitable and non-profit organizations, including the Kanuga Conferences, Inc. and The Paideia School.

Melba is frequently invited to present and participate in national conferences and seminars and is regularly featured in the business and legal press. Speaking engagements have included:

  • Harvard Law School's Fall Market Series
  • Women, Influence and Power National Conference.
  • Corporate Counsel Women of Color

Recent articles and quotes have appeared in prominent publications, including:

  • The Atlanta Business Chronicle
  • The American Lawyer magazine
  • The Altman Weil Inc. newsletter


Melba has successfully completed placements throughout the country and in a variety of industries and organizations. Representative public company and large private company general counsel searches have included

  • Carter's Inc.
  • Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc.
  • Storage Post
  • Wingstop Restaurants, Inc.

Representative leadership searches have included:

  • The Home Depot, Inc.
  • Entergy Corporation
  • Southwire Company, LLC
  • Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation


University of Connecticut: B.A., with honors


National Association of Legal Search Consultants, Executive Director, Board Member and Officer

National Urban League's Director Inclusion Program, Member

Corporate Director's Group

Leadership Atlanta

The Paideia School