Meredith Hathorn is the legal mind behind some of Louisiana’s biggest public projects

Meredith Hathorn, managing partner, Foley & Judell (Collin Richie)

Woman’s Hospital. The Port of New Orleans. Ochsner Health. LCMC Health. The University Medical Center in New Orleans. The expansions of I-10 in Baton Rouge and the Huey P Long Bridge.

If you’re familiar with those entities, then you can appreciate the work of Meredith Hathorn.

As managing partner of Foley & Judell, Hathorn is focused on aspects of state tax, securities, and contract laws. She guides clients through complex financing issues to build major capital projects. In fact, she has been the lead bond attorney for major transportation-related capital improvement projects throughout Louisiana, including the aforementioned interstate and bridge.

While living in New Orleans pre-Hurricane Katrina, Hathorn had a hand in major projects such as the development of the University Medical Center.

“No matter where I drive in the state, there is some building or major project I have been involved in. It is incredibly satisfying,” she says. “I love my firm. I have had great mentors and clients here.”

Hathorn has always had a fascination with finance and economics. “It touches everything we do,” she says, “whether you are doing a credit card transaction to refinancing.”

Eager to get started with her college education at the age of 16, Hathorn took college-level courses at what is now Louisiana Christian University in Pineville. The school was near where she grew up in Alexandria and allowed her to get a head start on her college career while remaining close to home. She eventually went to LSU to study business and then to Tulane University where she received her law degree in 1983.

In 1982 while at Tulane, Hathorn clerked with her current firm, Foley & Judell, and then after graduation worked as an associate at the firm of Mudge Rose Guthrie & Alexander in New York City. In 1985, she returned to Louisiana, again joining Foley & Judell.

“When I became a clerk, I took to this work,” she says. “We are a boutique law firm and only do public finance, we don’t do litigation or estate planning. It resonated with me.”

Away from work, Hathorn is a passionate advocate for financial literacy and supporting women in this area. She is a member and past president of the Louisiana Chapter of Women in Public Finance and a member and current president of the International Women’s Forum – Louisiana Chapter.

Says Hathorn, “Financial literacy is very important to me, and making sure that women in particular have the resources they need to address and control their finances.”

The lawyer has also held several leadership roles in her field, including chairing the Government and Public Law Section of the Louisiana Bar Association. She also served a four-year term on the board of directors of the National Association of Bond Lawyers—         including a term as secretary—and was elected to serve a four-year term on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board in 2020 and again as chair in 2023.

Hathorn says part of her success boils down to three basic tenets—showing up on time, being present and being courteous. She also points to the importance of volunteering for extra projects, serving on committees and seeking out additional educational opportunities.

“To become knowledgeable about your business you have to be able to sit and listen and learn from others,” she says. “And you must give back by mentoring others.”


Named a trailblazer by her peers in public finance, Meredith Hathorn has served as lead bond attorney for the state of Louisiana on transportation-related and other specialized financings. She serves as bond counsel to the Port of New Orleans, the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority and on many 501(c)(3) financings for hospitals, universities and charter schools.

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