Lydia Quarles is a Senior Policy Analyst at the John C. Stennis Institute of Government, Mississippi State University. She joined the Stennis Institute in 2006, following 13 years of service to the Mississippi Workers Compensation Commission, including five years as the Commissioner of the Mississippi Workers Compensation Commission and eight years as an Administrative Judge. Prior to her work with the MWCC, she spent more than a dozen years in the private practice of law in Alabama and Mississippi.
Quarles is an active member of the bar and serves as co-chair of the Mississippi Supreme Court’s “Gender Fairness Implementation Study Committee.” She is a member of the Mississippi Supreme Court’s “Rule of Law Committee” and acts as the Chief Operating Officer of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Mississippi Bar.
She is a fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation, a recipient of the Mississippi Bar’s Distinguished Service Award, and a member of the Mississippi School for Math and Science Foundation Board. Quarles has been honored by the American Bar Association’s Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Section, receiving the Mary C. Lawton Award for lasting contributions to the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission in the areas of alternative dispute resolution and access for Hispanic workers.
She spends much of her time in Starkville and Jackson (MS), but widely travels in the course of her work, with clients throughout the state and region. Her zest for law, consulting and dispute resolution and her deep compassion and concern for clients and causes make her seem tireless, with an enthusiasm and optimism that are contagious – warranting her “Expect the Unbelievable” motto.
Post Graduate Education
- Graduate of National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada (administrative hearings curriculum)
- Completed class hours toward a Ph.D in Public Administration, Mississippi State University.
- Graduate of History of Workers’ Compensation Curriculum, University of New Brunswick, Canada
- Workers’ Compensation Professional Certification, Michigan State University, School of Labor and Industry, Ann Arbor
- Completed over 100 hours of mediation training; certified by the Mississippi State Supreme Court, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi, and the Workers’ Compensation of the Mississippi Bar as an approved mediator
- Roster member: NASD Arbitration Roster
- Roster membership pending: AAA Arbitration Roster
- Project Manager Professional Designation (pending); completion of 12 hours of project management training.