Telling Your Story S1E1: Missy Wigginton

“I come from some brokenness.”

About 14 miles north of Blue Springs, Mississippi, the community of Alpine sits tucked in between New Albany and Baldwyn. That’s where Melissa Rakestraw grew up. Friends and family call her Missy. But everyone else knows her as Mama Justice.

Overnight, Missy Wigginton’s face was splashed across televisions, billboards and social media platforms. The slogan is catchy. “Call your Mama, then call Mama Justice.” And, if it wasn’t for a devastating loss, the MW Law Firm, which specialized in personal injury cases, probably would have stayed in Texas.

But she’s a Mississippi girl. Raised in Union County by a single mother, Missy and her sister watched their father struggle with alcohol. But her mother made sure she and her sister went to school and got good grades. Missy said that part was easy for her. She loves to read, and she said she has always enjoyed learning.

In fact, she said her mom was responsible for her work ethic. The first summer Missy was old enough, she said she went to work with her mom at the garment factory, then at furniture manufacturers in the summers to follow.

And it was Missy’s mother who made her come home from Ole Miss where she was attending on a full ride after completing two years at Northeast Community College.

Things didn’t go as she hoped.

“I made some very poor decisions during that time in my life,” she said.

So, she left campus and worked at Bank of Mississippi in Tupelo during the day and went to school at night. It would be 11 years, a marriage, and two children later before she considered going to law school.

She was driving back and forth to Ole Miss Law School working part time and raising a family. After graduation, she went back to work at the bank. But somewhere between family and school and work, her marriage crumbled.

It was a low point.

Like so many women, Missy said she tried really hard to be what she thought everyone wanted her to be. But it doesn’t always work like that.

Broken and angry, she started drinking. She believes addiction runs in her family. From her own father to herself and eventually to her oldest son Macon, she said she was losing everything.

Then, she went into treatment and came out sober in 2017. While at a high school reunion, she ran into Jerry Wigginton. They got hitched and moved to Texas.

However, her oldest son still in Mississippi, tried rehab four times. He lost his struggle with addiction in 2018.

Missy said it was the worst day of her life.

Macon’s daughter was only four years old and hundreds of miles away from Missy and Jerry. So, she said she told her husband that she wanted to go home. She said he made it happen.

Missy mentioned the song “God Bless the Broken Road” by country trio Rascal Flatts. She said there’s truth in living those lyrics.

She goes to meetings every single day. She works alongside her husband and her younger son. And she remains close to her grandchildren and her extended family.

The Wiggintons have opened four offices in Mississippi and Tennessee, in addition to the one in Tupelo. Just this year, MW Law Firm was named the second fastest-growing personal injury law firm in the entire United States. The firm ranks 676 on the 2023 Inc. 5000 list.

Missy Wigginton leans into the maternal, nurturing view that people have of her. She has lived through grief and even despair. It makes her empathetic and understanding of what other families are going through. And she said she plans to be there for her clients on their worst days and their best days.

You can find out more about Mama Justice and the MW Law firm at

You can also learn more about the Macon A Difference Foundation at

Watch the full interview:

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