Top (Non-Male) Lawyers in Missouri 2014

What female Missouri lawyers deserve special recognition for their work in 2014, as influential lawyers, legal champions, appellate advocates, or law firm leaders? Can you help me make sure they are not overlooked again?

Background. When Missouri Lawyers’ Weekly (MLW) first announced its 2014 award winners, I was disturbed to see that it was recognizing 15 male lawyers – and not one female.. Link

Then it announced its “Lawyer of the Year” . . . another male. Link

Admittedly, female St. Louis University law professor Susan McGraugh was then identified as someone inadvertently omitted from the original list. (No irony there.) But the message still seems to be that all or virtually all lawyers deserving special recognition in 2014 are male.

The current, virtually all-male list includes friends, colleagues, even a law school classmate. They are a good group of people, and a good group of lawyers. They all deserve special recognition. But they are not alone in those traits.

As someone who has pushed for better recognition of women lawyers’ contributions to the profession (Link), I think we should hold ourselves, our profession, and our publications to a higher standard.

Request for Suggestions. I communicated my concern to MLW’s leadership, and MLW asked me what female lawyers might deserve special recognition for their work, activities, and successes in 2014. The categories are:

  • Most influential
  • Legal champions
  • Influential appellate advocates
  • Law firm leaders
  • Lawyer of the Year

I would like your help in offering MLW a list of good candidates. It may not make a difference this year, but perhaps it will  help ensure that next year’s list is not quite so male.

Quick suggestions. Let me get the ball rolling by offering – basically off the top of my head – six Missouri women lawyers who deserve some recognition:

Mary Rhode Russell – Chief Judge of the Missouri Supreme Court, she has announced an initiative to make sure that our profession is open to all – including people with special needs.

Claire McCaskill – This former prosecutor is making sure that those who protect us by serving in the military receive appropriate protection from sexual assault.

Nancy Staudt – The new Dean of Washington University School of Law, she is embracing the challenge of righting the law school during very, very challenging times.

Jennifer Joyce – While I don’t agree with everything she does (e.g., her Twitter activities, which seem to have calmed a bit), she runs an efficient and effective office. Can anyone see her making the missteps that Bob McCullough made in announcing the grand jury decision?

Therese Pritchard – The new Chair of Bryan Cave, still the largest law firm to extend from a Missouri origin.

Jan Alonzo – Long-time general counsel of UniGroup, she was tasked with taking the lead on UniGroup’s acquisition of London moving firm Sterling Relocation.

I hope that you can add to this list. Please help us ensure Missouri’s top female lawyers receive the recognition they deserve.