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The Up & Coming lawyers of 2017

Dedicated? Of course. Intelligent? Certainly. Hardworking? Goes without saying. But it takes a little bit more to be one of Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s Up & Coming lawyers.

The 58 members of our 2017 Up & Coming class stand out from their peers. They’re the kind of lawyers you just know you’ll be hearing about for the rest of their careers.

Our staff selects finalists based on their demonstration of excellence and their potential to make a difference in the legal profession and their communities. The awards recognize lawyers who are 40 or younger or who are within their first 10 years of practice.

The attorneys will be honored at an awards luncheon on Friday, Oct. 6 at the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis.

The members of this year’s Up & Coming class are:

  • Ashley Atwell-Soler, Holman Schiavone, Kansas City
  • Jeremy Brenner, Armstrong Teasdale, St. Louis
  • Sarah Burns, Simmons Hanly Conroy, Alton, Illinois
  • Emily Cantwell, Lathrop Gage, St. Louis
  • Josh Christensen, Lathrop Gage, Springfield
  • Matt Crane, Dowd Bennett, St. Louis
  • Adam Doerr, Jackson Lewis, St. Louis
  • Julia Drafahl, Ogletree Deakins, St. Louis
  • Whittney Dunn, The Bar Plan Foundation, St. Louis
  • Chantal Fink, Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch, St. Louis
  • Kyle Harmon, Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law, Springfield
  • Amanda Hettinger, Thompson Coburn, St. Louis
  • Shelby Hewerdine, Bryan Cave, St. Louis
  • Blake Hill, King, Krehbiel & Hellmich, St. Louis
  • Melesa Johnson, Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice, Kansas City
  • Danielle Kincaid, Ozarks Elder Law, Springfield
  • Jacqueline Kinder, Brown & James, St. Louis
  • Frank Koranda, Polsinelli, Kansas City
  • Meghan Litecky, Dysart Taylor, Kansas City
  • Betsy Lynch, Lynch Sharp & Associates, Kansas City
  • Michelle Marvel, Bartimus Frickleton Robertson, Leawood, Kansas
  • Megan McCurdy, Stinson Leonard Street, Kansas City
  • John McLeod, Brown & James, St. Louis
  • Greg Meyer, Harness Dickey, St. Louis
  • Christina Miller, Reproductive Family Law Center, Kansas City
  • Jehan Moore, Lathrop Gage, Kansas City
  • Amy Moore Harris, UMB Financial Corporation, Kansas City
  • Brian Nolan, Carmody MacDonald, St. Louis
  • Nathan Oleen, Husch Blackwell, Kansas City
  • Lindsey Phoenix, Whiteaker & Wilson, Springfield
  • Scott Pummell, Lashly & Baer, St. Louis
  • W. Brad Risby, Neale & Newman, Springfield
  • Jared Rose, Rose Law Firm, Kansas City
  • Ernesto Segura, Husch Blackwell, St. Louis
  • John M. Simon, The Simon Law Firm, St. Louis
  • Alan Simpson, Graves Garrett, Kansas City
  • Tracy Spradlin, The Gordon Law Firm, Kansas City
  • Cort VanOstran, Gray, Ritter & Graham, St. Louis
  • Brian Wacker, Herzog Crebs, St. Louis
  • Sarah Wade, Thompson Coburn, St. Louis
  • Nicole Zellweger, Stinson Leonard Street, St. Louis

In addition to the general Up & Coming category, some lawyers are recognized in special categories:

Law Firm Leader

Recognizing early-career professionals who hold important leadership positions at their firms.

  • Jordan Ault, Husch Blackwell, Jefferson City
  • Casey Crawford, Wallace Saunders, Overland Park, Kansas
  • Michael Daming, Wasinger Daming, St. Louis
  • Tiffany McFarland, McDowell Rice Smith & Buchanan, Kansas City
  • Lori Rook, Ozarks Elder Law, Springfield

Public Service

Recognizing early-career professionals working in the non-profit or government sectors.

  • JoEllen Engelbart, Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, Kansas City
  • Jacki Langum, ArchCity Defenders, St. Louis
  • William Lynch, Jasper County Prosecutor’s Office, Joplin
  • Steven Ramsey, Missouri Attorney General’s Office, Jefferson City
  • Nikola Smith, City of Kansas City, Missouri
  • Kristine Walentik, St. Francis Community Service Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry, St. Louis
  • Jerri Zhang, Jackson County Circuit Court probate division, Kansas City

 Pro Bono

Recognizing an extraordinary pro bono project led by an early-career professional.

  • Jacqueline Redmond, Herzog Crebs, St. Louis


Given to more experienced legal professionals who have played an important role in the development of those starting out in the profession.

  • Joel Fahnestock, Jackson County Circuit Judge, Kansas City
  • Shannon Haney, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, St. Louis
  • Theresa Levings, Badger & Levings, Kansas City
  • Michael Noble, St. Louis Circuit Judge, St. Louis
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