Try to give Doreen Dodson a lifetime achievement award and you run into two problems. First, she’ll try to talk you out of it.
Doreen Dodson is a partner at St. Louis firm The Stolar Partnership, a 29-lawyer corporate firm with a transactional focus. Dodson’s labor and employment practice at the firm is fun, she says, but her passion lies in what she does outside of it.
All judges are ambassadors of sorts for the justice system. In 2011, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey took that role one step further when she was appointed to the Committee on International Judicial Relations of the Judicial Conference of the United States, where she has helped other counties develop their legal systems. But teaching comes naturally to a judge who has also spent her career as a law professor.
Sherri Wattenbarger’s day job — enforcing U.S. bankruptcy law —is important enough. But her role in the community extends to what she would say is a full circle. She helps counsel young people on financial issues and works to give young women a chance at paid internships with nonprofits.
Professor Wanda Temm, a national leader in the field of legal writing, knows well that success in the law often has as much to do with what one writes as what one says or does. More important, her students know that too: Nearly 100 percent of those who take her bar preparation program go on to pass the bar.
The Hebrew phrase tikkun olam — “healing the world” — is a perfect description of what Rabbi Susan Talve seeks to do.
Sally Surridge started her career in the 1980s as a litigator with Blackwell Sanders Matheny Weary & Lombardi. Eventually, she gravitated toward health care law — and Children’s Mercy, in 2001.
Judge Ellen Levy Siwak began her judicial career as a family court commissioner, and though her title has changed over the ensuing 13 years, her commitment to helping families has not.
When Ann Davis Shields instructs students on the intricacies of legal writing or the best way to prepare for a trial, she knows what she’s talking about. Before her academic career began, she was with Bryan Cave in St. Louis, one of the world’s largest law firms.
As a judge in a four-county circuit in central Missouri, Judge Mary Sheffield doesn’t have a lot of time to spare. That hasn’t stopped her from chairing the state’s Family Court Committee, which provides training for judges and helps set guidelines for issues such as child support.
There are lots of great attorneys who do lots of great work, but to me, the trial lawyer is the greatest of them all.