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Stephen J. Bardol | Up & Coming Lawyer

Scott Lauck//October 6, 2014

Stephen J. Bardol | Up & Coming Lawyer

Scott Lauck//October 6, 2014

Stephen J. Bardol, 30, Managing attorney, Bardol Law Firm, St. Louis

Practice areas: Family and criminal

Law school: Saint Louis University

Before he became a lawyer, Stephen Bardol worked a short but fateful stint at the Better Business Bureau investigating unfair business practices. He’s still challenging unfairness — but with the backing of a law license.

Upon graduation from Saint Louis University in 2010, he worked at some large St. Louis law firms doing discovery work. But at age 27, just a year out of law school, Bardol took the audacious step of starting his own practice, focusing on family and criminal law.

Three years later, he’s establishing himself as one of the go-to family lawyers in St. Louis. He estimates he’s handled more than 150 domestic cases and has tried about a dozen of them — an unusually high number of trials in such a short time.

He takes part in a local “Call a Lawyer” program, and his success caught the attention of the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys and National Trial Lawyers, which each recently flagged him as a Missouri attorney under 40 to watch.

What is your greatest accomplishment to date?

After four years, starting my practice and making it successful is still my greatest accomplishment. Running a business while learning to practice law is incredibly hard, but incredibly gratifying.

What’s been your favorite moment as an attorney so far? 

Winning my first case argued at the Court of Appeals.

What’s your favorite website or app and why? 

Divorce Discourse. It is the best website for running a small practice.

What simple piece of advice do you have for young lawyers? 

You don’t learn to practice law by watching others do it. Find the guts to pursue the career you want.

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