Mari Katherine Webb is highly respected for her academic achievements, but she’s also known for her work out of the classroom. In summer 2015, she assisted the St. Louis Public Defender’s Office in investigating several cases in north St. Louis County. The internship ended, but she stayed on to help prepare the cases for trial.
What are your proudest career accomplishments?
My proudest career accomplishment will be graduating from law school with honors. I am the first person in my family to graduate from college, graduate school and now law school. That alone means a great deal to me and my family. I am also incredibly proud of graduating at this particular moment, having completed my third and final year while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Many people thought I should take a year off, but finishing law school and getting to work meant too much to me. With the help of the law school faculty like Dean Baris, Sue McGraugh and Paige Canfield, my friends and my family, I will be able to complete school on-time and cancer-free.
What inspired you to get involved in the public service or justice system?
I was raised in rural Tennessee by my mothers, two proud members of the LGBT community. I witnessed how others treated my parents, and was outraged with how often or the extent to which they were made to feel inferior. Living with them and observing their grace through adversity gave me compassion for those living outside the social or political favor. That compassion turned into a desire to advocate for all those who are marginalized and whose voices are sometimes drowned out.
What is something that would surprise people about you?
I am an avid Harry Potter fan. I began reading the series as a child, when the books were published having characters roughly my age. I continue to re-read them as an adult, because I am enthralled by the symbolism that evokes ideologies present in modern social justice discourse.