Law School: University of Missouri-Columbia
Stephanie L. Wan is clear about who deserves the credit for her honor.
“There are also so many victims that I have encountered in my career that have been brave enough to tell their truth and face their abusers,” she writes. “If not for their courage, I could not do this job or receive this recognition.”
Getting justice for victims of violence – particularly against women and children – has been a mainstay of Wan’s career from the beginning. She interned in 2003 at the Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence and later was part of the Child Protection Clinic while she earned her degree at the University of Missouri. After a period working for the state’s attorney general, she came to the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office where she started as an assistant prosecuting attorney in 2007. Later, she’d develop specialized experience in the area of child homicides and the physical, emotional and sexual abuse or neglect of youngsters. She also served on the Child Fatality Review Board and the Greene County Sexual Assault Response Team.
Recognized multiple times as attorney employee of the month, she is also a certified instructor at the Springfield Police Academy and serves on the police department’s Domestic Violence Enforcement Team.
What is your biggest accomplishment this year?
I briefed and argued a case in front of the Court of Appeals Southern District (State v. Alqabbaa, SD33783), which I won. This definitely felt like a huge accomplishment because I do not do much appellate work. I also worked with two victims who had been sexually abused by a family member. Both victims were traumatized and extremely reluctant to testify. They were probably the most traumatized children I have ever dealt with in a case. I met with them every week for six weeks before the preliminary hearing and they were finally able to stand up to their abuser and testify about what he had done to them. That was amazing in its own right, but one of the victims made me promise that we could stay in touch after the case was over because I was “sort of her hero.”