The 2017 Women’s Justice Awards selection committee has named Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge of the Missouri Supreme Court as Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s Woman of the Year.
Breckenridge, who began her two-year term as chief justice in July 2015, has been both a defender of the integrity of the justice system and a reformer of its shortcomings. She has pushed for training for judges to help overcome implicit biases, created a commission on racial and ethnic fairness to respond to issues in the state’s municipal and juvenile courts, and started a task force to examine pretrial incarceration practices.
A native of Nevada, Missouri, Breckenridge began her judicial career as an associate circuit judge and was appointed to the Court of Appeals Western District in 1990, where she served as chief judge from 1998 to 2000. She joined the Supreme Court in 2007, becoming just the fourth woman to sit on the high court.
Breckenridge leads this year’s list of 51 honorees, which includes judges, in-house counsel, legal scholars and private practitioners from around the state, as well as three non-lawyers recognized for their citizenship.
The 19th annual Women’s Justice Awards event takes place April 27 at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown St. Louis. The winners will be profiled in a special section of Missouri Lawyers Weekly on April 24.
The winners are:
Woman of the Year
Recognizing that woman who truly stands out in making an extraordinary difference in improving the quality of justice or exemplifying the highest ideals of the legal profession.
Patricia Breckenridge, Missouri Supreme Court, Jefferson City
Public Service Practitioner Award
Awarded to female government and nonprofit lawyers who improve the quality of the justice system or contribute to the betterment of the legal profession.
Cynthia Hyde, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Springfield
Cyndy Short, The McCallister Law Firm, Kansas City
Holly Yoakum, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, St. Louis
Public Official Award
Awarded to female judges and other public service officials whose service has contributed to improving the quality of the justice system or to the betterment of the legal profession.
Kathleen Hart, Administrative Law Judge, St. Louis
Calea Stovall-Reid, St. Louis Associate Circuit Judge
Carol Aiken, Commissioner, Greene County Circuit Court
Terry Daley Schwartze, Maries County Prosecuting Attorney
Karen Krauser, Clay County Associate Circuit Judge
Beth Phillips, U.S. District Judge, Kansas City
Business Practitioner Award
Awarded to female business practitioners who fulfill the ideals of leadership, professionalism and a passion for improving the quality of the justice system or contributing to the betterment of the legal profession.
Andrea Bough, Lewis Rice, Kansas City
Evan Goldfarb, Thompson Coburn, St. Louis
Hayley Hanson, Husch Blackwell, Kansas City
Stephanie Hosler, Bryan Cave, St. Louis
Emily Kembell, Kirkland Woods & Martinsen, Springfield
Ashley Norgard, Husch Blackwell, Springfield
Tamee V. Reese, AT&T, St. Louis
Litigation Practitioner Award
Awarded to female litigators who demonstrate leadership, professionalism and a passion for improving the quality of the justice system or contributing to the betterment of the profession.
Jamie Boyer, Stinson Leonard Street, St. Louis
Marie Gockel, Bratcher Gockel Law, Kansas City
Sheena Hamilton, Dowd Bennett, St. Louis
Bridget Hoy, Lewis Rice, St. Louis
Kimberly Jones, Seyferth Blumenthal & Harris, Kansas City
Andrea McNairy, Brown & Crouppen, St. Louis
Lisa Moore, Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, St. Louis
Erica Mynarich, Carver, Cantin & Mynarich, Springfield
Laurel Stevenson, Haden, Cowherd & Bullock, Springfield
Awarded to women in a business setting, be they entrepreneurs, executives, corporate counsel, or other business professionals, for their contributions to improving the quality of the justice system or to the betterment of the legal profession.
Danielle Carr, Polsinelli, St. Louis
Nancy Mellard, CBIZ Inc., Kansas City
Debbie Shantz Hart, Housing Plus LLC, Springfield
Generally, though not necessarily, awarded to female non-lawyers who have made significant contributions to improving the quality of justice in the community.
Joyce Blades, The Kitchen Inc., Springfield
Pat Simons, Ready Readers, St. Louis
Latricia Scott Adams, Volunteer Attorney Project, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, Kansas City
Legal Scholar Award
Awarded to women faculty members or administrators at Missouri schools for work on behalf of the justice system, through their research or scholarship or through teaching and inspiring others.
Jessica Kennedy, Washington University, Title IX Coordinator
Mary Kay Kisthardt, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
Antonia Miceli, Saint Louis University School of Law
Rigel Christine Oliveri, University of Missouri School of Law
Trina Scott, Missouri Southern State University
Rising Star Award
Awarded to female lawyers 40 years old and younger or within the first 10 years of practice who have already made a difference in the justice system or the profession and who appear on a path toward even greater accomplishment.
Laura Bentele, Armstrong Teasdale, St. Louis
Jennifer Bukowsky, Bukowsky Law Firm, Columbia
Luz Henriquez, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, St. Louis
Amanda Ketchum, Dysart Taylor Cotter McMonigle & Montemore, Kansas City
Ami Miller, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Springfield
Sarah Mullen, Lewis Rice, St. Louis
Lori Rook, Ozarks Elder Law, Springfield
Erica Slater, The Simon Law Firm, St. Louis
Ashley Twibell, Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Springfield
Stacey Wullschleger, Fisher Law, Kansas City
Leaders of Tomorrow Award
Awarded to women law students who demonstrate leadership, professionalism and a passion for making a difference in the justice system or the legal profession.
Maikieta Antoinette Brantley, University of Missouri School of Law
Nicole Gudmens, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
Kaitlyn Parker, Saint Louis University School of Law
Sarah Carthen Watson, Washington University School of Law