Dreading jury duty is a universal cliché, but for Calea Stovall-Reid, getting that notice in the mail changed the course of her life. The Howard University graduate served on a jury in Washington D.C., and the experience inspired her to pursue a law career. After graduating from Washington University School of Law, she held numerous positions, including corporate counsel for the St. Louis Housing Authority and litigation associate for Peoples and Hale. After joining the bench in 2003, she developed a reputation for being a thoughtful and respectful judge. “She is ever mindful of the fact that many of the matters she adjudicates impact the lives of individuals, and not just those before her,” wrote nominator Cheryl D.S. Walker, of Bryan Cave.
What are your proudest career accomplishments?
Making the decision to change careers, and accomplishing my goals of becoming a lawyer, and then a judge. I am proud of being able to share my knowledge and experience by mentoring young people who are interested in law. For example, in 2014, I mentored the Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory School team that won the Constitution Project State Championship. In 2016 I mentored the Cardinal Ritter team again and several students received awards, even though we did not win the championship.
What inspired you to get involved in the public service or justice system?
I wanted to help people who find themselves seeking redress through the court system. Public service has always been an important aspect of my life, I enjoy being a change agent for others.
What is the best advice you have given or received?
“Each tub must sit on its own bottom,” the Rev. C. Jessel Strong. This means each one of us is responsible for her/his own actions.
What is something that would surprise people about you?
I am a Sunday School teacher.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy presiding over jury trials. Also, I take great pleasure in sharing my experiences, by mentoring young people who are interested in the law.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
A fashion designer.