Having Cynthia Short as an attorney can be a matter of life and death for her clients. Since 1988, she has worked in criminal law, with a strong reputation in defending clients accused of capital crimes. As a trial attorney for the Missouri Public Defender’s Office, Short never had a client receive the death penalty. As a member of the McCallister Law Firm, she also trains attorneys in mitigation and has her own business, CLS Mitigation Services, to assist other attorneys in capital cases. “She is an amazing storyteller in trial, which is why, she’s one of the best,” wrote nominator Kimberly Benjamin.
What are your proudest career accomplishments?
I am most proud of the work I have been permitted to do with individuals and families who have struggled under the weight of our criminal justice system. I am proud of the communities I have been able to build to free those who have been wrongfully convicted. Finally, I am proud to have focused my career on working with clients who cannot otherwise afford quality legal representation.
What is the best advice you have given or received?
I was selected to attend the first class of the Trial Lawyer’s College in 1994. I was a young trial lawyer looking for my power. Gerry Spence taught me first that I was powerful. Second, to never give up my power and third he gave me permission to love my clients and to tell their stories in a way that allowed the client to recognize himself in the narrative.
What is something that would surprise people about you?
I played college basketball, hold a record in the 1,500, did triathlons in law school, raised three children, hosted three foreign exchange students, love People magazine and hoped to one day appear in its pages.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is listening to the stories of the clients and their families, working with my team to tell the story in multiple mediums and then using the narrative to bring the client home.