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The Up and Coming class of 2017. Photo by T.L. Witt

Missouri Lawyers Weekly honors Up & Coming lawyers

Missouri Lawyers Weekly on Friday hosted its annual Up & Coming Awards, which recognize lawyers who are 40 years or younger or within the first 10 years of practice.

This year, the sheer volume of nominations received was the highest in the collective memory of staff at Missouri Lawyers Media, Publisher Liz Irwin told the crowd.

“Make no mistake, to be nominated for our awards means an attorney had a remarkable positive impact,” Irwin said. “To be selected is a testament to outstanding and consistent contribution to Missouri’s legal community.”

A total of 58 attorneys were honored this year at a luncheon at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis. Around 300 people attended the event.

The members of this year’s Up & Coming class are:

Melesa Johnson and Shannon Haney talk before the awards program at Up and Coming 2017. Photo by T.L. Witt

Melesa Johnson and Shannon Haney talk before the awards program at Up and Coming 2017. Photo by T.L. Witt

Ashley Atwell-Soler, Holman Schiavone, Kansas City

Jeremy Brenner, Armstrong Teasdale, St. Louis

Sarah Burns, Simmons Hanly Conroy, Alton, Illinois

Emily Cantwell, Lathrop Gage, St. Louis

Josh Christensen, Lathrop Gage, Springfield

Matt Crane, Dowd Bennett, St. Louis

Adam Doerr, Jackson Lewis, St. Louis

Julia Drafahl, Ogletree Deakins, St. Louis

Whittney Dunn, The Bar Plan Foundation, St. Louis

Chantal Fink, Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch, St. Louis

Kyle Harmon, Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law, Springfield

Amanda Hettinger, Thompson Coburn, St. Louis

Shelby Hewerdine, Bryan Cave, St. Louis

Blake Hill, King, Krehbiel & Hellmich, St. Louis

Melesa Johnson, Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice, Kansas City

Danielle Kincaid, Ozarks Elder Law, Springfield

Jacqueline Kinder, Brown & James, St. Louis

Frank Koranda, Polsinelli, Kansas City

Meghan Litecky, Dysart Taylor, Kansas City

Betsy Lynch, Lynch Sharp & Associates, Kansas City

Michelle Marvel, Bartimus Frickleton Robertson, Leawood, Kansas

Megan McCurdy, Stinson Leonard Street, Kansas City

John McLeod, Brown & James, St. Louis

Greg Meyer, Harness Dickey, St. Louis

Christina Miller, Reproductive Family Law Center, Kansas City

Jehan Moore, Lathrop Gage, Kansas City

Amy Moore Harris, UMB Financial Corporation, Kansas City

Brian Nolan, Carmody MacDonald, St. Louis

Nathan Oleen, Husch Blackwell, Kansas City

Lindsey Phoenix, Whiteaker & Wilson, Springfield

Scott Pummell, Lashly & Baer, St. Louis

Brad Risby, Neale & Newman, Springfield

Jared Rose, Rose Law Firm, Kansas City

Ernesto Segura, Husch Blackwell, St. Louis

John M. Simon, The Simon Law Firm, St. Louis

Alan Simpson, Graves Garrett, Kansas City

Tracy Spradlin, The Gordon Law Firm, Kansas City

Cort VanOstran, Gray, Ritter & Graham, St. Louis

Brian Wacker, Herzog Crebs, St. Louis

Sarah Wade, Thompson Coburn, St. Louis

Nicole Zellweger, Stinson Leonard Street, St. Louis

In addition to the general Up & Coming category, some lawyers are recognized in special categories:

Danielle Kincaid, Tracy Spradlin, and JoEllen Engelbart at the 2017 Up and Coming Awards. Photo by T.L. Witt

Danielle Kincaid, Tracy Spradlin, and JoEllen Engelbart at the 2017 Up and Coming Awards. Photo by T.L. Witt

Law Firm Leader

Recognizing early-career professionals who hold important leadership positions at their firms.

Jordan Ault, Husch Blackwell, Jefferson City

Casey Crawford, Wallace Saunders, Overland Park, Kansas

Michael Daming, Wasinger Daming, St. Louis

Tiffany McFarland, McDowell Rice Smith & Buchanan, Kansas City

Lori Rook, Ozarks Elder Law, Springfield

Public Service

Recognizing early-career professionals working in the non-profit or government sectors.

JoEllen Engelbart, Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, Kansas City

Jacki Langum, ArchCity Defenders, St. Louis

William Lynch, Jasper County Prosecutor’s Office, Joplin

Steven Ramsey, Missouri Attorney General’s Office, Jefferson City

Nikola Smith, City of Kansas City, Missouri

Kristine Walentik, St. Francis Community Service Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry, St. Louis

Jerri Zhang, Jackson County Circuit Court probate division, Kansas City

Pro Bono

Recognizing an extraordinary pro bono project led by an early-career professional.

Jacqueline Redmond, Herzog Crebs, St. Louis


Given to more experienced legal professionals who have played an important role in the development of those starting out in the profession.

Joel Fahnestock, Jackson County Circuit Judge, Kansas City

Shannon Haney, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, St. Louis

Theresa Levings, Badger & Levings, Kansas City

Michael Noble, St. Louis Circuit Judge, St. Louis