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Jacki Langum, 37

DIRECTOR OF ADVOCACY, ARCHCITY DEFENDERS, ST. LOUIS

jacki-langumPractice area: Public interest
Law school: University of Missouri

Whether she is pushing for legislative answers that assist marginalized communities or providing representation to financially disadvantaged clients, Jacki Langum’s career has been defined by helping to speak for those without a voice.
After working in the state public defender’s office and at the University of Missouri’s Family Violence Clinic while still in law school, this Carey Mae Carrol Award winner went on to represent over 1,700 clients and provide community outreach to many others over more than a decade at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. She was eventually elevated from staff attorney to project coordinator for the Ferguson-North St. Louis County Stabilization Initiative.
Named a Women’s Justice Awards Rising Star in 2013 by Missouri Lawyers Weekly, she used her position to reach out to more than 100 community organizations, worked with news media and co-facilitated a Homeless Adolescent Task Force with dozens of service providers.
This year, her new position at ArchCity Defenders allows her to pursue “impact litigation” and engage in legislative advocacy to benefit the most vulnerable.

What has been your favorite moment as an attorney?
My favorite moment is actually best described in moments – when I see a client smile. For my clients, a smile means they found housing, they obtained their driver’s license, or they have food. The legal system is intimidating and the world is designed to support and perpetuate systems of power.

What inspired you to get involved in the legal profession?
I discovered an interest in environmental and social justice work during college. I realized at that time that a law degree would give me more opportunities to engage in that type of advocacy.

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