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Cort VanOstran, 29

Associate, Gray, Ritter & Graham, St. Louis

cort-vanostranPractice areas: Commercial litigation and class action

Law school: Washington University

A one-time campaign manager for a state legislative primary race, Cort VanOstran has been involved in work for more than a dozen campaigns across three states.

Next year, he is making his own bid for Congress in Missouri’s Second District.

He’s worked on important litigation for his firm including a $217.7 million verdict for Kansas corn farmers in a class action suit against a GMO producer.

VanOstran’s resume is extensive including internships with a Massachusetts congressman and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill as well as a legal internship with state senate minority leader Jolie Justus. He interned with Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Teitelman and was a law clerk for two U.S. District Court jurists.

Today, his community involvement includes his work as coordinator for Washington University’s Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Law Program and his activities as a board member for the not-for-profit Prison Performing Arts. He has a degree in government from Harvard and is vice-president for young alumni at the Harvard Club of St. Louis.

What has been your favorite moment as an attorney?

I’ll never forget the day I was sworn in as a member of The Missouri Bar. It was a great day for me, but watching how proud it made my family was really special.

What inspired you to get involved in the legal profession?

As the son of a single mom, and someone who benefited from strong public schools and great community support, I am committed to giving back to my community and working to ensure fairness and opportunity for others. Being a lawyer allows me to do just that.