“It’s really the personal relationships I will [remember] when I look back on my career,” said Crouch, who completed a one-year judicial clerkship at the Missouri Court of Appeals from 1999 to 2000 before joining Shook, where she’s been ever since. “We have a pretty collegial atmosphere. They are people I really like working with and consider friends. It obviously makes a huge difference when you’re working on stressful litigation to be able to do it with people you like.”
Crouch whose practice areas include class actions and complex litigation, business litigation, products-liability, and firearms and munitions litigation, also appreciates the range of challenges her role lets her tackle.
“We have a national-scale practice so I do complex litigation, and I’ve been doing it all over the country since I started,” she said. “I also have a big local client, so I like the diversity of things I’ve been able to do.”
From July 2004 to September 2007, Crouch worked in Shook’s office in Geneva, Switzerland advising Philip Morris International on a variety of litigation matters and related business issues.
“It was a remarkable experience,” she said. “The work was really challenging. I was doing a pretty senior role at a fairly young age. But being able to do that helped me grow a lot in my career, and the personal growth you get from living abroad is really important to me.”
Crouch also was the only female attorney in the Geneva office, an experience she said prompted her to become more committed to reaching out to and supporting other women in her field when she returned to Kansas City. Crouch said her firm is “very aware of and very proactive in terms of diversity and inclusion and promoting female lawyers,” and she’s received a great deal of support from her own co-workers. Still, she said she has experienced situations in which third parties have mistaken her for a court reporter or assumed she’d be taking notes simply because she’s a woman.
While she’s encouraged by the progress she’s seen thus far regarding gender disparity in her field, Crouch said she believes there’s much more work to be done. She’s hopeful more women in positions like her own will continue to create opportunities for younger generations of female lawyers.
“People of my generation are becoming more senior and can help women who are coming up behind us,” she said.