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Diversity & Inclusion 2018 Publisher’s Letter

While the celebration of our differences as humans continues to grow throughout society, we all know there are hurdles yet to be cleared.

Missouri’s legal community is a microcosm of those efforts and challenges.

The American Bar Association leads the profession nationally through its Diversity and Inclusion Center resource. The Missouri Bar follows suit with its committee on diversity, forums on the topic and multiple training sessions. Local bar associations do the same from Springfield to St. Louis, and a growing number of legal associations are devoted to diverse segments of attorneys doing remarkable work within the profession and the justice system.

Firms today are more devoted to the work of inclusion, recognizing that excellence starts with a commitment from the top but builds from beneath. It’s the individuals of any association or firm who make sustainable change. When diversity is celebrated and inclusion guaranteed in any endeavor, its core value is truly recognized.

Embracing the range of human differences fuels bigger success.

And then there’s this — it’s the right thing to do.

The individuals we honor through our inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Awards do the right thing. They are part of the bedrock that supports a foundation of work throughout Missouri’s legal profession.

When we made the decision to add these awards to our event series that highlights legal excellence, the most difficult part was distilling the scores of nominations to the list of 20 honorees we recognize on these pages. We did so with the help of a selection committee made up of individuals who have spent much of their careers pursuing this cause.

So much incredible work, often conducted outside of the spotlight, is done every day by remarkable humans coming together.

Their achievement and dedication to this cause have exerted an incredibly positive influence on the profession and on justice.

We are all better for it.

Liz Irwin