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Up & Coming Honorees: Scott B. Pierson, 35

Associate Attorney, The Law Offices of Dee Wampler and Joseph Passanise, Springfield

scott-pearsonPractice Areas: Criminal defense, expungements

Law School: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Scott Pierson says the thrill he experienced from solving problems piqued his interest in a legal career.

“Before that I either wanted to be the starting defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs or a professional fisherman,” he said. “I don’t catch many fish, and the Chiefs never called.”

A Kansas City native, Pierson earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2006 from Missouri State University and his law degree in 2009 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. While in law school, he said his interest in the law shifted — from problem solving to “the belief that justice can be won.”

Since then, he has fought for justice on both sides of the law. As a law clerk and staff attorney at McGonagle Spencer, Pierson handled personal-injury and class-action cases, working towards a favorable settlement or outcome for his client. In 2012 Pierson became a public defender, first in Kansas City and later in Springfield.

He continues his work in criminal defense at his current firm, The Law Offices of Dee Wampler and Joseph Passanise, in Springfield. There, he manages a caseload of more than 500 criminal cases at a time, but he still provides “zealous representation of his clients,” said Drug Court Commissioner Peggy Davis in her letter of recommendation.

What is your biggest accomplishment this year?

My wife and I welcomed our first child. [I’m] not sure if that is an “accomplishment,” but he is alive and happy, so [that] counts in our books. Professionally, working with individuals and attorneys on Missouri’s new expungement laws. The ability to assist people in shedding their criminal history has been rewarding on many levels.

What has been your favorite moment as an attorney?

Back in 2013, [my] first not-guilty in a jury trial. It was a relatively small assault case, but [it] reassured my decision to become a criminal defense attorney.

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