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Home / Supplements and Special Sections / WJA 2019 / Nasreen Esmail- Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation

Nasreen Esmail- Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation

nasreen-esmailNasreen Esmail says she was always fascinated with legal matters.

“I just like the focus of the law,” said Esmail, a native of India and a graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law. “It instills in you the ability to respond to individuals who are looking to the expertise of an attorney specialized in a particular area for guidance. I enjoy that aspect.”

For more than two decades, Esmail has provided guidance to the state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation.

“I enjoy it because a lot of these programs are providing assistance to customers who are relying on our expertise, our ability to explain the provisions to them,” she said. “The work comp community is relying on our service to them for development of rules, forms, brochures, telephone responses, scheduling, etc.”

This is far from her first experience in public service. After clerking with both the Missouri Court of Appeals and St. Louis County’s Circuit Court, she became a public defender for the City of St. Louis. Later, she worked for state government as a hearings officer for the Department of Social Services before moving to the Department of Health for a position with the Bureau of Child Care.

Esmail said she loves helping the public.

“As the deputy director, my role is really to make sure the division is functioning smoothly,” she said noting that being in public service means she doesn’t have to quantify helping clients in terms of dollars and cents. “I enjoy the environment that I serve in. We don’t have to worry for example that when someone comes through the door, I have to earn my money [through them].”

One nominator calls her “a sharp legal mind” and “an invaluable resource” for her office.

“Nasreen Esmail has been a tireless worker and great advocate on behalf of the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation and its constituents for decades,” the nominator wrote.

Another noted that Esmail is “the constant in an ever-flowing sea of leadership change” within state government and acts as a source of guidance to 28 administrative law judges across the state.

“Her legal skill and dedication to providing legal service to improve the delivery of prompt and fair resolution of cases should be recognized based on results,” wrote a third nominator.

Esmail said that training others is one of the things she likes most about what she does.

“You develop that pride. You develop that resource, the training tools to teach others,” she said. “It is a learning experience for them, and it is a knowledge-based skill set we are transferring not only to the community but to the employees of the state.”

Where does she see herself in the future?

“I see myself retired. How about that?” she said with a laugh.

But, as someone who has served through a dozen directors, she quickly adds that she’s not ready to go quite yet.

“I really do enjoy the practice of law,” she said.