Stephanie Hosler is no joyless mercenary of the law; she’s actually in love with the practice of mergers & acquisitions.
“A lot of times you hear about lawyers being all about fighting and litigating,” said Hosler, who is a partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. “But what I do is combine companies and create something really great for their future. For me, it’s fun.”
Hosler advocates for public companies, closely held businesses, venture capital firms, investment partnerships, portfolio companies of venture capital and buyout firms, and financial institutions. She has experience with companies in a number of different industries, including pharmaceutical companies, food and beverage companies, natural resources, life sciences and consumer goods. Her high-profile clients include Mallinckrodt, Greencore, Peabody Energy Co. and Elanco.
A child of immigrants — her father came from Peru, while her mother hailed from Ireland — Hosler identifies as a female Hispanic attorney.
“We need more diversity in the practice of law,” she said. That’s one of the reasons she has become involved in the Lawyers of Color Initiative at BCLP, in which she has served as a mentor for younger associates and helped to plan events such as business-development seminars. In addition, about a decade ago, Hosler co-founded the Professional Women’s initiative at the firm, and she has mentored in that entity as well.
Her volunteer spirit has a more general aspect: Approximately five years ago, Hosler twice co-chaired the firm’s annual campaign for United Way. In her second go-around, she helped to raise more than $405,000 for the nonprofit organization and increased the participation rate at the firm to 100 percent — a feat she accomplished, she said, by leveraging her relationships with her colleagues to point out to them the benefits of giving.
Hosler has volunteered outside of BCLP, too. She helped to draft the organizational documents and contracts for Habitat for Neighborhood Business, a 501(c)(3) that partners with Saint Louis University students and volunteer business people to help restore economic vitality to underserved neighborhoods through mentoring, networking and education for existing and aspiring minority entrepreneurs.
Hosler also serves on the board and executive committee of another nonprofit organization: The National Conference for Community and Justice of Metropolitan St. Louis, which engages in the areas of community dialogue and advocacy, education and training, capacity building and certification, and consulting and technical assistance.
Yet the outside entity that occupies most of her energies is City Academy, which advertises itself as the only private, independent elementary school in St. Louis and the state of Missouri providing scholarship support to all students. Hosler said the staff there works with families that tend to be in underserved areas, and she supports their efforts by serving on their board and executive committee.
“It’s just an excellent school,” said Hosler. “Education is something I’m very passionate about.”
She accomplishes all this, of course, when she’s not feeding her professional passion for M&A law. She watches the market constantly, she said, and she is an avid reader of The Wall Street Journal, The M&A Lawyer and more — “anything I can get my hands on.”