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Jack A. Downing, 27

Associate, Gray, Ritter & Graham

Jack A. DowningLocation: St. Louis

Practice Areas: Commercial litigation, class actions, mass torts, medical malpractice, catastrophic injury, wrongful death

Law School: University of Missouri

“Jack, you’re destined to be an attorney, with as much as you like to argue.”

That’s how Jack Downing’s mother would respond after he launched into heated debates with his siblings as a child.

Growing up, Downing said, he was inspired to become a lawyer by the example set by his father, attorney Don M. Downing, who exhibited an aura of purpose and fulfillment every day.

Now he works for the same firm as his father. As an associate at Gray, Ritter & Graham, he represents farmers and consumers in high-stakes litigation. His nominator said he’s quickly found his footing as a litigator, and his experience already rivals that of attorneys many years his senior.

In his spare time, he volunteers with Room at the Inn, an emergency shelter for homeless women and families.

Downing’s advice to other young lawyers: It’s important to work hard, but it’s just as important to take care of yourself to optimize the services you provide for your family, your firm and your clients.

If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what profession would you have chosen?

My purely aspirational one would be to be a PGA Tour golfer. I competed in junior tournaments when I was a kid and have always loved the sport. Unfortunately, I could never get my game to match my level of enthusiasm.

What is your biggest accomplishment this year?

Helping to secure a settlement for one of our clients for the wrongful death of her husband involving a tank explosion in Soulard.

What is your favorite thing to do away from work?

My two favorites probably happen to be the two most cliché: getting exercise and being outdoors.

2019 Honorees | Publisher’s Letter | Media | Digital Edition | Store | Past events

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