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Tom Hershewe, 39

Partner, Dollar, Burns & Becker

Tom HersheweLocation: Kansas City

Practice area(s): Bad faith, insurance coverage, personal injury, motor-vehicle collisions

Law school: University of Missouri

With a background in competitive debate at the college level, Tom Hershewe said he thought the law would be a good way of using his skillset to help people. Turns out, it also helped to propel him to a prominent career.

He joined Dollar, Burns & Becker in 2010 after serving as a law clerk for more than four years, and he became a partner in 2015. During that time, according to a nominator, he has developed a statewide reputation as an expert in insurance-coverage disputes, bad-faith cases and general personal injury matters.

Hershewe’s work about the profession has appeared in numerous professional publications, including the American Association for Justice’s Trial Magazine. Another nominator called Hershewe one of Kansas City’s smartest attorneys, noting that he has handled many multimillion-dollar, bad-faith cases throughout the entire case and appellate process — and in many cases, making new law.

While Hershewe’s ability to handle and litigate 20 to 25 cases at a time is impressive, what he does outside the law office is more impressive, a nominator said. He devotes significant time and resources to help Operation Breakthrough, which provides a safe environment for children in poverty, and he is a member of The American Association for Justice and the Missouri Humanities Council.

What advice do you have for young lawyers?

Work hard, but also work smart. Try to find places at your firm where you will have the opportunity to learn and grow. Identify undeveloped practice areas or under-utilized skills that bring you joy, and work with your employer and mentors to build on those experiences. Be curious. Never be afraid to ask why.

What is something that would surprise people about you?

I went to four Grateful Dead shows this year. Most people find that surprising.

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