Lisa G. Moore has always had a plan, albeit a simple one: Work to help others and make a real difference in the world.
The Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal attorney earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from Columbia College in 1994. She started graduate school for psychology, but she left the program a short time later.
“As I started my master’s, I realized that that may not be the best fit for me, that I was looking for something that was maybe more proactive than therapy,” Moore said. “. . . For me, I felt like I needed something more tangible.”
She entered law school in 1995 and earned her law degree in 1998 from Saint Louis University School of Law.
“I wanted to use my education . . . to help people who needed advocacy, needed resources, needed someone to be in their corner,” Moore said.
In 2019 she did just that when one of her pro bono cases involved representing the mother of a 10-year-old child with gender dysphoria, a condition in which a person experiences discomfort or distress due to a mismatch between biological sex and gender identity. The child’s father did not accept the child identifying as a girl.
Moore took on the case when a physician with the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Transgender Center notified her firm. The doctor was concerned that the child was at risk because her parents could not communicate or agree on health care and other decisions for the child, putting the child at a greater risk for self-harm and other complications.
“The circumstances were such that I felt strongly that the child needed someone to advocate [for her], as well as having someone help the parents maneuver or to deal with what would ultimately end up being a court case, or having to seek help from the court in order to get the help and the resources,” Moore said.
After taking the case, Moore began to research and learn about children dealing with gender dysphoria. The attorney noted that children experiencing gender dysphoria have difficulty expressing their gender because they don’t know how people are going to accept them.
“I needed to be able to understand the treatment process for a transgender child so that the court could understand it,” Moore said.
This particular case wasn’t about the child’s gender identity but rather about advocating for appropriate services for the child, including a specialized pediatrician and a psychologist, she said.
“I will tell you that in this particular case, the guardian ad litem and judge could not have been more understanding and compassionate and open to the difficulties and the complexities and the things that we needed to be thinking about,” she said.
The child’s father eventually came to understand the child’s unique needs. The parents reached a settlement and avoided a trial.
“That was one of the big issues — that mom and dad could not agree even on the choice of therapists — and this child drastically needed therapy,” Moore said. “And because mom and dad couldn’t agree, the child was without a therapist. Typically, these children who are dealing with these issues that go untreated are at a greater risk of suicide, self-harm and other lifelong emotional issues.”
Moore said she works hard to treat all of her pro bono clients as she would her paying clients: spending hours in research and preparing for trial and cross-examination.
“It is not only a requirement for our licenses. It is something that I feel passionate about,” she said. “I encourage and stress upon all of our lawyers to complete substantial hours of pro bono.”