As CEO and Owner of Alaris Litigation Services, Deborah C. Weaver has become a leader among women business owners during her 35 years in the legal industry. Her St. Louis-based firm provides court reporting, alternative dispute resolution, legal video and a range of other trial services for law firms, corporations and government agencies nationally and globally.
Alaris has earned certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, and as a disadvantaged business enterprise and a women’s business enterprise in both Missouri and Illinois. When her company — originally known as Midwest Litigation Services — rebranded two years ago, diversity was high among its core values, Weaver said.
“I have always been passionate about providing equal rights for all, and I’ve made that one of my personal missions,” she said.
Part of that mission has included providing educational training to the National Association of Minority and Women-Owned Law Firms, as well as partnering with bar and professional associations in Missouri and neighboring states on other outreach efforts to advance diversity and inclusion.
What motivates you most in your work and as an advocate for Diversity & Inclusion?
To me, nothing is more important than supporting the citizens and communities where we do business, and part of that is giving back in order to help raise others up and support those of underrepresented populations. I believe that the character of a person — and a company — is shown in how we treat those who are less fortunate than us, and all of us at Alaris strive to lift up our communities in every way possible. I have been active in educating corporate legal departments on the benefits of using not only diverse law firm suppliers but also encouraging suppliers to engage with Tier 2 diverse companies as well. In this way Tier 2 suppliers can indirectly assist large, non-diverse suppliers in meeting their supplier diversity requirements. This allows the full beneficial effects of diversity spending to be realized more deeply throughout our economy.
How do you give back to your community?
I support those who support others. The Alaris team participates in several philanthropic and service projects, including:
- The Center for Women in Transition: The center provides comprehensive wrap-around services for women re-entering the St. Louis community from jail/prison. Alaris hosts an annual breakfast for the Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater St. Louis and the Association of Legal Administrators Gateway Chapter, which spotlights a participant whose transition back to community life has been aided by CWIT.
- Motion for Kids: The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis hosts the Motion for Kids holiday party for up to 2,500 St. Louis-area children whose lives have been severely affected by the criminal justice system. As part of that effort, Alaris has hosted MFK’s Pictures with Santa station for more 30 years.
- Let’s Start: This group strives to break the cycle of incarceration in families by working with formerly incarcerated women and their children to support re-entry and recovery. Every other month, Alaris buys groceries and packs 100 lunches for kids to enjoy on the bus as they travel to visit their incarcerated mothers.
What goal remains unfulfilled for you as an advocate for Diversity & Inclusion?
There is always room for improvement and growth when it comes to awareness of cultural sensitivity and opportunities for inclusion. My goal for the rest of 2020 and beyond is to become more sensitive and aware to the micro- and macro-aggressions individuals of color and other underrepresented communities face in our industry.