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Caitlin E. O’Connell, 36

Caitlin E. O’ConnellPartner, Dowd Bennett

Location: St. Louis

Practice Areas: Complex commercial and appellate litigation in federal and state courts

Law School: Washington University in St. Louis

The same dedication that Caitlin O’Connell showed in winning her division in the St. Louis Rock ‘n Roll half-marathon is on display every day for her clients.

A former clerk for Judge Julia Smith Gibbons of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, she is now regularly praised by colleagues for her passionate writing ability honed by the study of English literature in college. Her recent cases include obtaining the reversal of an injunction against Anheuser-Busch in a false-advertising claim by Molson Coors.

As a former Madison Fellow with Americans United for Separation of Church and State, she represented the respondents in Town of Greece v. Galloway, a case about legislative prayers in local government bodies that went before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“She is a first-rate attorney who does excellent work without seeking attention,” her nominator wrote. “Her work product and insights are invaluable to her fellow attorneys and, more importantly, to our clients.”

What is the best career advice you have received?

A useful piece of advice that I received early on was to seek out mentors — formally or informally — whose practices and lives are admirable or inspiring to you, and don’t shy away from asking questions and learning from them. When I moved back to St. Louis after practicing in Washington, D.C., for a few years, I knew immediately that Dowd Bennett was the right place for me because I was surrounded by people with interesting practices and fulfilling lives outside of work.

Anything else you want people to know about you?

While my husband and I are not from St. Louis, we met here while clerking and interning in Judge David Noce’s chambers. Judge Noce officiated our wedding several years later!