Like most of us, innovators probably don’t own a shiny crystal ball. Still, they seem to have crystal-ball qualities when it comes to their soothsaying.
They don’t wait for things to happen. They foretell a need and find a solution before most of us realize its necessity.
You might call them trailblazers, leaders or transformers.
We call them deserving.
Missouri Lawyers Media created this awards program in 2018 to celebrate excellence in legal innovation across the state by recognizing attorneys, firms and businesses whose progressive work drives new practice areas, services and strategies.
Once again, our Top Legal Innovation Awards spotlight quality, leading-edge work by attorneys and those who support the profession. And while we know Midwest lawyers are a clever bunch who are often underestimated, at first even we didn’t know how clever.
From breaking new ground at the intersection of law and entrepreneurship to developing and fine-tuning technology and processes that simplify their work or that of their clients, these honorees lead the next legal charge, clearing a path for those who follow.
It’s a privilege for our company to recognize these men and women who have made a unique contribution to a long-standing, traditional profession. They’re the ones who bring relevance and expertise to accelerate its natural evolution.
Enjoy reading the accomplishments of our honorees. There’s a big dose of inspiration to be found from each.
— Liz Irwin, Group Publisher
Honorees for emerging practice areas
Salutes firms or attorneys who identify and support a practice area in an emerging legal field and are among the first to develop expertise
Anthony Luppino, the Rubey M. Hulen Professor and Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, for his work to develop the emerging entrepreneurial practice area of law and technology, and to assess the impact of technological innovations in entrepreneurship.
Patricia Williams and Lex Valorem Law, for an alternative fee model featuring flat-rate and subscription structures designed to serve small business and entrepreneur clients.
Spencer Fane’s STARTUP Lab, which serves leaders of startup companies by providing free legal counsel and access to mentors at no cost.
Honorees for law firm business changes
Business strategy that demonstrates innovation and relevance to meet the changing needs of clients
Armstrong Teasdale and its COVID-19 Resource Center, a repository of content, updates and guidance about evolving regulations, laws affecting employment, financial services and other practices, and myriad pertinent matters for clients during the pandemic.
Husch Blackwell, for its “1990” branding and marketing campaign on behalf of its corporate real estate practice.
Brett Emison, partner at Langdon & Emison, for his leadership in expanding the firm’s work into the competitive world of mass torts, as well as championing the leadership role of women colleagues in mass tort litigation.
Lathrop GPM, for its creation of a chief client officer role to increase value provided to all clients and unify administrative functions that affect client experience. The firm hired Jasmine Trillos-Decarie for the role in October.
Honorees for new services or products that support Missouri’s legal community
Innovative and high-utility tools that assist the work of an attorney
The Association of Legal Administrators and Gateway Chapter Treasurer Kara Brostron of Lashly & Baer, for the Uniform Process Based Management System, a universal standard for developing and implementing successful strategies in the legal management profession.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, for its digital resource platform aimed at simplifying the process for attorneys to serve as guardians ad litem for children in the court system.
Husch Blackwell for HB Vault, a customized and integrated digital environment for clients that manages data spanning hundreds of fields for thousands of claims and syncs with the firm’s proprietary e-billing portal.