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Diversity & Inclusion 2021: Catherine Reade


Haden, Cowherd & Bullock

Catherine Reade’s record of community, civic and volunteer service is arguably as long as her sustained record of excellence in the courtroom.

readeThe medical malpractice defense lawyer, a partner at the firm where she’s worked since 2004, has tried 75 bench trials and 22 jury trials, including 18 med-mal defense cases — nine of which have been cited as top defense verdicts in Missouri Lawyers Media’s annual Top Verdicts & Settlements rankings.

Reade’s extensive community involvement includes leadership roles with the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, mentorship of minority- and women-owned businesses as a Minorities in Business board member and volunteer roles with several Missouri State University student organizations.

The former Texan has called southwest Missouri home for nearly two decades. She’s a past winner of The Missouri Bar Foundation’s Lon O. Hocker Award, which honors young attorneys who embody the qualities of a trial lawyer through such qualities as professionalism and high ethical conduct. Missouri Lawyers Media also has recognized her as a Rising Star at its annual Women’s Justice Awards.

How do you give back to your community? 

I demonstrate volunteer leadership at my church, the YMCA and with the Boy Scouts of America. I‘ve volunteered in the Vacation Bible School program for the past six years and worked as a group leader, classroom coordinator and program advisor at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

At the YMCA, I spent six years as a volunteer coach for youth T-ball, soccer, basketball and flag football before joining the local Y’s governing [body] in 2017, deciding key budgetary issues and participating in fundraising efforts.

I began volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America as a Cub Scout leader in 2014 and currently am a leader with Boy Scout Troop 239. I also served as the Cub Scout Pack 210 treasurer for three years and as a youth leader for residential camp and local programs.

I also volunteer with the Greene County Teen Court Program and worked as the presiding judge and attorney student mentor, and I acted as an assistant coach for several local mock trial and debate teams. I feel that this work is essential as it helps to inspire the next generation of lawyers.

Who has most inspired you in your work for Diversity & Inclusion, and why? 

Working with board members of Minorities in Business and the [Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association], including its Executive Director Crista Hogan, has inspired me the most. 

What goal remains unfulfilled for you as an attorney and advocate for Diversity & Inclusion? 

I hope to see more women and people of color, different backgrounds and people with disabilities welcomed into our profession and into our community.

Complete this sentence: I consider it a successful day when … 

It is no longer necessary to have committees to promote diversity and inclusion because people are already open-minded and inclusive of others.

2021 Diversity & Inclusion Awards