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Diversity & Inclusion 2021: Mark H. Levison


Lashly & Baer

St. Louis Urban League board chair. President of the city’s Land Reutilization Authority. Board member of the St. Louis Development Corporation, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis and the St. Louis Internship Program.

levisonFor Lashly & Baer Partner Mark Levison, civic and community service isn’t merely a resume-builder but fundamentally a core value.

“The community has given far more to me than I could ever give back,” he says. “I have been blessed with the opportunity to work in a profession that helps people, pays well and lets me have a great time, so you see there is a lot of ‘paying back’ just to get even.”

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

First is [St. Louis Public Schools Development Officer] Linda Riekes — the Mother Teresa of our community. Although she was fortunate enough to have ample assets, she worked day in and day out for St. Louis Public Schools with a steadfast determination.

Second is John C. Shepherd, a fine trial lawyer with a booming voice who purportedly finished about last in his law school class — then went on to be not just president of the ABA and BAMSL but a great leader and inspiration.

Third is Mike McMillan, whom I met when he was in his early 20s in the administration of Freeman Bosley Jr., the first Black mayor of St. Louis. Mike is now one of the strongest voices in our community working for inclusion, equality and more in his role as president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.

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

One of my children tells me something I did or said was valuable or inspired them.

I win a case, particularly when it happens for a pro bono client.

I hear a success story about one of the accomplishments achieved by an organization with which I have been affiliated. 

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you:

I slept next to a lion on the Kenyan savannah. I was a Capitol Hill police officer. There has never been a day when I did not want to go to work.

2021 Diversity & Inclusion Awards