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WJA 2021: Adrienne B. Haynes

When she took a business law course in college, things really started to fall into place for Adrienne B. Haynes.

haynes“I think at that time a light bulb really went off for me,” she said.

The Peoria native had been interested in and involved with entrepreneurship but now law school seemed like a viable way to advance that idea as a career. That’s where SEED Law, the boutique business firm she founded, began to germinate.

“Sometimes when we talk about entrepreneurship and business development, we romanticize the idea and the passion of the business and not necessarily the infrastructure necessary for sustainability,” said the UMKC graduate. “That’s where I really think my skill set helps our clients because I am both an entrepreneur and very analytical in the way we do our lawyering.”

Founded in 2015, SEED Law has allowed Haynes to develop relationships with clients statewide as she creates legal and strategic planning solutions for businesses. Via SEED Collective, Haynes has offered consulting to the Kauffman Foundation, Elevate Energy, Blue Hills Community Services, the Midwest Women’s Business Enterprise Council and her alma mater.

“I went to law school because I was an entrepreneur who had discovered business law and I wanted to be able to share what I had learned with other entrepreneurs so that they could focus on their passion which is running a business,” said Haynes, who has previously taken on roles as a paralegal at Legal Aid of Western Missouri as well as director of both a camp and a contractor incubator focusing on the construction industry.

A part of the Buena Vista University National Alumni Association board of directors, she has participated in the founding of various nonprofits including the Multicultural Business Association and the Black Female Attorneys Network of which she is president.

Haynes said she enjoys dealing with her clients.

“It is a privilege because we are working with people who have a business idea and maybe those who are in multigeneration family-owned businesses who are ready to sell their business,” she said. “We get the privilege of meeting people at various different stages in their business journey and it really is fun. We actually have a pretty high percentage of clients who were with us from the very beginning who are still working with us today.”

There is also a larger sense of duty to the community.

“I feel strongly about the fact that attorneys are gatekeepers, and it really is our responsibility to make sure – as our state motto says – that the welfare of the people is really the supreme law,” Haynes said.

Women's Justice Awards 2021