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WJA 2021: Whittney Dunn

People struggling to manage risk often come to an attorney.

dunnAttorneys struggling to manage risk come to Whittney Dunn.

“That’s honestly what I really like doing,” said Dunn, 36. “I’m able to help our insureds and provide them with guidance and peace of mind about ethics issues they encounter. I really enjoy doing that work.”

As a risk manager at the Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Company, Dunn regularly encounters issues so complex that they vex even legal professionals.

“I get the best of both worlds,” said the Mizzou graduate now in her sixth year with the organization. “I get to engage in legal analysis and participate in the legal arena without having the stressors of daily clients.”

Honored by Lawyers Weekly in 2017 as an up-and-coming attorney, Dunn has continued to impress colleagues. Personally delivering 30 hours of CLE programs and organizing another 60 over the past year for Kansas and Missouri attorneys, she works hard to spread knowledge in the legal community.

She likes that she doesn’t have individual clients.

“But I get to still help those attorneys who are struggling with those issues,” said Dunn who was recognized two years ago with a Young Lawyers Division Award of Merit. “I get to still feel connected to the practice of law. I get to talk to them about what happens in their representation and get to walk them through the guidance that we have based on our experience with various types of claims.”

Dunn started her career in Legal Aid before doing a year of work at a firm on creditors rights and contested foreclosure cases. Later, she’d work in-house as a staff attorney for UniGroup, Inc. on cargo claims litigation and regulatory/government matters.

“The main thing that I loved about law school and I loved about the profession, honestly, is the people I’ve been able to meet,” said the southern Missouri native. “I feel like the type of person that is attracted to being an attorney, I am very much that type of person. I’ve made amazing lifelong friends. I kind of found my tribe when I went to law school.”

Dunn doesn’t just work to educate other lawyers. She’s an annual volunteer in the “We the People” and “Show Me the Constitution” programs designed to talk to high school students about our founding documents and she speaks yearly to kids on Constitution Day.

Younger Missouri children have benefitted from her work as well. She chaired the Missouri Bar committee that developed activity and coloring books that educate regarding the courts and civic matters.

“The bar likes to make sure that all the citizens of our state have access to information about our government, our court system and our judicial system and how all of that works,” she said.

Women's Justice Awards 2021