Brown & Crouppen
Andrea McNairy has accomplished several firsts at Brown & Crouppen, a St. Louis-based personal injury law firm.
When she joined the firm in 2009 the group had never had an associate attorney.
When she became a partner in Nov. 2021, she was the first woman to hold that role at the firm, which was founded in 1979.
Fellow attorneys attribute McNairy’s trailblazing journey to her tireless work on behalf of clients.
“I know how passionate she is about her clients and case load and how cutthroat she is when it comes to trying cases when her opponent isn’t giving the case its fair value,” said Anne Brockland, a fellow personal injury attorney.
McNairy’s dedication predates her tenure at Brown & Crouppen. While attending Saint Louis University School of Law, McNairy was a single mom and working as a manager at Walmart.
“The joke used to be that I would bring my baby everywhere … but when you don’t have any other options, you just bring him,” McNairy said of her son, Elijah. “I always tell men and women that are single parents: it just becomes part of your life, and you do what you have to do.”
In addition to managing personal challenges, McNairy also knows how to make life difficult for opposing counsel, said Brockland.
“She will drown the other side in paperwork, and it’s all stuff to further her cases, but she is not afraid to do the work. This woman is working 5 in the morning until late at night,” said Brockland.
Now in a leadership position, McNairy seeks to help younger female attorneys. Her legal team is comprised entirely of women, and she has allowed her attorneys to serve as second chairs at trials, McNairy said. She has also allowed a clerk in law school to participate in instruction conferences and arguments.
“She is always very supportive of other lawyers,” said Rachel Roman, who attended law school with McNairy and worked alongside her at their first job at The Simon Law Firm. “A lot of other lawyers may not be that way. And she is very supportive of women and younger lawyers. She is willing to take the time to teach.”
McNairy said she is proud of her female associates who “now stand on their own with their own cases.”
As to her own success, McNairy said, “For me it’s huge because traditionally it was thought that [Brown & Crouppen] would never make any more partners.”
“It was important to me because even though most of our attorneys are men, most of our staff is women,” said McNairy. “I just think it’s really important to have representation and maybe a different way of looking at things at the top for an almost entirely female staff.”