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WJA 2022: Margaret Hesse

Margaret HesseTueth, Keeney, Cooper, Mohan, Jackstadt

Like a lot of attorneys, Margaret Hesse showed signs early on that a legal career might be for her.

“My dad told me multiple times that I’d probably make a good lawyer because I liked to argue a lot,” said the 55-year-old.

But it wasn’t until she took an undergraduate debate class when she found that she loved the research, the writing and the crafting of arguments. One of the vice-presidents of the college approached her afterward to advise her to consider law school.

“I always wanted to have a career where I could make a difference and do something good for the world,” said the suburban St. Louis native.

After graduation from Washington University, she did medical and legal malpractice cases as well as insurance and premises liability matters, all from the defense side. She’d go on to eventually gravitate toward employment matters and doing litigation work for educational institutions.

In 2000, she became an associate at Tueth, Keeney, Cooper, Mohan, Jackstadt where she currently presides as president and managing shareholder.

Hesse genuinely enjoys her work with educators. She feels her duties as a litigator and client counselor help them to shape the future of the children they teach. From ACA matters and HIPAA questions to First Amendment cases and business contracts, Hesse acts as a resource for those she serves.

“We have the best clients in the world,” she said. “The work that we do, we pride ourselves on being very client-centered here at the firm. We have developed long-standing relationships with our clients who we have worked with for 20 or 30 years. It is really fulfilling to work with clients who are doing good in this world.”

Hesse said she believes it is vital both to give respect and to earn it. That often means trying to meet the needs of all parties in a matter through open communication.

“I feel that it is important as lawyers that we remember why we took our oath of office and that we are here to serve justice,” she said. “When I’m advising clients and trying to resolve disputes, I do try to think about how do we serve justice here?”

The most aggressive strategy doesn’t always yield the best answer.

“I know that a lot of people see lawyers as loving conflict but I do think our role is to try and assist by resolving conflict in positive ways,” she said.

Women's Justice Awards 2022