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WJA 2022: Mary Jane Judy

Mary Jane JudyPolsinelli

In the age of remote work, being a managing partner has never been more challenging.

Still, it is a challenge Mary Jane Judy loves.

“It is about making sure that people — especially now with more flexible schedules — want to come into the office and spend time with their colleagues,” said Judy, co-managing partner in Polsinelli’s Kansas City office. “That’s really important to me.”

It is important to firms as well and the 40-year-old Mizzou graduate who has spent her entire career at Polsinelli is working hard to make the office an inviting place to be. It is a good-natured tendency that has also served her well in her commercial real estate transactions practice.

“Generally speaking, I enjoy the more collegial nature of it,” she said of her specialty. “Most of the time you have somebody who wants to buy and someone who wants to sell.”

Judy said she loves the task of negotiation and of convincing the other side to do what her client wants through the art of persuasion.

“You win more bees with honey,” she said.

Now, she’s reaching a stage of her career where she leads others rather than just doing the work herself.

“Recently the transition from mentee to mentor has been one that I have made,” she said, “and I really feel strongly about mentoring young female associates or partners, particularly related to their involvement in community and civic organizations. That’s a real sweet spot for me.”

That’s obvious from Judy’s list of civic commitments which includes work with Children’s Mercy Hospital Foundation of Kansas City, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas City Museum Foundation among many others. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society named her a Woman of the Year candidate in 2008.

Within the legal realm, she’s been honored as an Up and Coming attorney by Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly in 2014. Last year, she was named a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Judy said that the lesson she’s taken to heart over her career is that you should make certain to be respectful of everyone.

“You never know when you might run into them again,” she said. “It could be that an associate becomes a client at some point. I’ve had brokers in other states that were on the other side of a transaction that have referred me business. You never know who you might meet down the line.”

Women's Justice Awards 2022