Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Don't miss

Diversity & Inclusion 2022: Ashley Benoist

Senior Associate, Stanton Barton LLC

Ashley E. BenoistBetween six chickens, three dogs, a ferret, a guinea pig, a lizard and a tortoise, Ashley Benoist’s household is a crowded one.

But her love for animals isn’t her only passion. Her recognition in the Diversity and Inclusion Awards will mark the fourth time in three years that Benoist, who litigates insurance claims and commercial matters, has been honored by Missouri Lawyers Weekly. Additionally, she’s also won the Roscoe Anderson Award for Advancement of Trial Advocacy and the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Prosecution Clinical Skills.

A former executive director of the Columbia Police Officers Association, the Mizzou grad served as a legislative attorney in the Missouri House of Representatives before becoming an associate at Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney where she did defense work on toxic torts and complex commercial matters. Later, she’d join Stanton Barton in 2019 after a stint at Brinker & Doyen where she defended wrongful death, personal injury, products liability and commercial matters.

She feels that diversity is a “win-win” for everyone.

“People have their own unique lens … and those with different backgrounds approach problems differently and find different solutions,” she said. “The more diversity we have, the more solutions we find.”

How do you give back to your community?

I am very passionate about giving back to my community. In addition to leading two Girl Scout troops, each summer I also spend a week volunteering as a camp counselor. I also created and implemented a food pantry at my church that provides non-perishable food, basic hygiene items, and clothing to individuals (free-of-charge) in the local community.  Every weekend, my daughters and I gather donations from our church and the community, and then organize and distribute donations through the church’s open-door food pantry. I’m also actively involved in fundraising efforts for various non-profit organizations, including Operation Christmas Child, Alternatives to Living In Violent Environment, Foster Together, and Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition.

What must Missouri’s legal community do to promote meaningful and long-term diversity within its legal/justice system?

We must always be willing to mentor and raise up people who are different from us. Whether by gender identity, race, religion, socio-economic status, physical ability, etc., we must always be willing to lift up those around us and provide them a seat at the table. I hope all lawyers recognize that, regardless of professional title, they are in a position of privilege, opportunity, and leadership. They are in a unique position to bring others up with them.

2022 Diversity & Inclusion Awards