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Diversity & Inclusion 2022: Courtney Stirrat

Litigation Partner, Franke Schultz and Mullen

Courtney StirratCourtney Stirrat believes that helping people to succeed on their terms is vital to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion among underrepresented groups.

“We are not running a firm that wants everyone to handle and try cases the same, and some of the best ideas for trials come out of empowering those attorneys and staff to offer their own insights,” writes the University of Missouri graduate.

A former law clerk to Missouri Supreme Court Judge Ronnie White and Federal Magistrate Patricia Cohen, Stirrat has been practicing law since 2006 with a strong focus on transportation, maritime matters and medical malpractice. She came to her present firm in 2019 and made partner the following year. Having tried a dozen cases to verdicts, she’s worked on both plaintiff’s and defense side and developed a reputation for being able to brief complex legal issues at both the state and federal level on everything from Daubert motions to appellate matters.

She said that she’s proud to work at a firm that consistently promotes and encourages female trial attorneys.

“We have an incredible group of female partners who try all levels of cases and we actively work to mentor our female associates,” she said. “I am often the only woman in the room in depositions on my files and I know that is because my firm made it a point to give me challenging, high exposure cases and trust me to handle them. Their belief flows to the clients and carriers and allows me to practice at my highest level.”

Who has most inspired you in your work for Diversity & Inclusion, and why?

Judge Patricia Cohen, Federal Magistrate in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Judge Cohen taught me to hone my legal analysis to certainty and then stand firm in the certainty with tenacious grace.

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

Put women, people of color, LGBTQ and lawyers from other underrepresented communities in the courtroom. Early and often. Normalize their work as trial attorneys with clients, so that both the clients and young attorneys grow in confidence.

Other family or personal details you wish to include?

I grew up showing dogs in AKC competitions with my mom and my sister. We showed at a very high level and I learned that, as a woman, if I worked hard and made strategic decisions, I could succeed. I also learned that having a community of women made it so much easier.

2022 Diversity & Inclusion Awards