Chair/Associate Professor/Director of Legal Studies, Department of Law, Crime & Social Justice,
“I attempt to create an environment where the wealth of ideas and perspectives are closely examined,” writes the SLU graduate. “To that end, my students will take what they have learned in my classes with them when they enter the legal profession.”
That profession has been good to Jefferson Higgins who began her career clerking for U.S. District Court Judge Charles A. Shaw before moving on to Lashly & Baer where she defended workers’ and unemployment compensation claims and was responsible for administrative due process personnel hearings on behalf of the superintendent of the St. Louis City school board.
Later, she’d move to Webster University working in the Legal Studies Program and expanding her duties over time. A member of the steering committee for the 2012 Global Diversity & Inclusion Summit, she has also been involved with the school’s curriculum, multicultural studies and women studies committees.
With volunteer experience as a mentor for SLU’s law school and a tutor for Project Neighborhood in Kansas City, she also was once a Spanish instructor in the Upward Bound program and has two degrees in the language.
What makes you most proud of your law firm/legal practice?
My commitment to diversity & inclusion is shared by Webster University, which embraces diversity & inclusion as a core value. Having the support and encouragement of Webster University allows me to advance diversity & inclusion not only in the classroom, but with the community as well.
Who has most inspired you in your work for Diversity & Inclusion, and why?
My fifteen-year old son has most inspired me in my work for Diversity & Inclusion. My son always discusses how he enjoys seeing himself and his classmates in the curriculum. In particular, during history class, he finds the material much more interesting when the lessons include topics including all types of races, religions, genders, etc.