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Diversity & Inclusion 2022: Ronald Alan Norwood

Litigation Partner, Lewis Rice

Ronald Alan NorwoodRonald Norwood believes that his profession has a special responsibility to the cause of diversity.

“Because we are presented with a never-ending battle to achieve truth, justice, fairness and equity,” he writes, “I intend on continuing to pound away to be the best lawyer, mentor and leader I can be to help in this very important fight.”

It is a fight where the Chicago native now finds himself on the front lines. Having achieved equity membership at his firm in 1997, he now serves as chair of its DEI Committee.  A graduate of Mizzou, he’s been with Lewis Rice for more than three decades where he’s amassed an extensive resume of clients including the St. Louis Police Department and the city’s public school system. He’s also built a strong health care practice representing insurers, HMOs and providers in addition to work with national and regional banks, mortgage companies and manufacturers in product liability and consumer fraud litigation. In addition, Norwood, an adjunct professor at Washington University who has served as a disciplinary hearing officer for the state supreme court, has taken on criminal matters as well including the successful defense of a St. Louis Rams player facing charges that could have left him in prison for life.

A former clerk for U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright, Norwood has held key positions on the boards of Harris-Stowe State University, the Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce and Sherwood Forest Camp.

What motivates you most in your work as an attorney and as an advocate for Diversity & Inclusion?

As an African-American attorney, it is critically important that I shine as a professional in order to help dispel the stereotypes that African-American attorneys cannot perform as well as their counterparts in the legal profession. In bringing my A-game in all of my encounters with clients, other attorneys, judges, juries and the public at large, that helps me achieve success for my clients and helps to eradicate those negative and false stereotypes.

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

One person who has been my primary source of inspiration has been my wife and soulmate WU law professor Kimberly Jade Norwood. Kim has spearheaded legal pipeline programs within the St. Louis Public Schools (in which I was able to participate as a mentor/teacher), started the first WU law school course in bias and a first-ever course called “Race, Education and the Law,” and has provided bias and diversity training on an international basis to law firms (including mine), judges, prosecutors, public defenders, legislators and corporations.

2022 Diversity & Inclusion Awards