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Missouri Lawyers Awards 2023: Mitchell Wood

Co-owner, Halbrook Wood

Mitchell WoodHalbrook Wood experienced considerable growth in 2022 and co-owner Mitchell Wood is a big part of the reason why.

“From the outset of his career, but especially this year, Mitch has tirelessly worked to get others, besides himself, in positions to make key decisions — by insisting their input is heard and followed,” writes his nominator, noting his graciousness in sharing his book of business as well as his propensity for putting female attorneys and paralegals in leadership roles.

As such the 40-year-old University of Arkansas graduate has helped bring in two lateral partners from outside the firm while also promoting others from within.

Originally aiming to be a pharmacist, Wood discovered he was better at writing than chemistry and went to law school. Starting at Legal Aid of Western Missouri, he gained experience in its municipal defense unit, eventually moving on to do both criminal defense and personal injury work at a firm.

He’s been at Halbrook Wood for a dozen years handling a wide variety of matters from employment work to business litigation. He was promoted to partner in just three years and his name was added to the firm’s moniker in 2017 as a co-owner.

“We represent Fortune 500 companies. We represent very small businesses,” he said. “We represent businesses that get sued every day and businesses that have never been sued before.”

This year the firm created a new website and began looking at formal associate training programs.

“I like the challenging aspect of finding just the right person and helping them develop their strengths,” he said. “We’re a trial firm so I want somebody who is interested in litigation if the client wants to try a case.”

Wood said the firm is in a growth phase but its values remain the same. He tries to provide solutions and develop client relationships and many clients have been with him for his full 12 years at the firm.

Wood’s nominator said the pandemic only emphasized his leadership skills. Not only did he carefully work with vendors and employees to mitigate the crisis but also hosted free seminars on special considerations in employment law.

“It was for clients that had quick questions related to COVID — especially in mid-to-late 2020 when the laws were kind of coming out and people were figuring things out as they go,” Wood said. “I think clients really appreciated that. They were able to just talk through some quick issues and if they needed to engage us for anything, they could do that.”

Missouri Lawyers Awards 2023