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Barbara Wallace named 2023 Woman of the Year

Women's Justice Awards 2023 logo

Missouri Lawyers Media has chosen mediator and former St. Louis County Circuit Judge Barbara W. Wallace as its 2023 Woman of the Year, highlighting the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Justice Awards.

Wallace’s career encapsulates the transformation of the legal profession during the last quarter century.  She earned her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1976. That same year, she helped found the Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater St. Louis. She went on to serve as its president, as well as president of the Lawyers Association of St. Louis.

In 1988, Wallace was elected as a lawyer member of the 21st Circuit Judicial Commission, where she helped to expand the number of female attorneys in St. Louis County. In 1995, after nearly two decades in private practice, Gov. Mel Carnahan named her to the bench she’d help shape. She was the circuit’s presiding judge from 2001 to 2005, the first woman to serve in that role. She retired in 2017.

Wallace is among 51 honorees who will be honored at the annual Women’s Justice Awards ceremony on May 18 at The Royal Sonesta Chase Park Plaza St. Louis. This year’s honorees will be profiled in the May edition of our monthly publication as part of special coverage of the award’s 25th anniversary.

Since 1999, the Women’s Justice Awards have honored hundreds of female lawyers, law students, rising stars, public officials and others who have displayed professional excellence in Missouri’s courtrooms and boardrooms.

For information on the event or to purchase tickets, click here.

The 2023 honorees are:

Woman of the Year

This woman truly stands out in making an extraordinary difference to improve the quality of justice or exemplify the highest ideals of the legal profession.

Barbara W. Wallace, Lexitas

Corporate Award

These women serve as general or in-house counsel, advising businesses on complex legal matters.

Jamie Allen, Saint Luke’s Health System

Latieke Lyles, Wells Fargo

Katherine Scannell, Washington University School of Law

Erika Schenk, World Wide Technology

General Practitioner Award

These are the women who, as attorneys, do it all. They handle multiple practice areas with skill.

Kimberly Carter, Law Office of Shawn D. Young

Amanda Grellner, Law Office of Amanda L. Grellner

Diane Howard, Limbaugh Firm

Innovation & Technology Award

These women advise companies, startups and entrepreneurs with legal issues regarding intellectual property, technology and other aspects of their business.

Stacy Harper, Spencer Fane

Leaders of Tomorrow Award

These law students demonstrate leadership, professionalism and a passion for making a difference in the justice system or legal profession.

Wensdai Brooks, University of Missouri School of Law

Kylee Gomez, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

Austynn Hicks, Saint Louis University School of Law

Cara Hunt, Washington University School of Law

Litigation Practitioner Award

These litigators have made their careers in the courtroom — criminal or civil, representing plaintiff or defense.

Jennine Adamek Moore, Franke Schultz & Mullen

Amy Bender-Levy, Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal

Anne-Marie Brockland, Casey, Devoti & Brockland

Michelle Cocayne, Turney LG

Sheena Foye, Wyrsch Hobbs & Mirakian

Heather Hatley, Franke Schultz & Mullen

Shari Lockhart, Evans & Dixon

Maylin Mahoney, Wolk & Associates

Lucy McShane, McShane & Brady

Jessica Merrigan, Spencer Fane

Jackalyn Olinger Rochelle, Bailey Glasser

Catherine Reade, Haden Cowherd & Bullock

Ashley Ricket, Ricket Law Firm

Rachel Roman, Zevan Davidson Roman

Inez Ross, OnderLaw

JoAnn Sandifer, Husch Blackwell

Steffanie Stracke, Edelman & Thompson

Lauren Tucker McCubbin, Polsinelli

Pro Bono Award

These awards honor the women attorneys who have contributed significant effort and time to pro bono work.

Jenna Brofsky and Kelli Meilink, Husch Blackwell

Charli Steed, Spencer Fane

Public Service Award

These women work on behalf of a nonprofit organization, government agency or the judiciary; or have made their mark in education.

Amy Diemer, Catholic Legal Assistance Ministries

Renee Hardin-Tammons, appellate judge, Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District

Kendra Howard, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Jessica Kruse, circuit judge, Christian County Circuit

Julia Pusateri Lasater, Associate Circuit Judge, St. Louis County Circuit Court

Denise Lieberman, Missouri Voter Protection Coalition

Jalilah Otto, presiding judge, Jackson County Circuit Court

Martina Peterson, judge, Kansas City Municipal Court

Beth Phillips, chief judge, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri

Kimberley Pulley, Greene County Prosecutor’s Office

Katherine Schmidt, Missouri State Public Defender’s Office

Megan Seay, circuit judge, 42nd Judicial Circuit

Transactional Practitioner Award

These women counsel companies, individuals and organizations on the legal issues generated by their business dealings or financial matters.

Kelly Sullivan Angles, Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard

Elizabeth Felker, Spencer Fane

Desarae Harrah, Harrah Law

Alexandra Johnson, AJ Legal Services

Ann Stephens, Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard

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