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WJA 2023: Ann Bodewes Stephens

Laura Warfel//May 11, 2023

WJA 2023: Ann Bodewes Stephens

Laura Warfel//May 11, 2023

Ann StephensCounsel, Sandberg Phoenix, St. Louis

“I still remember when a woman said to me during a meeting, ‘You ought to be a lawyer,’” says Ann Stephens. “I said to her, ‘That’s good because I am a lawyer.’ There are a lot more women attorneys now than there used to be. I can go to a restaurant in Clayton now and not be the only woman there in a business suit. But we still do not have enough women at the top in our profession.”

Stephens earned her JD from Saint Louis University School of Law and her LLM in taxation from Washington University in St. Louis. She currently assists individuals and businesses in all facets of their tax, transactional and wealth planning legal needs, including succession planning. Her clients include businesses involved in many industries as well as small business owners with limited knowledge or resources.

“I especially enjoy estate planning,” she says. “I get to know my clients, hear their stories and needs, and then help them put together a plan. It’s rewarding for me when they feel good about what we did.”

Stephens recalls many visits to hospitals at the “last minute.” “People want to go in peace,” she says. “As their attorney, I’m doing something small to help them do that. I’ve seen them pull themselves together just long enough to get their affairs in order, and then pass away the next day.”

When Stephens thinks about justice, she often remembers her experience when she was pregnant and working as an attorney. “I wrote my own maternity leave policy because our firm didn’t have a policy in place,” she says. “They did go on to improve that policy for other women. Sometimes people just need to be made aware that things aren’t equitable for someone.”

In her career, Stephens is committed to providing quality representation for her clients. “It’s important to empower others to do the right thing for themselves and others.” she says. “And I encourage my colleagues to use their law degree to help at least one person once a week.”

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