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WJA 2023: Elizabeth O’Brien Felker

Laura Warfel//May 11, 2023

WJA 2023: Elizabeth O’Brien Felker

Laura Warfel//May 11, 2023

Elizabeth FelkerPartner, Spencer Fane, St. Louis

After only three years at Spencer Fane, Elizabeth Felker was named partner. “Liz stands out not only for her work at the firm, but also for her dedication to professional and civic organizations,” said her nominator for this award. “She recognizes the importance of developing the next generation of women lawyers who will lead alongside her into the future.” Conversationally fluent and professionally competent in Spanish, she is also a valuable collaborative resource for the firm’s attorneys in providing all-encompassing legal services.

“I don’t go to court or litigate,” Felker says. “I’m not in court defending rights. The justice aspect of what I do is my employee benefits specialty. My client is the employer, but I help them make sure that everything they do is compliant with the rules and laws in place to protect employees. My work affects employees at all levels.”

Felker definitely understands business from the employee’s perspective. During high school, she worked as a dude ranch hand in rural Missouri. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Santa Clara University in California, she quickly found out that, in the midst of a recession, there weren’t many jobs available in print journalism.

So she moved back to St. Louis and began law school at Saint Louis University School of Law — the alma mater for many of her family members. She knew right away that law was the career for her. And a decade into her career, she is still certain this is what she is supposed to be doing.

One of Felker’s greatest joys in her current position at Spencer Fane is serving as co-leader of the summer associate program in St. Louis. She is part of the process of introducing law students to the firm and exposing them to what being a lawyer is like.

In serving with Friends of St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Felker is one of 25 volunteers — representing diverse professional backgrounds — who work with the hospital’s leadership team to design and implement philanthropic outreach and stewardship initiatives. Since the group’s inception in 2005, they have raised nearly $7 million.

Women's Justice Awards 2023

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