Note from the PublisherMissouri Lawyers Weekly, for the 17th year, celebrates the success of women in the legal profession with our Women’s Justice Awards. It is with great privilege that we pay tribute to these 38 exceptional women.
Those you read about in the profiles on these pages are committed to their professions and their communities. Regardless of their gender, they are strong legal professionals. But it is their gender that also makes them pioneers.
It has been nearly a century since the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, prohibiting the denial of voting based on gender. Yet we still struggle with gender equity in many professions — including the legal community.
Results from a 2014 survey by the American Bar Association show that 34 percent of the attorneys in this country are female. Yet, parity eludes the profession in the boardroom and in their paychecks. Consider these highlights:
- Women hold general counsel positions in 21 percent of Fortune 500 companies
- 20.6 percent of law school deans are women
- Of the 200 largest law firms in the country, 4 percent of the managing partners, 17 percent of equity partners and just more than 20 percent of partners are women
- A female attorney earns about 21 percent less than her male cohort.
Again, the women honored through our Women’s Justice Awards hold their own in any recognition effort, sans gender exclusivity. But it is their gender that becomes the exclamation point on their success.
When we sought nominations for this recognition, we looked to honor those who have moved the needle in the Missouri legal community. We looked for women who hold positions of strength, who lead firms boldly, who wear their battle scars proudly, who serve the underprivileged, who aspire to a new future, who support the legal profession, or those who teach those who will become the next generation of lawyers.
And we found them.
Our panel of distinguished members of the 2015 selection committee reviewed nominations that included women from every spectrum of the profession and throughout the state. They judged these nominations based on the core principals of leadership, professionalism, accomplishment and passion for making a difference.
They are good lawyers first.
But their accomplishments shine brighter under the umbrella of their gender.
Please join me in honoring these women.
They do all of us proud.
Missouri Lawyers Media
April 30, 6-9 p.m.
Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis
The Women’s Justice Awards recognize women across the state of Missouri who have demonstrated leadership, integrity, service, sacrifice and accomplishment in improving the quality of justice and exemplifying the highest ideals of the legal profession.
Woman of the Year
- Virginia L. Fry, Husch Blackwell
Business Practitioner Award
- Annette P. Heller, Law Offices of Annette P. Heller
- Lisa A. Epps, Spencer Fane Britt & Browne
- Susan L. McGreevy, Stinson Leonard Street
- Reena H. Carroll, Diversity Awareness Partnership
- Sister Anne Francioni, Whole Kids Outreach
- Susan K. Miller, Rose Brooks Center
- Laura Frame, St. Anthony’s Medical Center
- Zoe Linza, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
- Kim Chaffin, Hogan Land Title Company
- Michelle Torline, WireCo WorldGroup
- Sebrina A. Barrett, The Missouri Bar
Leaders of Tomorrow Award
- Claire Botnick, Washington University School of Law
- Taylor Jensen, Saint Louis University School of Law
- Mary Hershewe, Washington University School of Law
- Elaine M. Smith, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
- Kristen S. Johnson, University of Missouri School of Law
Legal Scholar Award
- Elizabeth P. Walsh, Washington University School of Law
- Shannon M. Morse, Saint Louis University School of Law
- Nancy A. Allen, Missouri State University
- Erin Hawley, University of Missouri School of Law
- Mary Kay O’Malley, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
Litigation Practitioner Award
- Lucy T. Unger, Williams Venker & Sanders
- Sally I. Heller, The Heller Law Firm
- Chantel L. Alberhasky, The Alberhasky Law Firm
- Shelly C. Dreyer, Sticklen & Dreyer
- Elaine Koch, Bryan Cave
- Teresa A. Woody, The Woody Law Firm
Public Officials Award
- Commissioner Anne-Marie Clarke, St. Louis Circuit Court
- Judge Lisa Page, Jefferson County Circuit Court
- Commissioner Sue Chrisman, Green County Circuit Court
- Judge Edith L. Messina, Jackson County Circuit Court (Retired)
Public Service Practitioner Award
- Laurie Hauber, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
- Wendy E. Garrison, Missouri State Public Defender’s Office
- Teresa Hensley, Hensley Law Office
Rising Star Award
- Kendra R. Howard, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Andrea R. Long, Legal Services of Southern Missouri
- Megan McCurdy, Stinson Leonard Street