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2021 Fall Committee Meetings provided valuable CLEs

The Missouri Bar’s annual Fall Committee Meetings were held virtually Nov. 15-18, 2021. Thirty-five committees coordinated 29 meetings, with many of those meetings including continuing legal education opportunities. The meetings had a combined attendance of more than 3,100 lawyers, Missouri Bar Committee and Section Liaison Krista Lepper said.

The Women in the Profession Committee had the highest attendance during its meeting, which featured the CLE, “Thriving Through Transition: Success Stories from Women in the Profession.” Lawyers Christa Moss, Mollie Mohan, Karen Jordan, Chrissy Teske, and Lucy Singer spoke about various personal and professional transitions – such as re-entering the workforce after having a child or a leave of absence, promotions, or changing jobs – that impacted their careers and how they thrived during those periods. Hon. Robin Ransom of the Supreme Court of Missouri moderated the conversations.

Since women face daily challenges in the legal profession and often feel alone in those struggles, it’s beneficial to hear from women who have or are facing challenges or transitions and continue to thrive, committee co-chairs Amy Bender-Levy and Stephanie Wan said. Mohan and Moss, who also organized the CLE, added they were motivated by stories they have heard from women in the profession, as well as the American Bar Association’s recent survey of the legal profession.

“Our thinking was – let’s confront this head on,” Mohan and Moss said. “We thought it would be helpful to empanel a group of women who have thrived through transition – whether it be the coronavirus pandemic or otherwise – to learn from their experiences and hear their practical suggestions for how to thrive.”

Click here to view the resources The Missouri Bar offers for women lawyers. Wan and Bender-Levy also encouraged lawyers to watch for upcoming CLE programs and opportunities from the Joint Commission on Women in the Profession and the Women in the Profession Committee.

“As more and more women enter law school and the profession, it becomes extremely important to provide education and encouragement in the unique issues facing women in the profession and that’s not information you are going to find on Westlaw or in a journal,” Wan added.

During this year’s Fall Committee Meetings, the Senior Lawyer Committee offered a CLE covering legal malpractice and ethical risks when buying, selling, and closing a law firm, as well as with succession planning. The CLE was presented by Chris Stiegemeyer, director of risk management at The Bar Plan. Committee co-chair Lynne Bratcher credited Lepper for arranging the informative CLE.

“I think there is a thirst for information from lawyers who are thinking about future retirement while assuring an ethical and client-friendly transition,” Bratcher said.

The Health and Hospital Administration Law Committee offered a CLE on an upcoming new law – the No Surprises Act, which prevents patients from receiving surprise medical bills if they seek certain medical services, among other items. The act – signed into law in December 2020 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 – goes into effect Jan. 1, 2022, and many practitioners were “eager for advice and assistance,” said committee chair Elizabeth Ortmann-Vincenzo. Harvey Tettlebaum and Jane Drummond, who specialize in health law, presented during the CLE.

All members of The Missouri Bar are encouraged to join committee and section activities. Lawyers can choose from more than 40 open enrollment committees and sections that each specialize in a substantive area of law, practice setting, or community. To join a committee or section, visit MoBar.org/Committees-Sections.