Jefferson City,
15:33 PM

2023-24 Missouri Bar Leadership Academy launches

The 2023-24 Missouri Bar Leadership Academy class met for the first time Thursday, Nov. 16, gathering at The Missouri Bar Center in Jefferson City to learn more about bar resources and leadership opportunities.

Founded in 2000, Leadership Academy is a program that helps recruit, train, and retain Missouri lawyers who have been admitted for 10 years or less (or are younger than 40 years old) for leadership positions in The Missouri Bar. The academy class completes a service project every year and participates in the bar’s Annual Meeting, Board of Governors and committee meetings, and leadership workshops. Following completion of the program, the class members commit to serving The Missouri Bar for two years – such as serving on committees, the Young Lawyers' Section Council, or the Board of Governors, getting involved with Missouri Bar continuing legal education, and authoring articles for the Journal of The Missouri Bar. The Leadership Academy classes are diverse in terms of gender, race, practice area, and geography.

On Thursday, Leadership Academy members were introduced to Missouri Bar officers, department directors, Leadership Academy alumni, and the Board of Governors. They also discussed their annual project, which aims to encourage high school students from across the state to pursue a career in law.

Keya Reed-Redmond, member of the 2023-24 class and a lawyer in the Missouri State Public Defender System in Troy, said that one of her motivations for applying for Leadership Academy was to find ways to contribute to her Missouri community.

“I’m originally from Baltimore, Md., and I don’t know anyone here in Missouri,” she said. “But it’s important for me to give back in whatever capacity I can and wherever I can lend a helping hand.”

Reed-Redmond said getting involved with The Missouri Bar is helpful for better understanding the legal landscape of Missouri.

“I think that Leadership Academy is the first step for me to really understand where I fit in,” she said.

One of her goals for this year, said Reed-Redmond, is to not only grow as a leader, but to identify opportunities where she can give back to her community, such as pro bono or juvenile justice work.

“I would also tell other young lawyers to apply to Leadership Academy even if they don’t feel like they are on that pedestal yet, as some might say. We all have our own definition of leadership and we’re all leaders in our own right,” she said. “Just thinking about filling out the application makes you a leader. Stepping into law school makes you a leader. If you want to grow, then why not join Leadership Academy?”

Learn more about this year’s Leadership Academy class or the nomination process on