15:25 PM

Annual Meeting recap: presentations, programming, puppies

Lawyers and judges gathered at The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center last week for The Missouri Bar’s 2023 Annual Meeting. Beginning on Wednesday, the event included three days filled with insightful presentations, programming, and, for one morning, puppies. 

The Annual Meeting offers lawyers a chance to earn CLE credit, with 14.4 MCLE, 10.9 Ethics, and 2.0 Elimination of Bias credit available. Educational programming for the week was split into four tracks: Business, Family Law, Litigation, and Probate, Trust & Elder Law. On top of the CLE sessions, the conference also offered plenty of social events, including the Best of Missouri Reception held at Science City. 

As the start of the new bar year, Annual Meeting also ushered in change for Missouri’s lawyers and judges. Lauren Tucker McCubbin, 2022-23 Missouri Bar president, passed the gavel to 2023-24 Missouri Bar President Megan Phillips. During the Opening Luncheon, Phillips addressed the crowd and spoke of the importance of a unified bar. 

“The Supreme Court of Missouri created our unified bar almost 80 years ago. Today, we enjoy the collective strength of nearly 31,000 members,” Phillips said. “Like siblings in a family, we may have our internal differences on any number of issues, but here we are united in our common goal to improve the profession, the law, and the administration of justice on behalf of all Missourians.” 

The Board of Governors, the Young Lawyers' Section Council, and some committees also met during the meeting to welcome new members and leadership and discuss plans for the upcoming year. The Missouri Bar Foundation, The Missouri Bar, and The Missouri Bar Young Lawyers’ Section (YLS) also presented awards, such as the President’s and Diversity Champion, during the Public Service Awards Luncheon. Read more about the awards here

On Thursday, lawyers attended two plenary sessions: “Creating a life of balance and satisfaction in a demanding legal profession” and “Innovation and impact on the future of the profession.” Virtual attendees were also able to stream the sessions live. Chief Justice Mary Russell addressed the crowd during the Opening Luncheon. 

This year’s Annual Meeting included a few new elements. The Lawyers Impacting Community Project and KC’s Operation Breakthrough collected school supplies that will be distributed to area children. Some attendees left Annual Meeting with a new furry friend after Paws to Destress: Puppy Playtime. And more than 80 lawyers and judges took advantage of YLS’ photography station to get an updated headshot during the conference. 

Over 600 judges and lawyers attended the conference in person. The conference’s virtual “Lunch & Learn” option begins Sept. 26 and information can be found here. The 2024 Annual Meeting will take place Sept. 18-20 in St. Louis at the Hilton at the Ballpark. Read more about Annual Meeting’s awardees, senior counselors, and the bar’s new leadership at News.MoBar.org.