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Lisa Larkin finds fulfillment helping the public through the Client Security Fund

“I’m happy to inform you that The Missouri Bar Board of Governors has approved your claim.” That phrase drives Lisa Larkin’s passion as the Client Security Fund Coordinator, because that one sentence means the bar helped a client wronged by a lawyer.

Larkin joined The Missouri Bar’s staff in 2019 to oversee the Client Security Fund, created by the bar’s Board of Governors in 1966 as a resource to clients harmed by the minority of lawyers who don’t adhere to the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct per the Supreme Court of Missouri.

Under the program, clients who have suffered a pecuniary loss due to the dishonest or fraudulent actions of a Missouri lawyer who was suspended or disbarred, died during representation, or abandoned his or her representation can submit claims for reimbursement to the six-member Client Security Fund Committee. The committee reviews each claim and recommends either approval or denial of compensation. The committee’s recommendations then go to the Board of Governors for a final decision.

“To me, it’s one of the wonderful resources The Missouri Bar has where you can right a wrong,” Larkin said.

The fund is maintained by appropriations from the annual enrollment fees licensed Missouri lawyers pay to the Supreme Court of Missouri, restitution payments from lawyers seeking reinstatement, and interest.

Larkin’s favorite part is when she can call claimants and tell them the Board of Governors approved their claims.

 “You get to talk to a vast amount of people and their walks of life are different, so it makes life more interesting,” she said.

Larkin emphasized that claimants have a stronger chance of their claims receiving approval if they have documentation – particularly proof of payment.

Along with helping coordinate the Client Security Fund, Larkin also assists the Minimum Continuing Legal Education Department by answering lawyers’ questions regarding MCLE credits, the status of their compliance, and more.

“I like talking with all of the lawyers, and I can tell you some are just a hoot and a blast to talk to,” she said. “Their stories and well wishes went such a long way in such unpredictable times.”

Before joining The Missouri Bar in 2019, Larkin worked as a paralegal at the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel for 10 years. Prior to that, she worked at private law firms in Texas. Larkin said the three worlds – private, public, and nonprofit – collided perfectly.

“Everything I had done was a stairstep to having this position,” she said, adding her past jobs have helped her understand the requirements of her current role. “I can see both sides versus just being one side.”

When she’s not working at The Missouri Bar, Larkin enjoys spending time with her family. She jokingly added one of her hobbies is serving as a “taxi” for her daughter, Maddy, who is involved in various sports and school activities.

Click here to read more about the Client Security Fund and submit a claim. View a list of The Missouri Bar’s other dispute resolution programs for the public here.