Meet #MOLawyers: Sandra Davidson
Vol. 78, No. 1 / Jan. - Feb. 2022
Sandra Davidson is professor emerita at the University of Missouri. Prior to her retirement, she was a Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, where she taught media law for 30 years. Davidson joined The Missouri Bar in 1983.
What is your favorite aspect of being a lawyer?
Knowledge of law gives me power to help individuals such as reporters who call me for legal guidance as they work on stories under deadline. It also lets me help the broader community when I aid journalists in making Sunshine Law requests to inform the public about how government is functioning.
What is the best advice someone gave you?
“Don’t be vulgar.” That was the advice from my grandmother, who helped raise me. It was her universal rule for appropriate behavior, whether the subject was table manners, dress, how to treat others, or almost anything else. It is a good piece of advice for lawyers on how to treat each other, I believe.
If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would it be?
Myra Bradwell. She passed the Illinois Bar exam in 1869 but was denied entry into the legal profession solely because she was a woman. She helped draft a bill to prohibit Illinois from excluding anyone from an occupation based on the person’s sex, except military service. She was later admitted to the bar, but Bradwell never practiced law. Instead, she became a successful journalist. I’d like to present Myra (we’d be on a first-name basis) with a T-shirt like one my husband gave me. It says, “Underestimate me. That’ll be fun.”
What is your favorite legal movie?
“Inherit the Wind.”
What is your favorite word (any language and any reason)?
“Arguably.” It’s a word that’s simultaneously forceful and compromising. It shows that you’re ready to argue your point but also displays your willingness to listen to others who disagree with you.
Editor’s note: These responses have been edited for clarity and brevity. Do you know someone who should be featured in Meet #MOLawyers? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.