15:37 PM

Missouri Bar selects 2020-21 Leadership Academy

Twelve outstanding young lawyers have been selected for The Missouri Bar Leadership Academy’s Class of 2020-2021Those selected for the program’s 21st group include:

Amanda K. Brown, Law Office of Amanda K. Brown LLC, Springfield
Angela B. Kennedy, Armstrong Teasdale LLP, St. Louis
Bria L. Davis, Kansas City
Courtney Stout, Williams Dirks Dameron LLC, Kansas City
Derek Spencer, St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office, St. Louis
Emily Elam, Citi, Lake St. Louis
Grace Colato Martinez, United States Courts, Kansas City
Jacob Haskins, Lowther Johnson, Springfield
Khristopher Johnson-DeLoatch, Armstrong Teasdale LLP, St. Louis
Lace Cline, Littler, Kansas City
O. Nicole Smith, Langdon & Emison LLC, Lexington
Syd Tippie, Greene County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Springfield

The Missouri Bar’s Leadership Academy was first envisioned under the direction of 1999-2000 President Michael P. Gunn. His vision was carried out by Dana Tippin Cutler, who later became the first woman of color to serve as president of The Missouri Bar in 2016. Leadership Academy is composed of Missouri lawyers less than 40 years old or who have been admitted for 10 years or fewer, with an emphasis on diversity of ethnicity, culture, gender, area of practice, and region within the state. Members of each year's class participate in The Missouri Bar Annual Meeting, Board of Governors meetings, committee meetings and workshops specifically designed to achieve the goals of the Leadership Academy. The class works closely with bar leaders to learn more about The Missouri Bar, cultivate leadership skills, and develop a public service project, which the class takes full responsibility for completing before the end of the class year. At the end of the year, members commit to at least two years of service through the bar to help improve the profession and help lawyers even better serve their clients.

From the inaugural class in 2001 to the 2019-20 class, Leadership Academy has graduated more than 200 alumni. Following graduation, nearly all graduates have actively participated in one or more bar activities:

  • Nine have been elected to the Board of Governors;

  • 12 have been appointed by either the Supreme Court of Missouri or The Missouri Bar to a special task force or commission; 

  • Seven have served on the Client Security Fund Committee; 

  • Two are volunteers in the Fee Dispute Resolution program; 

  • 11 serve or have served on the Advisory Committee on Citizenship Education; 

  • 75 have participated as speakers, moderators or authors for CLE programs and publications; 

  • 25 have served as a committee chair or co-chair; 

  • 20 were or are elected in the Young Lawyers’ Section Council; 

  • 12 have participated or currently participate in the legislative review process; 

  • 15 currently serve or have served on the Annual Meeting Planning Committee; 

  • Eight have been appointed to the Legal Education Committee; 

  • Two serve as editors of the Courts Bulletin; 

  • Two have served on the Lawyers’ Assistance Committee; and 

  • Two have served as a Division Chair. 

In addition to these activities, nearly all alumni serve on at least one additional committee. The graduates have substantially increased diversity within the leadership of The Missouri Bar in each of the areas within its mission – ethnicity, culture, gender, area of practice, and region within the state.