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Missouri Board of Law Examiners welcomes new members to board, staff

The Missouri Board of Law Examiners has welcomed new members both to its board and its staff as it continues preparing to administer this summer’s bar examination.

Joining the board is St. Louis lawyer John C. Drake, who was appointed to the board March 1. With broad experience in complex commercial litigation, health care law, and consumer protection, Drake serves as senior corporate counsel at Centene Corporation. He previously served in a similar role for Energizer Holdings, a global consumer packaged goods company. Earlier in his career, he was a trial lawyer for Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale PC and Denton’s, both in St. Louis. Drake also serves as a mentor and fellow with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity as well as an adjunct professor of law for Washington University School of Law, where he teaches pretrial litigation. He also has served as a grader for the bar examination. Drake earned his bachelor of arts in journalism from Baylor University and his law degree, magna cum laude, from Washington University School of Law. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and two daughters. He replaces James Nowogrocki, whose term on the board had expired. 

Leading the board’s staff is its new executive director, James Klahr, who began work April 1. Klahr brings extensive experience as a government lawyer, including five years as director of the Missouri Ethics Commission, which regulates campaign finance, lobbying, and conflicts of interest issues involving public officials. He most recently served as senior counsel for the governmental affairs section of the state attorney general’s office, where he previously served as a legislative liaison. He also is a prior legislative liaison for the state’s department of public safety and a staff attorney for the state senate. Klahr earned his bachelor of arts in public policy from Duke University and his law degree from the Emory University School of Law. He lives in Jefferson City with his wife and two sons. The board’s prior executive director, Andrea Spillars, recently was appointed as a regional administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

Also joining the board’s staff is new assistant director of testing Pamela McQuary, who was most recently with the state of Missouri for 34 years in the office of administration; division of budget; and planning and division of general services. McQuary earned her bachelor’s degree in business and marketing management, from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. 

Drake, Klahr, and McQuary join the board as it prepares for the July 2022 bar examination.