11:32 AM

New Missouri lawyers sworn in during enrollment ceremony

For years, Lucia Callicotte thought she wanted to enter the medical field. But after witnessing her that parents’ divorce trial while in college, she knew she was destined to be a lawyer. 

“Seeing how people in the profession could help you by representing you and getting you through the process, I wanted to be that person for someone in my shoes,” she said. 

About 70 new Missouri lawyers took their oaths Friday, April 23, 2021, before the judges of the Supreme Court of Missouri during an enrollment ceremony at the State Capitol Building in Jefferson City. The new enrollees were sworn into the profession by Chief Justice George W. Draper III.  

Standing on the second and third floors overlooking the rotunda, friends and families cheered for their loved ones. John Gunn, 2020-21 president of The Missouri Bar, addressed the new lawyers and their guests, all of whom were socially distanced and wearing masks.  

“You got here. There can be no question you had the assistance of parents, grandparents, children, friends, and colleagues, but you got here. Be proud of yourselves,’” Gunn said. “We are thrilled beyond measure to welcome you to the profession and I look forward to working with you to improve the profession, the administration of justice, and the law on behalf of all Missourians.” 

Among those supporters was Callicotte’s mother, Mary. Choking back tears, Mary Callicotte said she was incredibly proud of her daughter. 

“She did it on her own. She had support but it was her putting in the hours and she just forged ahead,” she said. “I was so impressed and relieved that she was capable of doing that. A parent wants their child to do what they love and do it by maintaining a good heart.” 

After the enrollment ceremony, Lucia Callicotte said it had not struck her yet that she was a Missouri lawyer, and it likely would not until she started her new job. She will work as the in-house counsel for a business that helps other start-up businesses and nonprofits. 

Having worked as a social worker for the last 12 years, Shonte Jamison understands how one person can have an impact on someone’s life. As a new Missouri lawyer, she plans to continue with public interest but focus on government policies and legislation. She also wants to offer affordable estate planning to indigenous families who cannot afford to hire someone to draft wills and trusts. 

Jamison said she would not have graduated from law school if it were not for the support of her family.  

“You cannot go through law school alone,” she said. “You have to have a support system and it doesn’t have to just be your biological family, but people who are close to you. My family have been a huge support financially, mentally, and spiritually throughout.” 

Lucia Callicotte joked her mother deserved an “honorary law degree” for helping her study for the Uniform Bar Exam. Before someone can become a Missouri lawyer, he or she must meet all the requirements for a juris doctor degree from an accredited law school, pass the Uniform Bar Exam, and meet character and fitness requirements. 

“I’m so thankful that you’re here,” she added, smiling at mother. 

Callicotte advised law students to stay committed and not lose sight of why they decided to enter the law field, even if that means writing those reasons down on a notepad or saying them aloud. Jamison added it is also beneficial if law students can avoid working full-time jobs so they can dedicate that extra time to internships and externships. 

“There are a lot of late nights and early mornings, but if you stick with it, there is definitely a rainbow at the end,” Jamison said. 

Enrollment ceremonies traditionally take place in the Supreme Court of Missouri Building. Modifications to the event occurred due to COVID-19 precautions and inclement weather. The Missouri Bar streamed the event live on Facebook for those unable to attend. In addition, The Missouri Bar Young Lawyers’ Section sent welcome packets to all of the state’s enrollees,   

Click here to view photos from Friday’s enrollment ceremony. Share your photos from the enrollment ceremony on social media using the #NewMoLawyers.