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President's Page: Service and admiration

Vol. 77, No. 5 / Sept. - Oct. 2021

John Grimm
John Grimm, 2021-22 Missouri Bar president, practices with The Limbaugh Firm in Cape Girardeau.



When I graduated from law school in 1987, I reached a goal I’d had since I was a very small boy. My dad was a lawyer and later a judge, and I knew that becoming a lawyer was what I wanted, too.

Like me, many others in my class were traditional students who had gone directly from undergraduate to law school. We all worked hard in law school, but without the pressures that some other students had. Some classmates were married and had small children; others had full-time jobs and were working by night and going to school by day. The dedication of these students was amazing. The fact that they could honor their other obligations and at the same time keep up with the demands of law school was extremely impressive. Looking back, I have real admiration for those students.

In the 34 years since graduating from law school, my admiration and appreciation for my fellow lawyers has only grown. 

That’s because numerous studies recognize how lawyers are among the top-ranked professions for giving back to their communities. From volunteering for charitable organizations to serving on school boards or city council, lawyers have always answered the call for service. Lawyers have the understanding, knowledge, and critical thinking needed to provide valuable advice and counsel for all kinds of organizations in our state. 

In addition to community work, lawyers provide thousands of hours of pro bono legal services every year. Hundreds of thousands of Missourians annually depend on us to provide free or reduced-fee services, without which access to justice would be impossible. Service has always been, and hopefully will continue to be, a fundamental part of our profession. Thank you for giving back.

In the past 18 months, we have faced obstacles that most never anticipated. With very little to no notice, lawyers had to figure out new ways to meet the legal needs of clients. Remote execution of documents, virtual court appearances, and Zoom meetings all became commonplace last year. Some of these changes will become permanent, providing increased efficiencies for lawyers and clients.

I admire lawyers, and our bar organizations, who adapt as necessary to even better serve their clients and members.

And I admire and appreciate professionalism among my colleagues. I have been very fortunate to have some great role models in my career. I’ve found it helpful to occasionally review our oath of admission. Among other promises, we agree to “maintain the respect due courts of justice, judicial officers and members of my profession.” We serve our clients best when we fulfill this oath.

Just as you work to best serve others, at The Missouri Bar, we will also continue to look for even better ways to serve you. We have roughly 50 committees working on behalf of our 30,000 lawyers. To all who take the time to serve on these committees, thank you. Your work is critical to the bar’s mission. 

As we embark on another bar year which will require lawyers to continue to adapt both as individuals and through our bar organizations, I welcome your input. I look forward to visiting with lawyers throughout the state, either through virtual or in-person Missouri Bar events or at your local, specialty, or affinity bar organizations. If you would like me to attend or speak at a meeting or presentation, complete the form at MoBar.org/request-missouri-bar-president.

The small boy who knew he wanted to be lawyer when he grew up never imagined serving as president of The Missouri Bar. I could not be prouder to represent those who serve their clients and communities so well. Thank you.

To request a meeting or event with Missouri Bar President John Grimm, go to MoBar.org/request-missouri-bar-president.