07:30 AM

Q&A with Leadership Academy alumnus Cara Stuckel

Stuckel says Leadership Academy is the best way to network with lawyers and judges in Missouri

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St. Louis lawyer and 2018-2019 Leadership Academy alumnus Cara Stuckel talks with The Missouri Bar about her experience with Leadership Academy, an opportunity she says showed her the importance of continued involvement and service to others. 

Founded in 2000, Leadership Academy encourages diversity among the bar’s leadership by recruiting and targeting young lawyers or those recently admitted to the bar. Each class is comprised of approximately a dozen lawyers who have shown exceptional leadership qualities in their communities. Classes complete a service project every year in addition to participating in bar meetings and leadership workshops. Following graduation, members continue to serve The Missouri Bar in an active capacity for two years. 

Stuckel, associate general counsel for Anheuser Bush, currently serves as a Young Lawyers' Section Council representative for District 9 and was formerly the YLS liaison to The Missouri Bar Board of Governors. 

Why did you want to be part of Leadership Academy? 

“I firmly believe that effective leadership skills are essential for lawyers to make a positive impact in their communities and the legal profession. I saw the Leadership Academy as a unique opportunity to enhance my leadership abilities, expand my network, and contribute to the advancement of our profession.” 

Why do you think Leadership Academy is a valuable opportunity for lawyers? 

“I believe that Leadership Academy offers invaluable opportunities for younger lawyers in Missouri to develop their leadership and communication skills, manage a project that will bring value to The Missouri Bar, and network with lawyers and judges from all over this state. I don’t know of any other organization in our state that connects so many lawyers with different areas of practice and focus.” 

What are some lessons you took away from being part of Leadership Academy?  

“Being part of the Leadership Academy taught me several valuable lessons. It reiterated the incredible power of networking and building a support group of attorneys who can serve as a resource, guide, and mentor as you navigate practice. I learned the vastness of the services and value that The Missouri Bar provides to our members. Prior to my time in Leadership Academy, I had not realized just how much the bar is doing to support our members from programming to training to support; it’s just incredible.” 

What was your favorite part(s)/moment(s) about being in Leadership Academy (or could be your favorite memory from Leadership Academy)? 

“One of my favorite moments from the Leadership Academy was the opportunity to meet and network with members of the Supreme Court of Missouri and The Missouri Bar Board of Governors. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to get to know some of the most influential lawyers in our state on a personal level through dinners and happy hours. It helped me realize that these influential figures were also once just new lawyers trying to navigate their way and it gave me some hope for my future career.” 

If a lawyer was hesitant to participate in Leadership Academy, what would you say to encourage them to join? 

“I would insist there is no better way to meet more lawyers and judges in all parts of our state than through Leadership Academy. It is hard to network outside of your practice area and Leadership Academy connects you to lawyers of all practice areas.” 

Leadership Academy’s mission promotes lawyers from all different backgrounds getting involved in their state and local bars. Why? 

“Your state and local bar involvement is crucial to your professional and personal success. Your fellow attorneys are the ones you are going to practice with and against day-to-day. They will also serve as your support network and cheerleaders. I lean heavily on those individuals I know from my local bar to help me both in practice and in life.” 

Editor’s note: These answers have been edited for clarity and conciseness. Learn more about Leadership Academy here.