16:12 PM

YLS to host ‘The Milly Project’ film premiere

The Young Lawyers’ Section of The Missouri Bar will present two new continuing legal education programs based on ‘The Milly Project’ on June 21 in St. Louis and June 23 in Kansas City. The play, ‘The Milly Project,’ presents the true story of an enslaved woman named Milly Sawyers who fought for and legally won her freedom in Springfield prior to the Civil War.  

The premiere will begin with a reception including food and beverages, followed by a screening of a new film adaptation of the play, and concluding with a panel discussion. The program qualifies for elimination of bias and ethics credit. To receive CLE credit, participants must stay for the discussion of the film. 

“'The Milly Project' is an exploration into the early success and failure of the Missouri legal system and our collective memory,” says Kamillia Scott, YLS council member for District 3, Kansas City. “It’s time to have the tough conversations about the legacy of these events in an effort to improve our craft as attorneys.”   

 YLS previously hosted CLE programs featuring the live play and entered into a licensing agreement for the film production of 'The Milly Project' to continue to widen the reach of Sawyers' unique story for continuing legal education purposes.

The film adaptation of the production was written and directed by Kendra Chappell, the author of the original play. The drama details the many trials and tribulations of Sawyers based on information regarding her life that was collected from handwritten court manuscripts only recently uncovered by local archivists. Click here to view a trailer of the film. 

 St. Louis 

June 21, 2022 

St. Louis University School of Law 

6-8 p.m. 

Registration link

Panelists for the St. Louis premiere are Judge David C. Mason, with the 22nd Judicial Circuit, and Belinda Dantley, assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Saint Louis University School of Law.  


Kansas City 

June 23, 2022 

Polsinelli Conference Center 

5:30-8 p.m. 

Registration link 

Panelists for the Kansas City premiere are Judge Jon R. Gray, former circuit judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit who currently works with Shook, Hardy & Bacon; Christa Moss, assistant U.S. attorney in Kansas City; and Jon Herbert, theatre director, producer, and program head at Ozarks Technical Community College.