Happily, in recent years, more and more women have braved the travails of a true trial practice. I am honored to be in their presence. We, in law, as in other professions, have self-congratulatory awards engineered by marketers to "honor" those in our profession. We have "Super Lawyers" and Best of the Bar," which remind me of popularity contests, sometimes with little regard for true grit.
I decided, in this blog entry, to honor those women in our profession who I have personally seen demonstrate true courage and refusal to defer to traditional firms and authority figure. Here is my list:
1. Martha Sperry Hickman - the only true female role model I had in 1983. A daughter of a judge who did not cow to the norms of the 20th Century and who is still in practice, on her own after 50 years.
2. Marie Gockel, my sister in the practice of law, both in law school and in practice. She has been my law partner since 1995, since the formation of our firm. She is the bulldog of our practice. When she gets a hold of a case, she does not let go.
3. Kristi Kingston, my other law partner who has been with our firm since 1996, with debate and trial advocacy accolades pre-dating her work for us. She has courageously tried cases, both good and bad, with remarkable results.
4. Denise Henning - Denise, of the Henning Law Firm, has been both courageous in the courtroom and in all aspects of her life. She is truly a role model and an amazing person. She is amazing.
5. Nancy Kenner - who left the comfort of a big firm to make a difference on her own terms. She is a leader.
6. Amy Coopman - not afraid to throw herself fully into controversial cases and gives her heart and soul to her clients.
7. Amy Maloney - who is in trial as I write this. She works hard and goes where the. More timid among us are afraid to tread. I admire her willingness to fight, regardless of whether she ruffles good ole boy feathers.
8. Anne Schiavonne - who left the security of a big firm to co-found one of the most successful plaintiffs' firms in Kansas City. She is a powerhouse.
9. Phyllis Norman Komoroski - a powerful young lawyer who is just fearless. She makes me laugh.
10. Karen Howard - She is a pit bull, thorough, tough and courageous. She doesn't get enough credit.
It is so good to see these powerful women who are also powerful trial lawyers. What great role models!