Home > Diversity & Inclusion > Total Commitment Women's Initiative

Total Commitment® Women’s Initiative

Total commitment to the success of professional women and to the service of our clients and community.

Thompson Coburn recognizes the benefits—both to clients and attorneys—of a diverse workplace, the advantages of bringing together people of different backgrounds and cultures, and how our firm as a whole is enriched by both the personal and professional experiences of the individuals who work here. The firm also realizes that even after generations of effort at social change, women attorneys still face an uphill battle for “a seat at the table.” So, with our philosophy of inclusion as a guide for action, the firm has established the Total Commitment Women’s Initiative.

This initiative focuses on creating and sustaining a culture of inclusion and respect, supporting and assisting women attorneys in meeting their full potential, and promoting the achievements and contributions of our women attorneys.

Long before this initiative was formally established, however, our firm was ahead of the curve regarding its commitment to the success of its women attorneys. The firm has taken a supportive stance toward the realities of working women’s lives decades before work/life balance became part of the conversation about law firm culture. Today, our women attorneys continue to have the flexibility and freedom to build the life they want without feeling as if they are losing ground professionally.

Civic Awards and Accomplishments

2012

  • Board of Directors, Landmarks Illinois
  • Member, FOCUS St. Louis 2012-2013 Leadership St. Louis class

2011

2010

  • Member, Executive Women Leadership Team for the American Heart Association’s 2011 Go Red for Women fundraiser
  • Member, FOCUS St. Louis 2009-2010 Leadership St. Louis class 

2009

  • Missouri Arts Awards recipient, Missouri Arts Council
  • Washington University’s BLSA Outstanding Achievement in Public Service Award
2008
  • Women of Achievement award, presented by Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

Commitment to Clients

Our women attorneys recognize that in order to serve their clients effectively, they need to know the clients’ respective businesses and industries, their priorities and strategic goals, and what problems keep them awake at night. We stay abreast of industry trends and issues and are actively involved in various trade organizations in leadership positions. Among our leaders are the chair of the Bankruptcy Committee for the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, chair of the ALI-ABA Real Estate Advisory Committee, vice president of the Metro (DC) Chapter of the Women in International Shipping and Trading Association, vice-chair of the Marine Financing Committee of the Maritime Law Association of the U.S., a member of the Board of Directors of the Risk Management Association and a member of the Board of Governors for the Institute for Professionals in Taxation.

Notable Cases and Transactions

Women attorneys at Thompson Coburn have represented some of the firm’s largest clients.

We have handled multimillion-dollar transactions, including a billion dollar acquisition for a large energy company, a $150 million acquisition for a large chemical company, complex tax litigation involving millions of dollars, and negotiation of legal documents relating to institutional clients' alternative investments totalling more than $4 billion.

One of our women partners was a member of the trial team that secured defense verdicts in favor of Lorillard Tobacco Company against 37 Missouri hospitals in a consolidated cost recovery lawsuit where plaintiffs were seeking a compensatory award of more than $450 million as well as punitive damages. The case was tried before a jury in the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis and was originally filed in 1998. Another of our litigators briefed, argued and won an appeal in the Missouri Supreme Court in Bryant v. Smith Interior Design Group, Inc., 310 S.W.3d 227 (Mo. 2010), a case involving a jurisdictional issue of first impression in Missouri.

Our women have appeared on behalf of clients before the U.S. Court of Appeals in various Circuits, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the District Court for the Seventh Circuit and the Supreme Court of Missouri. For example, one of our partners successfully defended the dismissal of a Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower claim in the U.S. District Court for the 7th Circuit.

Professional Awards and Association Leadership

Our women attorneys have been presented with numerous awards and recognized as leaders within the legal industry.

Professional Recognition

Thompson Coburn women are listed in, among others:

  • The Best Lawyers in America®
  • Women’s Justice Award by Missouri Lawyers Weekly
  • “Up and Coming” by Missouri Lawyers Weekly
  • National LGBT Bar Association’s Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40
  • Profiles in Diversity Journal, Company and Executive Women Worth Watching
  • St. Louis Business Journal's "40 Under 40”
  • St. Louis Business Journal's "30 Under 30"
  • Top 50 Women Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers®
  • Top 100 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers®
  • Super Lawyers® Corporate Counsel
  • Super Lawyers® Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers® Business Edition

Awards

  • Region of the Year Award by the National Bar Association
  • St. Louis Daily Record Women’s Justice “Rising Star Award”
  • Missouri Arts Council Arts Leadership Award
  • Distinguished Service Award from the Board of Governors of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation

Association Leadership and Appointments

  • ABA Section of Taxation, SALT Committee, Executive Committee Member
  • American Association of Exporters and Importers, Membership Committee, Co-Chair 
  • American Bar Association UCC Leasing Subcommittee, Vice Chair
  • American Bar Association, Finance Group of Committees for Real Property Section, Chair
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers (ACCFL)
  • American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Fellow
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), Board of Governors
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers, Fellow and Chair, Bankruptcy Committee
  • American College of Tax Counsel, Fellow
  • American Law Institute-American Bar Association (ALI-ABA) Real Estate Advisory Panel
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis’ (BAMSL) Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Committee, Chair
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis’ (BAMSL) Young Lawyers Division, Board Member
  • Board of the Missouri Society of Health Care Attorneys, Member
  • Board of the Women Lawyers' Association of Greater St. Louis, Member
  • Commercial Real Estate Women of St. Louis, Past President
  • Customs and International Trade Bar Association, former Chair, Publications Committee and Board Member
  • Customs Law Committee of ABA’s Section of International Law, Co-Chair
  • Healthcare Businesswomen's Association, St. Louis Chapter, Executive Board and Mentoring Committee 
  • Missouri Bar Association Taxation Committee, Vice Chairman
  • Missouri Bar Health and Hospital Law Committee, Vice Chair
  • National Bar Association, Vice President
  • Uniform Law Commission Committee
  • Women in International Trade, DC Chapter, Founding Member and former Chair, Customs Committee
  • Women Lawyers' Association of Greater St. Louis (WLA), President 
  • Women in the Legal Profession Section of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL), Past Chair

Commitment to Women

Thompson Coburn celebrates the unique strengths, abilities and contributions of our women lawyers. We established the Total Commitment Women’s Initiative to promote our women attorneys, to provide a means for networking, and to ensure recognition for their successes.

Our women partners meet monthly to network informally and to plan events targeted at business development and the retention of women attorneys, including a popular annual women’s client event and quarterly on-site lunches for all women attorneys. The firm also provides business development training for women attorneys and sponsors a mentorship program through which each woman associate is assigned a female partner mentor.

In addition, the women in our Chicago office are members of The Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law Firms, a nonprofit organization that provides a source of networking for women and supports women’s initiatives in law firms.

Thompson Coburn’s commitment to the success of its women attorneys is evident in the leadership positions our women have achieved. For example, Marjorie Krumholz is the managing partner of our Washington, DC office. Four of our women partners are or have been members of the firm’s management committee. Women partners also serve as the chairs or vice-chairs of critical internal committees and as chairs or co-chairs of practice groups within our firm. Many of our women attorneys are powerhouses in their respective practice areas, with significant trial wins, industry accolades and recognition from their peers.

Commitment to Community

Thompson Coburn is committed to making a difference in the community by encouraging our women attorneys to participate in philanthropic and pro bono activities. All of our women make financial contributions or volunteer their time to civic and charitable organizations, such as the United Way and the Komen Race for the Cure nonprofit organizations. We are passionate about service and we are recognized for our positive impact on the places where we live and work. In fact, the Chair of our Women’s Initiative, Mary Bonacorsi, was honored by the YWCA of Metro St. Louis as one of the organization’s 2015 Leaders of Distinction for her outstanding contributions to our community. In addition to our volunteer efforts and community investment, our women attorneys serve on the Boards of Directors or in other key roles of charitable and nonprofit organizations, including:

  • American Heart Association
  • Chicago Appleseed’s Cook County Criminal Courts Project
  • Chicago’s Friends of Downtown
  • Chicago River North Dance Company (Board of Trustees)
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate
  • Friends of Saint Louis Zoo
  • Legal Advocates for Abused Women (Board of Directors)
  • Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
  • Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Missouri Citizens for the Arts
  • Missouri Military Memorial Foundation, Advisory Board Member
  • Progressive Youth Connection
  • Redevelopment Opportunities for Women (Board of Directors)
  • Safe Connections (Chair of the Board of Directors)
  • Saint Louis Art Museum
  • Saint Louis Science Center
  • SSM Hospice and Home Care (Board of Trustees)
  • The Adoption Exchange of Missouri (Advisory Board Member)
  • Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts
  • The Women’s Safe House (Board of Directors)

The firm is a founding donor ($10,000) of the Legal Advocates for Abused Women (LAAW) Foundation and provides pro bono legal services to victims of domestic violence. The firm also donated $120,000 to fund the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM) Chair, which enabled LSEM’s Children’s Alliance to hire a new attorney who provides representation to special needs children in the area of education.

Name Name

Steve Blackwell *
Chief Operating Officer

Name Name

Steve Blackwell *
Chief Operating Officer

Name Name

Steve Blackwell *
Chief Operating Officer