When Missouri Lawyers Weekly created the Mentor Award to complement its Up & Coming lawyers honor, the idea was to recognize those established lawyers who go out of their way to develop young lawyers, not just by offering advice but through regular encouragement and support.
This year, the newspaper found just such an attorney in Thompson Coburn partner Booker Shaw.
Judge Shaw has impressive wealth of experience to draw upon. He served on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, for seven years, including one year as chief judge. Prior to his judicial posts, Judge Shaw worked at the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office.
Now retired from the judiciary, Judge Shaw has been a partner in Thompson Coburn’s Business Litigation Practice Group since 2009.
Here are snippets from letters of nomination from some of Judge Shaw’s mentees:
From Associate Felicia Williams, “He is committed to helping young lawyers succeed -- however that success may look to that individual. He achieves this by being open-minded, even-tempered and thoughtful. For me, he has been a constant source of teaching, guidance, patience, advice, support, and, often, humor.”
From Associate Aaron Banks, “In case after case, and in his every interaction with opposing counsel and fellow attorneys, I have watched Judge Shaw deftly navigate conflict without raising his voice, without losing his cool, without sacrificing his core values of respect and caring.”
From Associate Deona Kalala, “The best mentors are the ones that you aspire to emulate. Judge Shaw offers so many positive qualities that I aspire to make part of my practice as an attorney. First, Judge Shaw may be the most affable attorney I've ever met; he's always got a smile on his face and a good story to share. Further, he is a brilliant attorney as demonstrated by his long and successful career.”
Chairman Tom Minogue notes that Judge Shaw’s tutelage has benefited a generation of young lawyers at Thompson Coburn.
“Under Judge Shaw’s mentorship, our firm has seen a whole crop of young attorneys become more successful, more professional, and more mature. He has encouraged these young people, instilled confidence in them, and urged them to speak up and offer their own thoughts on their cases and projects,” he remarked.
Judge Shaw said he is truly honored by the recognition, “but my greatest reward comes from seeing young lawyers succeed. I am just passing down the help and encouragement I received from great mentors throughout my career.”
Judge Shaw and the other honorees will be recognized Oct. 2 in a special ceremony at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis.