Springfield, MO

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2012 40 Under 40 Honoree: J. Craig Preston

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For attorney Craig Preston, the day he became partner at O’Reilly, Jensen & Preston LLC in August 2011 was a career milestone.

“For me, it was extremely meaningful to have the acceptance and support of my partners, and (to know) they consider my abilities and experience vital enough to offer me an opportunity to share in their established, successful business.”

Preston is a litigation and transactional attorney, representing clients in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases and handling property disputes, general litigation and construction law issues. He says he’s proud of the client base he’s built for his practice.

“Those who trust me for my opinions and my legal knowledge range from everyday individuals to multimillion-dollar publicly traded companies,” Preston says.

“I am extremely proud of that client base, because I believe that it shows that those individuals have valued the legal advice that I have given them in the past and also valued my opinions in moving forward. I am also proud of the past results that I have been able to obtain for my clients in the courtroom.”

Preston has been active with the Metropolitan Bar Association and served as the first chairman of its mentorship program in 2007.

“I’m very proud of this thriving program the bar continues to offer to new lawyers,” says Preston, who also has served as chairman of SMBA’s Young Lawyers Committee.

He provides pro bono legal services, including representing disabled individuals and acting as counsel for nonprofit groups. He’s also acted as a trial advocacy judge at trial competitions and judged local and regional speech and debate competitions.

Preston’s community endeavors also stretch beyond the legal field.

He has been involved with Ozark Rotary and is a member of Springfield Sertoma Club. Preston also served on the city of Ozark’s Parks and Recreation Board of Directors.

“While working on this board, one of our main projects was the building of the Ozark Community Center,” Preston says.

Preston has mentored several other local attorneys throughout his career.

“Most recently, I have greatly enjoyed mentoring our new associate at our office who recently graduated law school,” he says. “I have also been involved in mentoring other newly graduated lawyers who have been forced to try and find a job in Springfield’s tough legal community.”

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