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2015 Most Influential Women Honoree: Ginger Gooch

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Ginger Gooch started her path in law as class valedictorian who graduated cum laude from law school, and she’s been adding accomplishments ever since.

After leaving the University of Missouri School of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of “Missouri Law Review,” Gooch clerked at the Supreme Court of Missouri before starting in private practice in 2001. She has been a partner at Husch Blackwell LLP since 2008 and practices business litigation, education, banking and appellate law.

“At least a certain amount of leadership is required to become a partner in a law firm, and at what was a relatively young age in my case,” says Gooch, a Springfield native who is licensed in Missouri and Arkansas.

Jessica Johns, assistant general counsel for CoxHealth, says Gooch is an intelligent, honest and hardworking attorney who influenced Johns as she started her career.

“Ginger served as an example of the kind of attorney I aspired to be, and I feel very fortunate that I was able to begin my journey into the practice of law with such an incredible mentor,” Johns says.

“Ginger has made a unique difference in the legal profession because of the incredible example she sets for female attorneys. She is proof that a young female attorney does not have to choose between a career and family life. She is also known as one of the finest appellate attorneys in southwest Missouri, and her skills as a researcher, writer and litigator are beyond compare. When representing a client, Ginger leaves no stone unturned.”

Gooch is the hiring chairperson at Husch Blackwell, sits on the boards of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association and the American Red Cross, and she is a former board member at the Discovery Center. Additionally, she is a former participant in the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge, which seeks to develop female leaders across the state.

In 2012, Gooch was named a rising star by Missouri Lawyers Weekly Women’s Justice Awards in recognition for earning significant defense wins and her community contribution through volunteer and pro bono work, the same year she was named to the Missouri Bar Pro Bono Wall of Fame.

She has been listed in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers since 2011, she received the David J. Dixon Award for Outstanding Appellate Advocacy from the Missouri Bar in 2007 and helped author multiple educational works for the Missouri Bar Association.

Gooch says her proudest professional accomplishment to this point is the appointment by the Supreme Court of Missouri to represent a person who claimed wrongful conviction. The court ordered his release after 17 years in prison.

“It was rewarding to be involved in Missouri’s justice system working effectively, even if justice was delayed,” Gooch says. “It is rewarding to be involved daily with helping clients deal with small and large problems and with helping them troubleshoot to avoid problems altogether.”

Johns says Gooch quietly goes about her job and doesn’t highlight her awards or recognition.

“She possesses rare legal research and writing skills that distinguished her from her peers early in her career and continue to set her apart from other attorneys,” Johns says.

“Despite Ginger’s many academic and professional accomplishments, she has never mentioned even one of them to me. She is humble beyond compare and truly leads by example.”

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