Springfield, MO

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2016 40 Under 40 Honoree: Jason Smith, 35

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Jason Smith understands risk versus reward. In June 2014, the Husch Blackwell partner and five other attorneys left the firm to start the Springfield office of Spencer Fane LLP. At the end of 2015, Smith had helped grow the firm to a staff of 22, including 14 attorneys. Although he has a team of associate attorneys and paralegals in litigation matters in 14 states for individual clients to Fortune 500 companies, Smith’s biggest triumphs are those he isn’t paid for, working on a pro bono basis through Legal Services of Southern Missouri. The father of three also has filled the role of youth sports coach for the past 10 years, served as a leader of the Wanda Gray Elementary School All Pro Dad program since 2012 and – perhaps his proudest accomplishment of all – last year taught his youngest daughter to read.

What was your first job? Keeping score at little league baseball games. I made $2 per game. I once worked a 15-hour, day long tournament and made $18.  

What are you doing to make the Ozarks better? Investing in kids through coaching sports teams and other volunteer work. I think it’s important to do things to benefit the next generation.

What did you learn the hard way? A law degree definitely does not prepare you to be a lawyer.

What is your theme song? “Float On,” by Modest Mouse.

What about your job would shock clients?
Ninety percent of my day is spent in the office doing things that aren’t very exciting. 


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