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2018 40 Under 40: Rachel Riso, 39

Attorney, Baird Lightner Millsap PC

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Baird Lightner Millsap PC attorney Rachel Riso once helped a young woman forever changed by a motorcycle accident.

After suffering a severe head trauma and losing mental capacity, the young woman’s mother became her caretaker. Riso, through the legal process, came to care for the entire family. She led them through a five-year settlement process, an experience Riso now looks back on as truly rewarding.

The Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers have recognized Riso as a Rising Star six times. She is a member of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association and is on the board for the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers.

What are you doing to make the Ozarks better? I serve on the Safe and Sober Inc. Board of Directors to help kids understand the dangers of drinking and drug use.

What was your professional aha moment?
I started my practice in family law doing divorce work. I hated it and had serious doubts about my future in law. After I moved to Springfield, I started doing defense work and was shocked at how much more fulfilling my job became. 

What did you learn the hard way? If you practice law long enough, there will be a case that will make you want to quit the practice of law. You will get through it and be a better lawyer on the other side because of it.

What is your proudest moment?
Winning my first solo trial.

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