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2018 Men of the Year: Daniel Wooten

Neale & Newman LLP

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Career success is fulfilling, but Daniel Wooten finds the greatest satisfaction in serving the community and encouraging others to do the same, starting with the youngest individuals.

“Although I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to serve on a number of boards and to lead and support many different organizations, my proudest accomplishment is having served as my sons’ Cub Scout den leader for a combined seven years,” says Wooten, law partner at Neale & Newman LLP. “I was grateful to not only be alongside and lead my own children but to have had the honor of working with so many young boys and their families.”

As chairman of his firm’s hiring committee for more than 10 years, Wooten shares his enthusiasm for civic involvement with new young attorneys.

“I have enjoyed the opportunity to mentor young lawyers and to navigate them on the course to partnership and success in their profession,” he says. “It has been an honor to serve in this capacity, not just because it helps steer the success and direction of our firm but because, by leading by example philanthropically, I have been able to encourage new associates to engage in community voluntarism through use of their own time and talents.”

A native of Arkansas, Wooten graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music before earning his Juris Doctor in 1996 from Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia. He immediately joined Neale & Newman, where he rose to partner in 2001 and has held numerous leadership positions.

Wooten already was representing Ozarks Technical Community College as its lead outside counsel when Hal Higdon joined as OTC’s chancellor more than 10 years ago.

“It is important for our vendors to be good citizens of our community,” Higdon says. “I am aware of Daniel’s active involvement in the community, most recently his service on the board of Habitat for Humanity and as its president. … I know Daniel to be committed to the betterment of the community and dedicated to those he serves, both professionally and philanthropically.”

With 10,000 students spread over several campuses and education centers, OTC faces a diverse range of legal issues that Wooten is prepared to handle, Higdon says.

“When called upon by the college, Daniel has always responded to our needs promptly and with expertise. He works well with our entire leadership team and staff. Daniel has always been respectful toward our students and employees, and he exhibits qualities that exemplify our commitment to excellence,” Higdon says.

Wooten is or has been a board member of several organizations, including Leadership Springfield, Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association and Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast.

“We are so proud to be a part of this community and could not be happier that we chose to move here after my graduation from law school,” Wooten says. “Springfield has been a wonderful and welcoming place to build a career, raise children and engage in the community.”

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