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Heather Mosley | SBJ

2022 Most Influential Women: Elizabeth Wente

Spencer Fane LLP

Posted online

From advising businesses on best practices to contributing to the achievement of colleagues, Elizabeth Wente wants to serve her community.

Jason Smith says she’s succeeding.

“Spencer Fane continues to increase an impressive firm presence in the community of Springfield, and Elizabeth sits at the very heart of our ongoing efforts to provide businesses in the region with industry-leading legal services,” says Smith, a managing partner at law firm Spencer Fane LLP. “She maintains an active practice in our labor and employment group while simultaneously establishing herself as a trusted and dependable leader working in conjunction with executive leadership.”

Additionally, Smith credits Wente’s work as chair of the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, which collaborates with the executive committee and other leadership to provide educational opportunities for attorneys and staff.

Wente, a partner at Spencer Fane, considers developing a thriving labor and employment practice as one of her proudest professional accomplishments.

“I am proficient in providing my clients with guidance to develop a culture aimed at preventing employee issues, addressing employee issues in a manner that reduces the potential for employment-related litigation and implementing practices and policies that will put my clients in the best defensible position if they do encounter employment litigation,” Wente says.

Another point of pride is her work with the firm’s DEI committee and its initiatives offered across 19 offices.

“This training reached more than 500 attorneys and staff members and goes hand in hand with providing excellent client service and innovative legal solutions,” Wente says.

Also within Spencer Fane, she leads the Women Advocate program that aims to advance women within the firm and their business communities. Advocate stands for advise, develop, visualize, own, champion, advance, thrive and engage.

“I work to embody each of these words to their fullest, meaning in the support and mentorship of my fellow women in the legal field,” Wente says, adding that the success of female lawyers gives her firm a competitive advantage. “Women Advocate is dedicated to the recruitment, retention and advancement of female attorneys and providing the support and environment to help all members of the program thrive.”

A graduate of Tulane University, Wente earned her law degree from Southern Methodist University. Last year, she was named an up-and-coming law leader by Missouri Lawyers Media.

Wente has lent her time to the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Child Advocacy Center and the Junior League of Springfield, and she sits on the Friends of the Zoo board supporting the Dickerson Park Zoo.

“Each of these experiences taught me something different and gave me tools to serve my community in different ways,” Wente says.

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