The Missouri Bar has selected 13 outstanding young lawyers for The Missouri Bar Leadership Academy’s Class of 2017-2018. This is the 18th class and two UMKC School of Law alumni have been chosen to serve: Heather Hardinger (J.D. ’10) and Jacob Lewis (J.D. ’14).

The Missouri Bar’s Leadership Academy ’s mission is to recruit, train and retain recently admitted Missouri lawyers for leadership positions within The Missouri Bar. The academy is offered to Missouri lawyers who are less than 40 years old or who have been admitted to practice for 10 years or fewer, with an emphasis on diversity of ethnicity, culture, gender, area of practice and region within the state. 

Members of each year’s class participate in The Missouri Bar Annual Meeting, Board of Governors meetings, spring and fall committee meetings and workshops specifically designed for the Leadership Academy. For one year, the class works closely with bar leaders to learn more about The Missouri Bar, cultivate leadership skills and develop a public service project, which the class takes full responsibility for completing before the end of the class year. At the end of the year, members commit to serve the bar in an active capacity for two years.

Hardinger joined McCambridge Law since 2014. Prior to McCambridge, she served as a Judicial Law Clerk at the Sixteenth Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, for the Honorable Joel P. Fahnestock; the Honorable Peggy Stevens McGraw; the Honorable Kathleen A. Forsyth; and the Honorable Sandra C. Midkiff. While in law school, she worked as the Student Bar Association Prosecutor, competed on the school’s trial and negotiation teams, was a member of the UMKC Law Review, and student clerked for the Honorable Dean Whipple at the United States District Court of Western Missouri and the Honorable Robert M. Schieber at the Sixteenth Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. She graduated with honors in pro bono and public service work and for successful completion of an emphasis in litigation. When not working, Hardinger serves as a Member of the Board of Directors of Scuola Vita Nuova Charter School.  Hardinger practices in the areas of consumer law, employment law, wrongful death, and personal and serious injury. She is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Kansas.

Lewis joined Strong-Garner-Bauser, P.C. in 2017, after clerking at the Supreme Court of Missouri for the Honorable Zel M. Fischer. He received the Wilbur L. Pollard Law Review Honor Award at UMKC School of Law and was one of ten students inducted into the Order of the Barristers. He managed the UMKC Law Review, was a member the National Mock Trial Team, and interned with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri, Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Jackson County Public Defender’s Office.