Dean Syverud Named 'Lawyer of Year,' Alumni to be Honored as 'Legal Champions'

Dean Kent Syverud has been chosen by Missouri Lawyers Weekly magazine as “Lawyer of the Year” for 2012, and two law alumni have been named “Legal Champions.”

In announcing the top award, the magazine cited Syverud’s role as a co-trustee of the $20 billion Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust; his work in the transformation of Access Group Inc. from a student loan provider to a grant provider; his leadership as chairman of the ABA’s Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar; and “his influence in 2012 on national legal issues.”

The publication also praised the law school’s symposium, The Law School in the New Legal Environment, as an example of Syverud’s willingness to draw “disparate voices”—even “those of his critics” —into the conversation about the future of legal education.

Recognized by Missouri Lawyers Weekly as “Legal Champions” were law alumni Winston Calvert, JD ’05, of Armstrong Teasdale LLP, and Ken Vuylsteke, JD ’80, of Fox & Vuylsteke LLP. The award is given “to plaintiff or defense lawyers, not based on the size of verdicts but the importance of the principle or policy that as at stake.”

Missouri Lawyers Weekly will announce more details on the awards and criteria at a recognition ceremony on January 25.