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Nelson Honored for Professional Achievements

Mary Nelson

Mary Nelson, J.D., STLCC’s general counsel and chief legal officer, was honored by two organizations this spring. 

First, she was named a Legal Legend by the Mound City Bar Association. The award recognizes African-American attorneys who have devoted more than 30 years to the highest standards of the practice of law and exemplary service to the community. 

In April, Nelson received a Corporate Award from the Missouri Lawyers Media at the organization’s 21st annual Women’s Justice Award. The Women’s Justice Awards recognize women who have demonstrated leadership, integrity, service, sacrifice and accomplishment in improving the quality of justice and exemplifying the highest ideals of the legal profession. The awards honor women in various segments of the legal community, including the bar, bench, public office, business, academia, nonprofits and the state at large. 

Nelson was named general counsel and chief legal officer in September 2014. Nelson has more than 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors, including stints in two mayoral administrations in St. Louis, positions in state government and partnerships in several firms. 

Nelson’s law practice is concentrated in real estate, construction and business law. In June 2015, she was appointed to serve on the Missouri State Highways and Transportation Commission. She was the first African-American woman appointed to Missouri’s Administrative Hearing Commission, leaving that post to accept her current position with STLCC. 

Nelson served as president of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners, on the 2001 Missouri House of Representatives Reapportionment and Redistricting Commission and served two terms on the board of trustees of the University of Missouri’s Law School Foundation. 

An active member of the Missouri Bar, Nelson has held leadership posts for the Bar Foundation Board of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and the Mound City Bar Association. Nelson earned her juris doctorate from the University of Missouri School of Law and bachelor’s degree in political philosophy from Princeton University.

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