Meet Our Speakers

Hon. Melissa Standridge

Melissa Taylor Standridge was born in Kansas City, Missouri on July 12, 1962. She graduated from the University of Kansas with an undergraduate degree in business administration. In 1993, she earned her juris doctorate, with honors, from the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law where she was Editor-in-Chief of the UMKC Law Review and Chief Justice of the Appellate Advocacy Program. Upon graduating from law school, Judge Standridge began a two-year position with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri working as chambers counsel to the Honorable Elmo B. Hunter. She joined Shook, Hardy & Bacon as an associate in 1995. While at Shook, Judge Standridge was an active member of the Search Committee, the Pro Bono Committee and a driving force in creation of the firm's Diversity Sub-Committee. She left Shook in 1999 to work as chambers counsel to Magistrate Judge David J. Waxse. Judge Standridge is involved in many professional associations, including the Kansas Bar Association as a district representative on the Board of Governors and as President of the Earl E. O'Connor American Inns of Court. She received the Sandra Day O'Connor Award for Professional Service from the National American Inns of Court in 2004, was selected as a 2006 Kansas City Legal Leader of the Year from The Daily Record, and earned the Outstanding Service Award from the Kansas Bar Association in 2001. In addition to her professional activities, Judge Standridge also has been incredibly active in the community. She has been a foster mother since 2000, and is an adoptive mother to three children, who were initially her foster children. She also has given her time and talent to the Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association, Habitat for Humanity, the Myasthenia Gravis Association, and other community needs. In 2007, she was selected as an Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Congressman Dennis Moore selected Judge Standridge as the sole recipient in the Third Congressional District to receive this national award for outstanding commitment to improving the lives of children in need of permanent homes.

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