Sebrina Barrett Takes the Helm as The Missouri Bar’s Executive Director

Barrett Says Focus of Helping Lawyers Help Their Clients Will Continue

Sebrina BarrettJEFFERSON CITY, MO – Following a nearly two-year transition, Missouri Bar Deputy Executive Director Sebrina Barrett took over January 1 as The Missouri’s Bar Executive Director following the retirement of Keith A. Birkes. Barrett was chosen from a national search in 2010 to succeed Birkes who served in the role for 27 years. Barrett joined the bar’s staff in early 2011 as deputy executive director and said she appreciated the opportunity to work with Birkes.

“It has been an honor to work alongside one of the longest-tenured and most respected bar executives in the country,” Barrett said. “In the coming year, our top priority is to focus on our mission of serving our members so they can better serve the clients in their communities. We will continue to deliver new and diverse resources, which help our members practice more efficiently and effectively.”

Barrett added that the Bar recently announced two new member benefits, which provide members discounts on law practice management software tools.

During the transition, Barrett served as a co-director with the responsibilities of the executive director ultimately shifting to her. Birkes said ensuring continuity was an integral part of the transition, noting that he and previous executive director, Wade Baker, each served in the role for 27 years, respectively.

“I believe, in the instance of The Missouri Bar, that the last 54 years of stability has been a good thing and a lot to be proud of, and I am confident that Sebrina will provide consistent stability in the same vein,” said Birkes. “I couldn’t feel better about the future of The Missouri Bar.”

Prior to working for The Missouri Bar, Barrett spent five years at the New York Bar, where her work culminated as senior director of public affairs and administrative services. Previously, she clerked in 2002-03 for then-Missouri Supreme Court Judge Michael Wolff, and in 2003-05 for the New York State Court of Appeals.

Barrett received her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and graduated first in her law class from Southern Illinois University School of Law.

Originally from southwest Missouri, Barrett lives in Columbia with her husband Michael, and their young son and newborn daughter.

The Missouri Bar is a statewide organization that is dedicated to improving the legal profession, the law and the administration of justice for all Missourians. Created in 1944 by order of the Supreme Court of Missouri, it serves all 30,000 of Missouri’s practicing attorneys. To achieve its mission, The Missouri Bar provides a wide range of services and resources to its members, as well as the media, educators and the citizens of Missouri. To learn more about The Missouri Bar, visit www.mobar.org.

MoBar Quick Info

Organization and Purpose: The Missouri Bar is the statewide organization that all Missouri lawyers must belong to if they practice law. The Missouri Bar was created in 1944 by order of the Supreme Court of Missouri. It is considered an instrumentality of the state, not a private association nor a state agency. Its mission is to improve the legal profession, the administration of justice, and law on behalf of the public.

Member Size: Currently, the bar is comprised of about 32,000 members.

Staff Size: The executive director, Sebrina Barrett, supervises a staff of 50 employees. Click here to see a Staff Directory

Budget: Approximately $10 million. No tax dollars are used to support Missouri Bar activities. Most money is derived from dues that lawyers pay; some is derived from CLE programs and publications, grants and The Bar Foundation.

Governance: The Board of Governors of The Missouri Bar determines policies and sets the course of action for the state bar to follow. The 45 members of the Board are elected by bar members. The Board elects a president, president-elect and vice president to serve as officers of the bar.

Sections and Committees: The Missouri Bar offers more than 50 substantive law committees for its members to join. It also has two sections: a Family Law Section, and the Young Lawyers' Section.

Location: The Missouri Bar Center is located in Jefferson City, at 326 Monroe St.

Missouri Bar Resources and Activities: The Missouri Bar provides a wide variety of services and resources, not only to its members, but also to the news media, school teachers and the citizens of Missouri. These include: CLE programs and publications, an Annual Meeting, a Solo and Small Firm Conference, teachers’ programs, committee meetings and extensive services for attorneys. The bar also administers a minimum continuing legal education requirement for attorneys.