Featured Alumni: Greene County Prosecutor’s Office, part 2

In a continuation of our interview with the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office, we spoke with their attorneys about their prosecuting careers. Of their 41 attorneys, 21 are Mizzou Law graduates. If you missed the first part, check it out here.

What made you want to work at the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office?

Dane A. Rennier (‘13) Persons Unit
The idea of working at a prosecutor’s office always appealed to me. I loved the idea of trial work and it was my understanding this is somewhere I could get a lot of it. My understanding was correct. The friends I had here already made the transition very easy. But those friends told me how awesome the rest of the people that worked here were.

Mel Myears (‘12) Persons Unit
During law school, criminal procedure was one of my favorite courses. While I was employed at a private firm, I met several attorneys who worked for this office and seemed to genuinely enjoy it. I was drawn to the sense of focus and camaraderie that most of the APAs displayed, and I knew that criminal law was becoming my favorite type of law to practice. I support the vision that our elected prosecutor and this office shares in seeking justice for our community. I’m from Greene County, so ensuring that our community is safe and that people receive quality prosecution is important to me.

Emily Shook (‘07) Major Crimes Unit
I love being a prosecutor. I get to try cases and help victims, our work makes the community a better place, and I can advocate for just outcomes in my cases.

Stephanie Wan (‘06) First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, General Crimes Unit
The reason I went to law school was to be a prosecutor and prosecute crimes against women and children. The Greene County Prosecutor’s Office gave me that opportunity very early on in my career and gave me an ability to try a lot of cases, engage in the community, and excel in my career. The Greene County Prosecutor’s Office, in my humble opinion, is one of the best prosecutor’s offices in the state. The training and mentorship program is excellent.

Paul Rebar (‘16) Persons Unit
I knew I wanted to be a prosecutor, and I heard from others working here that there was a great work culture that focused on training new attorneys and preparing them to be effective trial attorneys.

Aaron Wynn (‘16) Property/Fraud Unit
I’d been interested in criminal law all through law school. I grew up in Greene County and I knew I wanted to move back home. Being a prosecutor provides more trial experience than I think you could get almost anywhere else.

Morgan Kirkpatrick (‘18) General Crimes Unit
Dan Patterson’s office policies and office culture. My co-workers care about helping me become a better attorney and there is so much opportunity to learn and grow within the office.

John McCaskill (‘18) General Crimes Unit
I am originally from Springfield, Missouri, right here in Greene County. I wanted to give back to my community. The GCPAO also has a reputation for ethical and fair prosecution.

Brian Neal (‘06) Child Support Unit
I am a native and lifelong resident of Greene County (except for the three years at Mizzou). I liked the idea of assisting my home county and the “white hat” aspect of this side of the justice system.

Joseph Bliss (‘18) General Crime Unit
I was always interested in criminal justice. I originally wanted to go into law enforcement until I was halfway done with law school when I decided to take the bar.

Elizabeth Fax (‘15) Persons Unit
I knew I wanted a job in public service. The Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office had an excellent reputation. Almost everyone I talked to from the Springfield Bar had great things to say about the caliber of attorneys that worked in the Prosecuting Attorney’s office. I also heard a lot about their great mentorship program. I knew that the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office would teach me the skills I would need to become a great attorney.

How did Mizzou Law prepare you to work at the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office?  Prepare you to work with other alums?

Jenna Homeyer (’17) Property Fraud Unit
Mizzou prepared me in many ways. The Board of Advocates really prepared me for doing trial work. The Board of Advocates was a great start to learn trial skills. In the classroom, evidence and criminal procedure classes really help me in my day to day practice.

Aaron Wynn (‘16) Property/Fraud Unit
The prosecution clinic was fantastic and the BOA events and arbitration team provided excellent advocacy experience.

Megan Vincent (‘18) General Crimes Unit
The Prosecution Clinic, the Innocence Clinic, and Trial Practice all helped prepare me for my job as a prosecutor. However, nothing can fully prepare you for your first job out of law school—it’s like being a 1L all over again.

John McCaskill (‘18) General Crimes Unit
Mizzou law offers fantastic opportunities such as the Prosecution Clinic and encourages students to participate in trial advocacy programs. The environment at Mizzou law is a family environment that encourages collaboration with fellow classmates.

Joseph Bliss (‘18) General Crime Unit
I still use criminal procedure almost every day. Mizzou Law taught me how hard it is to work as a lawyer. I learned how to learn from my fellow prosecutors.

Elizabeth Fax (‘15) Persons Unit
Mizzou Law’s various inter-school competitions and practical classes, like trial practice, prepared me for my job. I had a lot to learn when I started, but I was ahead of my non-Mizzou peers. I already knew how to write an opening, direct, cross, and closing from competing in the Board of Advocates competitions. Mizzou Law instilled in me the importance of doing things the right way. I remember many a lecture or presentation about the importance of a lawyer’s reputation and how your reputation can be ruined in an instant. I am always mindful of this and I think most Mizzou alums are as well.

What is it like to work with so many other Mizzou Law alums? Do you share any inside jokes or common language from your time at Mizzou Law?

Jenna Homeyer (‘17) Property Fraud Unit
It’s awesome to work with so many generations of tigers. It’s always fun to reminisce with each other about the good old days.

Amanda N. Johnson (’14) Persons Unit
It’s awesome to work with so many other Mizzou Law alums. We share a common experience in that even if you weren’t classmates with other people in the office, you were probably in law school at the same time or knew someone who was in law school at the same time as one of your colleagues. We have a lot of shared experiences, and it isn’t uncommon to find the Mizzou Law alums in our office telling old stories and laughing about the funny things that happened to all of us in law school – because we can all relate.

Stephanie Wan (‘06) First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, General Crimes Unit
As a supervisor, I am heavily involved in the hiring process. I enjoy working with other Mizzou Law alums because I am confident that I am getting high-quality candidates with good practical experience. It is also a point of pride among us to have so many Mizzou grads in one office and, even though a lot of us graduated at different times, it is nice to have people who have had a shared experience and root for the same team. Mostly what we do is tease the two lonely KU grads. Our poor chief assistant has had to endure a great deal of good-natured ribbing about how Mizzou is better than KU (although this not as effective during basketball season).

Paul Rebar (‘16) Persons Unit
Mizzou law is a great place to build relationships with other aspiring attorneys. Those relationships will be with you as you start out as an attorney and can be a great lifeline both personally and professionally as you navigate a new and oftentimes stressful career.

Brian Neal (‘06) Child Support Unit
I enjoy working with fellow Mizzou Alums as it gives us a connection with the shared experience of having attended the same law school. Everybody has certain professors they remember and have stories about in common.