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Melissa Bade, 28
Associate Attorney at Neale and Newman LLP
ï¡¿Melissa Bade, who like most Neale and Newman employees works primarily in litigation, would eventually like to specialize in adoption law. It’s a career choice and a goal that don’t provide a lot of free time. But Bade manages to make the most of the time she does have.
As an active member of the Junior League of Springfield, she’s helped with projects from volunteering at Isabel’s House and Ozarks Food Harvest to other local agencies. She is also part of Springfield Rotaract and The Network.
Bade is also a young ambassador for the Ozarks Counseling Center, and a board member for the Springfield Ballet.
“Especially as an attorney, creativity is really important,” says Bade, who wanted to be an interior designer or artist when she was young. “We can pin ourselves into certain types of careers. I think supporting the arts is very important for Springfield.”
Bade’s husband, Josh, (also an attorney), and her 8-month-old daughter, Hadley, get the rest of her time. “I’m crazy busy and don’t know where I am half the time, but that’s no reason not to give up your time,” she says. “I think everyone has time to give to Springfield.”
Occupation: Attorney at Neale and Newman, LLP
Education: Iattended undergrad at Saint Louis University where I earned my B.A. in Communication and a Minor in Studio Art. I attended law school and earned my J.D. at the University of Arkansas.
1. How did you end up at your current job/profession?
I worked as a summer associate at Neale & Newman, LLP the summer between my second and third year of law school. I was offered a full-time position following graduation (and passing the bar) and eagerly accepted as I had enjoyed my summer with Neale & Newman, LLP so much.
2. Where do you find passion to do what you do?
I am passionate about practicing law because my clients come to me at some of their lowest points and I take the responsibility to be the one who leads them through whatever issue (no matter how simple or complex) they are experiencing. I want to be the person they trust.
3. Tell us about your family.
I have been married to my hottie of a husband and love of my life, Josh Bade, for three years. We have a perfectly precious 9 month old daughter, Hadley Lowen Bade.
4. What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
I love spending time on Table Rock Lake, being active in my book (ahem, wine) club, traveling, doing anything outdoors, and re-experiencing and exploring the world through the eyes of my daughter!
5. Are you involved in any charitable organizations? (If so, what are they, and what is your role? Why is it important to you?)
I am a member of the Junior League of Springfield. I currently serve on the Charity Ball Planning Committee. Being a member of Junior League and being involved in any project, fundraiser, initiative, etc. the League takes on is extremely important to me because I believe so wholeheartedly in the Junior League’s mission and focus. The League is dedicated to voluntarism and its focus is the prevention of child abuse and neglect. I can’t think of anything more worthy of my time and energy.
I am a member of the Ozark’s Counseling Center’s Young Ambassador’s Board. This year, we took on the task of planning and hosting the first annual Tour De Springfield. This scavenger hunt through downtown Springfield raised funds for the center, which provides counseling services regardless of the client’s ability to pay.
I currently serve on the Springfield Ballet Board and am a member of the Board Selection Committee. I have always valued the arts and serving on the Ballet Board is a great way to show my support. I am particularly fond of the Springfield Ballet because, in addition to outstanding education and performance at the school, the Springfield Ballet is engaged in outreach with our community to bring the arts to a segment of our population that would not otherwise get such an experience.
6. Are you a member of any professional organizations? (If so, what are they, and what is your role?)
I am a member of Rotaract and served as the chair of their Casino Night Fundraiser. I also serve as a club mentor to new Rotaract members. I am also a member of the Chamber of Commerce’s young professional group, “The Network.”
7. How would you define the secret to success?
I have always liked the way Winston Churchill put it: “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
8. What's your favorite thing about your career?
My favorite thing about being an attorney is that it offers me the opportunity to cultivate relationships with all different types of people.
9. What's your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
I tell people all the time how proud I am to live and work in 417-land because the people here are so willing to give of their time and talents to support those who need it in our community. I love that I can go almost anywhere and recognize someone, be greeted by a smile, and have a friendly conversation.
10. If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
To care less about myself and more about others.
11. What was your “dream job” at age 5?
I remember telling people I wanted to be a “decorator.” I would go crazy helping my mom decorate for holidays and I would change the “theme” of my own room at least once a month. Thankfully, I still find time to visit flea markets and home décor stores to satisfy my interior design cravings.
12. List three traits that define a successful career:
Flexibility, discipline and compassion.
13. Why are you a 20 under 30?
I am willing to give of myself to the community I love. I know there are so many out there who do the same and I have been blessed with wonderful opportunities and people in my life that allow me to be involved.
14. What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
One of the things I love most about my job is each week brings new clients and new challenges. I am excited to see what is in store for me for 2014 and what areas of law I will get to explore, what areas of law I will continue to specialize in, and who I will get to meet in the process!
15. What completed project are you most proud of?
Adoption is one area of the law that I have been most diligent in pursuing, and I hope to practice in that area for many years to come. This year I had the privilege of assisting dear friends of mine in bringing home a treasured baby boy to join their family, and I couldn’t have been prouder.
Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:
Faith, family, and friendships make life worth living.
A day at work wouldn't be complete without learning something new.
Ten years from now, I hope I'm sitting on my back deck with my family enjoying the beauty of the Ozarks.
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would build my dream home.
The best part about being a 20 under 30 is knowing someone thought enough of me to recognize my involvement in 417-land and sharing that recognition with 19 other like-minded individuals who I appreciate so much.