BAMSL to Induct Four to Gallery of Legal Pioneers Wall of Fame during Black History Month - Recent News

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Posted by: Susan Sagarra on Feb 19, 2019

The Bar Association of St. Louis (BAMSL) will induct four new members into its Gallery of Legal Pioneers Wall of Fame. On Feb. 26, the BAMSL Minorities in the Legal Profession (MILP) Section will honor the new BAMSL Legal Pioneers with an installation ceremony and reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at the BAMSL Bar Center (555 Washington Ave., Suite 100, St. Louis, MO 63101).

The 2019 inductees who have exemplified excellence within the legal community are: Wesley Bell, Dana Tippin Cutler, Hon. Gloria Reno and Hon. Robin Vannoy.

  • Wesley Bell is the first African American elected as St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney. Bell is a former St. Louis County public defender, an adjunct law professor, former municipal judge, former municipal prosecutor and city council member for Ferguson. He worked with President Obama's Department of Justice to implement the consent decree to reform Ferguson's criminal justice system.
  • Dana Tippin Cutler is a past president of the Missouri Bar and the first African American woman elected to the post. Cutler and her husband, Keith, preside over a television court show, "Couples Court with the Cutlers." She also is past president of the Board of Directors of the Missouri Bar Foundation. She served as general counsel for several public charter schools in Kansas City. She is a member of her family's law firm, James W. Tippin & Associates.
  • Hon. Robin Ransom Vannoy, who recently was appointed to the Eastern District of the Court of Appeals, was the first African American woman presiding Judge of the 22nd Circuit. Judge Vannoy began her career as an assistant public defender for St. Louis County Circuit Court and then as an assistant prosecuting attorney. She joined the legal department of the St. Louis County Family Court-Juvenile Division in 1996 and remained until December 2002, when she was appointed as a Family Court Commissioner for the 22nd Judicial Circuit.
  • Hon. Gloria Clark Reno was elected in October 2018 to serve as presiding judge of the St. Louis County Circuit Court, making her the first African American presiding judge in the 21st judicial circuit's 203-year history. Reno has been on the court since 2002, when she was appointed as an associate circuit judge by then-Missouri Gov. Bob Holden. In 2009, she was elevated to circuit judge by then-Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. Earlier in her career, she was municipal judge for Northwoods.

History of BAMSL’s Gallery of Legal Pioneers Wall of Fame

When formed in 1874, the Bar of Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL) barred African American Attorneys from obtaining membership. Once this discriminatory practice was eliminated, BAMSL has enjoyed the benefit of countless African American and other racially deemed minority members. These diverse members have made tremendous contributions to the legal profession and the global community. To that end BAMSL began officially preserving the history of diverse attorneys and judges who were pioneering “famous firsts” and paved the way for countless others to achieve success in the Missouri Legal Community. The contributions of these diverse firsts were recognized by placing their photos on the Gallery of Legal Pioneers Wall of Fame as an eternal reminder of their contributions. It is our duty and privilege to continue recognizing Minority Legal Pioneers who have been historically discriminated against and whose accomplishments have served as hope and inspiration for future generations.


With more than 6,500 members in the St. Louis region, including attorneys, judges, paralegals and law firm administrators, The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL) is the oldest and most respected voluntary bar association in the area. Please visit BAMSL’s newly designed Web site at



Photo of BAMSL's Gallery of Legal Pioneers
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The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL) Gallery of Legal Pioneers adorns the entire back wall of the classroom located at BAMSL's headquarters in downtown St. Louis. The classroom is used for BAMSL's Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs and other BAMSL events throughout the year.


For more information and interview opportunities, please contact Susan Sagarra, BAMSL Assistant Executive Director, Membership and Marketing, at or (314) 421-4134.


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